Monday, April 29, 2013
The scene where I left the threads of what I thought was sanity
Twenty five months later I could reset this room I think pretty accurately with the people that were there responding to the code on Ailish. I should probably say bodies as I don't remember all the faces. I do remember the things being said at the time maybe not all the orders being given but moreso the inane conversation occurring between the staff. Even the political if you can call it jockeying.
The room was overflowing with people with one wall covered with shell shocked looking interns or students. The ICU resident was at the end of the bed calling the shots. The attending was on the far side of the bed interjecting when necessary. When the ortho resident wasn't pounding on my daughter's chest he was at the end of the bed awaiting another turn to try and save her. While he performed cpr his gaze would meet mine with his being filled with fear, worry and guilt. There was a respiratory therapist who despite continually being told her cpr was not efficient was unable to do better though no one pulled her off. There were three anesthetists intubating Ailish shooting the breeze as to why one of them was there were they on call etc. WTH? There was the poor doctor who got called into the room immediately before Ailish crashed who knew nothing of my child but was asked to come in to assess. She got in just in time for the code button to be pushed. She stood beside me ensuring that I wanted to remain in the room and in learning I did inquired as to what I might need. She respected that all I wanted was to listen to what was being said as they tried fruitlessly to revive Ailish. The teenage nurse assigned to us on evenings and the charge nurse stood to the right of the ICU resident with the bedside table pulled over as they documented orders.
Somewhere in all of this the world's most insensitive, undereducated boob of a social worker entered the scene. Her role it seemed was to irritate me. I was able silence her though how I am not sure. It was possibly the aura around me that read "I hate social workers, my kid is dying, you need to get away from me or you will be next!" I can't be sure.
The orthopaedic surgeon on call came rushing into the room and introduced herself to me and said that Ailish's surgeon was on his way to the hospital. I had also heard this from his resident earlier. She also confirmed with me that I wanted to be in the room.
Ailish's surgeon was next to fly in the room. I remember his red coat and eyes that burned into mine as if saying "what the hell happened?" He assessed the scene a bit and situated himself beside me on my right which was the left side of the bed. He asked me if I wanted to remain in the room. Immediately after that the on call doc had to make sure that the surgeon knew that she had asked me all ready so much so that she said it to him twice. For some reason Ailish's surgeon spoke to the social worker saying something along the lines that Ailish had done so well etc etc. What I wanted to scream at him was "quit talking to her I HATE HER! This has nothing to do with her!" I didn't.
All I could see of Ailish was her mid torso. There were so many people in the room and afraid I would be forced to leave I stayed back and out of the way. I only wish I had placed myself in a position to see Ailish's face or somewhere where I could have touched her. There are no do overs in death and dying.
There was a general surgery resident on the right side of the bed ready and willing to perform any heroic measures in an attempt to save Ailish. What he came up with was drastic and likely would have been a gruesome mess ("well you all better gown up" said the ICU resident) and a dead kid still would be the end result only now a carved up dead kid. I will forever be grateful for him wanting to do it even though between Ailish's surgeon speaking to the mass of people and my acknowledging nod that the time was now to call the code and declare my beloved gone.
That was the scene. There of course were other honourable mentions such as the ICU attending who was kind, gentle but honest when giving almost a warning call when twenty minutes had passed with no response from Ailish that the end was coming. She played a big role that night more so than just the overseeing of the code.
Those last moments, the events of the three days from surgery to death are the videos that play in my head on repeat maybe not as often as they did but they are there at the ready just awaiting the play button to be pushed by any number of triggers. You know at the end of videos where you can watch bloopers and alternate scenes etc? When the mental videos play that's when I think of all the things that I would have liked to have said and done. There is of course the scene where the kid magically responds to the electrical shocks sent shooting through her body and medications coursing through her veins and wakes up right as rain and we leave the hospital in the five to seven days as originally planned...
Don't you hate it when a movie doesn't end the way you want it to?