Sunday, September 29, 2013

Mending A Smashed Toe and A Broken Heart

Whenever anyone is sick or hurt it takes me back
to that place that only Bradley has taken me.
Fear for life.
Precious breath which is given by God.
 Breath that can be taken from us at anytime.
Because he is in control and we are not.
I think this is a lesson I am going to revisit many times in my life.
We have received so many condolence cards and letters.
I've been surprised how many have come from doctors and therapists.
They really did and do care.
I just hated everything about the medical side of his life.
It's very hard for me to accept medical care, I guess.
I don't gravitate naturally to it.
I guess that is why I'm more comfortable birthing my babies at the foot of my bed.
But I've always fought against my natural preference, if I knew it would help my children.
Charlotte smashed her toe this week.
She squished it when a heavy barstool fell on our stone floor.
The impact popped a hole in the end of her toe,
spewing cartilage onto the stone.
It turned black instantly.
I started balling when I saw it.
I couldn't handle another one of my babies suffering.
I held her and rocked back and forth.
Crying and aching for both Charlotte and Bradley.
Then I realized she should probably go into the ER.
See if it needed stiches or had a broken bone or something.
We went to St. Rose,
 because Sunrise is the best,
but I couldn't bear the thought of going there.
They took an x-ray that was normal.
They gave us a Band-Aid and Neosporin.
And sent us home.
Told us to come back if it looked infected or if she ran a fever.

Ironically, she did get a fever the very next day.
And by 5pm she was throwing up.
I knew I had to take her to the best hospital if she had a possible infection.
So Tom and I and all the kids headed down to Sunrise.
The ride was so nostalgic and heartbreaking.
A weird mix of sad memories about my Bradley.
Memories of fear mixed with everything we have been through together.
We walked into the familiar waiting room
and every single nurse who has ever helped Bradley was working in triage that night.
We filled out paperwork for Charlotte and because she had a
fever associated with a wound they let her back very quickly.
When we got into triage they looked at all of my kids and said with curiosity in their eyes,
"Are these all the kids you have?'
I burst into tears and told them I was Bradley Brinkerhoff's mommy,
and that he had passed 2 weeks ago.
That he had been referred to hospice care by Dr. Nakamaura, 9 months ago.
And he had died of respiratory failure, like every doctor had said he would.
All of the nurses got very sad looks in their eyes and told me they were sorry.
It was obvious they didn't want me to cry.
They took us back to a familiar room.
They repeated the x-ray which was normal, again.
They said the site didn't look infected.
They said that it was too soon for that degree of infection to have developed.
They said it was probably a coincidence she had a fever and was throwing up.
And they let us go home.
And I was relieved nothing was wrong
 and they didn't have to poke another one of my babies.
When I got home I realized Heavenly Father
had given me the opportunity to find closure with that part of Bradley's life. 
He let me tell the nurses who had helped us so much in the Sunrise ER.
I had wondered, when we went on hospice 9 months ago,
if they would even notice when we stopped coming in. 
While it was painful to tell them, I'm glad they remembered him.
That they remembered him on their own and asked me.
It made me feel like he really
did effect hearts of the people in the hospital.
Grateful for that opportunity to tell them myself of his passing.
Grateful Charlotte is okay too.
I feel very taken care of.