December 22nd 2011
Well, what a day…how vastly emotional, how many tears we shed, what a huge smile you had on your face as you were wheeled out of ICU and into the ambulance to move on to the next stage…
It’s been the most poignant day of my life, one I will never forget, ever. Ingrained on my soul and in my heart.
My friend Cecile who is a nurse at the hospital came in (on her day off) to be with me and see Alex off. The whole team were sad to see him go, they have grown very attached to you. They are so happy for you that are going where you are going, as we all are so very aware that this day was never predestined at the beginning.
Cecile and I talked for the two hours you slept before the ambulance people came to take you. She is going to Haiiti for a fortnight to help out with people who have had their lives devastated and shattered, to give something. She tells me that she saw me at the beginning, and stood back amazed at how I held always my hope, my courage, my love, my belief, my enthusiasm and positivity, refusing to let you waste away, had I listened to the Drs and believed them. (I assured her she, anyone, would do the same, when you have no choice, you just have to keep on). She told me that my attitude has inspired her, and seeing how you, Alex, have made it through this, been carried by another force, she has decided she wants to do something different, help others, and give. We spent a lot of the time together in tears, as she worked there, she knew what the initial diagnosis had been, and she is astounded that today has come about, but feels it is down to how we have been, our love, a connection on another level, that has pulled you through.
After they have finished getting you ready, I realise, there are no more drips in your arms, no more heart monitor pads puzzled over your chest, no more blood pressure strap on your upper arm, no more oxygen detector on your finger, then I look up and see the machine, all is switched off. The screen is blank. It is at this point when I cannot hold it together any more, and tears flood my eyes and mouth. I am in disbelief. This is such a happy day, in fact, I sprung out of bed this morning, put on the Gospel music version of ‘Oh Happy Day’ and played it as loudly as I could, dancing around with the kids…this is SUCH a happy day, and I feel wrung dry, three months, three whole months, and we have finally made it.
You were so happy to be leaving, what a big day, a triumphant day. You leave smiling, and outside, you breathe your first fresh air in three months, you blink to let me know it feels good.
Cecile and I say goodbye to one another in tears, it’s all over, ICU, a page turned, and Neuro re-education the destination.
When we get there I help settle you in. and gradually as the Dr examines you, he sees clearly both your legs work, but your arms are paralysed at a 45 degree angle. Your head does not move, and slumps always to the right hand side. He asks me many questions, and I assure him you are completely aware of your state. He goes away to have a meeting with all the team, and they will write up a program for you. When he leaves, you begin to cry, you are so aware of how trapped you are, and I imagine the fact you cannot see must be even harder. You are imprisoned in your own body, and no one can do anything quickly about this. To hear and be so aware, but to not be able to move or see, this must be terrifying, and it distresses me to the core…
I tell you that ‘OK, today is an emotional day for us, we’ve come so far, but tomorrow, it stops, I am here to pick you up, motivate you, encourage you, and be there every step of the way…’. But today, our tears roll.
Monty came down tonight after bedtime, watching mop the floors, tidy up, cook, feed the animals, and he said to me, ‘mum, I have never mopped the floors, and it’s you the only adult in the house at the moment, why don’t you let me do something to help you?’
What an angel he is, I told him it was a lovely, lovely gesture, and how proud of him I was that he had offered, but I was fine,. But he insisted in saying, ‘yes, but you do ALL the work mummy, and daddy’s not here, let me do something, can I run you a bath?’ so I let him mop the floor in the bathroom, and he felt very proud of himself for having helped me out. I do not want him to feel any adult responsibility, he is 8-years-old, and he has to stay 8-years-old, I make sure I let him know that ‘that’s what his mum is here for’. He is a good boy, and he makes his bed and folds his pyjamas and clothes, and helps set the table, that’s already amazing. I can see he was so happy to have helped though, bless him, so getting the balance right of letting him grow up too, is a privilege for him, and he is ready. As long as he does not do this because he feels a responsibility to suddenly be a grown up as a result of this situation, that he does it as a natural step, I can accept that.
Well, Christmas approaches, and the kids and I went out to choose you a little tree to go in your new bedroom, they have chosen some tinsels for you as well. When I got back, Esmie ran up to me and said ‘did you take Daddy to the other hospital mummy?’ I reply, yes, and her and Mitzi scream ‘YEEEESSSS!!!!’ And dance jumping up and down together cuddling, so excited. They all get it, the kids, even the littlest.
I see you as you are now, I hope for how you will be, I will keep you and guard you and comfort and protect you, but I will never let you give up, YOU, will never let you give up, despite, I know you. It’s all started today baby, here’s to our future…
Here’s to togetherness again…