Where has the time gone?
Memories are flooding my brain. 6 months ago today I was waiting for the news about Anthony’s brain scans.
Arriving at the ICU, I quickly got to work with Anthony’s doctors, collecting his test results and CDs of his scans for our second opinion. The folder is a half inch thick, at least 50 pages, steel clips to separate.
Methodically, I cross check each one. My camera takes a backup photo as I go. It’s click, tick reminds me of happier times.
Shake it off, no time to daydream. No time to remember his serious smiles. My tough guy.
Anthony’s Propofol is running low. His muscles begin to spasm. It’s involuntary.
I don’t want to believe the spasms are out of his control. How can that be?
Anthony’s entire body responds that the coughing by bouncing in thuds against the bed. The tubes down his throat turn each cough into a metallic-tinged rasp. It’s hard to describe the sound, but I know I will never forget the metallic coughs for as long as I live.
His respiration is weakening. The ringing and beeping from the ventilators begin.
I leave my pile and set the camera down on the bedside table. He never used the table for a meal. He should have been awake by now, it’s been 10 days.
Even just a sip of broth. I would have fed him with a spoon. Dribble freely kiddo – wishes. Imagine, drooling is my WISH. Not reality. His eyes were supposed to open days ago.
“Diana, his Propofol is low. Thanks.”
She will be in the room in a minute to change the bottle. He must have had 100 of them or more. I stopped counting the sedatives. Everything to keep him comfortable was not bringing him home.
“Anthony, Mama is right here, it’s ok baby. Calm down. Relax. You’re just coughing baby. Mama is right here.”
I stroke his hair and whisper in his ear. He doesn’t hear me. His hearing is supposedly lost too. I don’t want to believe it. How can he not hear his own mother? I am his Mama. He HAS to hear me.
Diana got the bottle changed. Anthony starts to calm down as the Propofol enters his bloodstream. She resets the alarms on the dispensary and touches my shoulder as she leaves his room.
“My handsome guy, your Mama loves you so much…,” Diana says as she exits. I love his nurses. I am so lucky for them.
Anthony is calm. I return to my photography. Clarity of words on the page versus tone, angle and frame are my main concern now. Halfway through the pages. So many test results.
Anoxic brain injury, blood pressure, temporal lobe, Propofol, repeated over and over.
Ok I am getting close to the end. Click, tick, click, tick. I think I have them all now.
Lou and Michael arrive to see me glance up from my completed work.
Each of them kisses Anthony gently on his forehead. A longing glance follows. They want Anthony to come home.
“Is everything ready?” Lou asks.
“Yes, all the photos are here in my camera. You have all the tests in this envelope. Oh and 2 CDS. I checked. It’s all here, from the emergency room to this morning’s MRI. Here is Dr. Fink’s business card. His secretary will be waiting for you.”
I hand Lou the slightly bent business card. My purse bends everything. Umm, that’s a fib. It’s because I am a slob. Yes my purse is a nightmare. Just like my closet. Each an explosive device.
Lou and Michael begin to depart for the ride to New York’s Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. Our second opinion. The opinion which will determine my son’s fate.
I follow them to the doorway to watch them leave. Leaning against the steel door jam, I feel the solid metal dig into my skin. My head follows in the lean.
“Please let the past few days be simply a mistake. Please God, give me my baby back.”
Diana overhears my whisper, she smiles at me. I return her smile. She is so nice.
I return to Anthony’s side. The wall clock shows it’s 11am. Father Andre will be up to the ICU soon. He comes in every day to check on and pray for him. Prayers are all I have. Well, prayers and tests. The tests however are not good. Modern science says my son is not coming back to me.
Miracles can happen. I have to believe God will give me one. Please.