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Déjà Vu

11 Aug

 

IMG_1304The alarm will sound around 4:15 a.m. so Gracen and I can get out the door by 4:55.

It’s just a hospital I’ll tell myself as we pull into the parking lot Thursday morning.

It’s not an emergency—just a planned procedure normally performed in an Oral Surgeon’s office—but better safe than sorry when your child’s health is already compromised.

Nothing serious—just wisdom teeth—I’ll tell myself as I exit the car and unload the wheelchair from the trunk.

Deep breath in.

Exhale.

Game face on.

One foot in front of the other.

One foot in front of the other.

5:15 a.m.

Carpeted floors. Upholstered chairs. Pre-procedure registration.

Bump as the wheelchair handles vibrate beneath my hands when the carpet ends and the sterile tile takes over. Another bump before the wheelchair glides smoothly over the floor as we pass oversized electronic powered doors.

Scrubs.

The smell of disinfectant.

The quiet buzz of nurses while keyboards click.

The blood pressure cuff.

Thermometer.

Pulse and oxygenation recorded.

When did you eat and drink last?

Take your medications?

The gown placed on the rolling bed and the snick as the curtain is drawn.

Gracen and I left alone in a small cordoned off space.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

One step at a time.

Game face.

I’ll bend and lock the chair’s wheels in place so it won’t roll away from us then lift Gracen’s right foot off the foot pedal flipping the pedal up as I place her foot on the floor prior to up turning the pedal out and away from the wheelchair (tripping hazard). Then repeat the procedure with her left foot.

She’ll lean forward as I reach beneath her arms grasping her around the back and pulling her to her feet. Gracen’s arms will wrap around me clutching at my back as I help her disrobe before reseating her, readjusting the foot pedals and align the wheelchair perpendicular to the bed before moving the foot pedals out of the way again. I’ll place my right foot between her two feet before lifting her to her feet again and pivoting to perform a quarter turn to set her on the waiting bed. Hopefully, it will not be necessary to actually lift her up onto the bed. That’s just harder. She’s a tiny thing but it’s all dead weight. I’ll place my hand behind her neck and turn her head toward the pillow as I simultaneously lift her feet up swinging her body around and laying her onto the bed. Then I’ll figure out how to maneuver her body all the way up and onto the pillow at the top of the bed before unlocking the chair’s wheels once again, flipping the foot pedals back in place and then finding an out of the way place for it to sit in the small space.

I’ll hand Gracen her cell phone, pack her discarded clothes into the plastic bag provided before placing her clothing and my purse on the wheelchair’s seat. It might as well be made useful while it sits vigil with me in the surgery waiting room.

Gracen and I will wait as the nurse and Anesthesiologist prepare us for what comes next. Eventually, they will release the locks on the bed’s wheels and push Gracen away from me and behind the door leading to the operating theater. My eyes will follow her until the door closes and she can no longer be seen—no longer be reached.

Swallow hard.

Deep breath in.

Exhale.

Rise and push the wheelchair filled only with Gracen’s clothing before me into the waiting room. Find a place to park the chair out of the way of normal foot traffic. Drop into an upholstered seat.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

Don’t think about what’s happening now.

Don’t think about what might happen.

Don’t pray. You’re not strong enough to shoulder any more deferred hope.

What benefit are my prayers if Gracen’s predetermined number of days have been reached?

Reach my trembling hand into my purse and withdraw my sanity protection device—a simple e-reader.

Distraction, distraction, distraction.

Praise God for fiction!

All I need is a sure fire way to engage my mind with anything beyond what might go wrong. To fill my mind with letters and words mashed together telling a story with a happy ending.

All I need is a distraction from the triggers inherent in my immediate environment reeling me back in time . . .

IMG_5553to the stretcher, I lay upon,

the rumble of the wheels bumping over the pavement,

the whoosh of the automatic doors sliding open,

voices talking above and around me,

the charge nurse’s greeting

and the echo of my desperate voice asking. . .  “Where is my daughter? Is she still alive?”

It’s only a hospital.

It’s not an emergency.

Gracen’s life is not at risk.

At least I think it’s not. . .

 
4 Comments

Posted by on August 11, 2016 in Adversity, Faith

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

4 responses to “Déjà Vu

  1. Melanie

    August 11, 2016 at 6:07 am

    Oh, the hard and heavy things we carry in our hearts that no one else can see or know. Janet, I am so sorry that you had to sit alone with these thoughts and pain. Gracen has a very brave mama. I wish it weren’t necessar for you to be so brave. My heart hurts for you.

    Like

     
    • Janet Boxx

      August 11, 2016 at 7:20 am

      This post is my pre-grief. Working out my fears in advance seems to make the actual day/event less stressful. Holding it in makes things worse. I’ve done pretty well so far. Watching them take her away, those doors closing, was the worst part – so far! Now the waiting. I’m thankful for my tablet so I can distract myself with social media and fiction!

      Liked by 2 people

       
      • Melanie

        August 11, 2016 at 7:23 am

        I’m thankful for tablets too! And pre-grief is so important. I hope she comes through like a champ and heals well.

        Liked by 1 person

         
      • Janet Boxx

        August 11, 2016 at 7:24 am

        Thank you – I’m not looking forward to recovery!

        Like

         

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