"ignore the story. see the soul. remember to love. you will never regret it" --- Seane Corn

"ignore the story. see the soul. remember to love. you will never regret it" --- Seane Corn
it's a jungle out there

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Expired Patient: Part IIl

So if you need the backstory go here for Part l and here for Part ll.

A few days ago Brandon's baby brother Christopher popped into my head. I haven't spoken to mom since the evening she came to see me after I found out Brandon had died. The last time I saw Christopher, he was brought by his grandparents.

After all these years I know that when a patient randomly pops into my head in THAT way, I'm gonna be seeing them real soon.

So I get to the office this morning and there's a phone message from Brandon's/Christopher's mom regarding some medication he was prescribed. And though these random
or not so random premonitions are pretty reliable, I still find myself thinking wow that's so
fuckin weird I was just thinking about her.

I'm reminded of her every day. Brandon's funeral card is in a basket on my dresser. Every single morning I see it as I'm putting on
deodorant or choosing earrings and every single morning I think of her. But this other kind of thinking about comes from the outside and knocks me upside my head with no warning.

So baby brother Christopher was in the office twice yesterday and in the ER last night.
For croup.
Half the little ones in the county have it. Easy peasy. It's ok. Not too serious. It just sounds bad.
But Mom was worried.

Now I've known this mom for 14 years. She is not a worrier.
Even when Baby Brandon got his chest cut open, she did not freak out.

But can you imagine your favorite child dying?
ok don't feel guilty we all have a favorite.
And then can you imagine how astoundingly terrifying it must be when your remaining child is ill?
The fear of randomly losing another child must be overwhelming.
I could see how it might fuck a usually chill mom up to the point of 2 office visits and a trip to the ER within a 12 hour period.
So I called her.

She sounded good
I said are you ok?
She said she was good, and then told me about baby Christopher.
I reassured her. She felt better.
Oh thank you
michelle I feel so much better now that I've talked to you
you saved him i wouldn't have had him for 13 years you took away his pain
I asked again are you ok?
Yes. I'm ok. You know today was Brandon's birthday so I went to the cemetery my sister came with me and I said what I needed to say to him and I cried a little but I'm ok.

And I understood why this extraordinary mom had been in a panic over her sick baby. It was the day before her dead son's birthday.

I told her where I keep Brandon's funeral card.
I told her that I think of them both EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Because I do.
Oh my god michelle thank you thank you so much that's so beautiful thank you
hail mary full of grace

She's OK.

Now although this wackadoo synchronistic shit happens all the time, especially with patients who are dug deep into my heart, part of me is still astounded when it does.

And I am left knowing again that my patients do far more for me than I do for them.

The Universe is Abundant


  1. I can't imagine ever being "ok" after something like that. But then. I know I probably would.

    Love this.

    And feel the same way about my patients.


    When a long dead one pops into my head, what does that mean? Are they just saying 'hi'?

  2. Man, I hate to even imagine her pain. And, I can't even imagine working in health care where you face the possibility of losing someone every day???

    When my sister was killed in an auto accident, my dad literally laid on our couch for a year. It took a near divorce for him to move on. My mother cried often for her, and told me that there is no greater pain.

  3. We have senses we are not aware of. I am convinced of this. It is not woo-woo at all, it is just part of our ability to function in the best way we can.

  4. You are amazing. And tuned in. I marvel at the abundance of the universe that allowed Brandon's mom to have you in her life. I cannot imagine her pain. I've lived with a tightness in my throat from the worry of the possibility that something awful might happen to my babies from the day they were born, and I hate that I work that way. It is no way to live, pre worrying about all the awfulness that is possible in the universe. I try to balance it with gratitude, and compassion for those less fortunate, and I count my blessings. But.
    I am almost paralyzed with fear in the face of respiratory infections, as my rail thin daughter is prone to bonchial spasms and pneumonia, and hate beyond description that every cold will lead to days of gagging coughing fits and inhalers and steroids, and sleepless nights for us all, with her apologizing non stop for what she can't help. Each little I'm sorry Mommy breaks my heart, but that is who she is. I'm punchy from night two of this winter's crud, but she got a little sleep so I am grateful. It amazes me that when all the medicines fail, a calming voice and a hug and a gentle stroke of the back and face can help calm her and let her breathe. I wondered last night about codeine or a bitty piece of a xanax just to let her little body relax. I went with the soothing program instead, then I ate the xanax.

    I thought about tiny, beautiful Ever with the iv in her arm, the awful week of worry they had, and know that they are lucky she is better, and I am luckier still, just tap dancing around the awfulness. But the fear of the what if's haunts me like a bad dream. I wonder if there is a little pill to make that go away?

    I love you and thank you for sharing your abundance with us. You are an angel walking among us. With ruby slippers. XXOO

  5. You are my synchronistic sister.

    Reading your stories helps me to believe that I am somewhat sane.


    I still say to myself: that's so fucking weird, I was just thinking of him, her, that..., but then I say thank you to the universe as well. We are all connected in ways we can't imagine and knowing this helps me amid all the chaos.

  6. I used to get that frequently with family and friends....but it doesn't happen so much anymore. I need to get back in touch with the more ........whatever it was.....me

  7. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

  8. thanks for the two links, read it all and wow.
    don't know what to say.
    but i do think we can help each other just by taking the time to think of someone and even carry some of their pain by genuinly feeling for them.
    you do that.

  9. It's a form of telepathy, I'm certain of it.

    You're so strong - just reading some of these things makes me cry my eyes out. More than once in my life, empathy has paralyzed me.

    Thank God for people like you. :-)


so... wadaya think?

Your fairy is called Columbine Icedancer
She is a bone chilling bringer of justice for the vulnerable.
She lives in mushroom fields and quiet meadows.
She is only seen when the bees swarm and the crickets chirrup.
She wears lilac and purple like columbine flowers. She has icy blue butterfly wings.