Think back 5 and a half months ago. What was happening in your life? Do you remember the little details from each day, how the air smelled, the sounds around you? Do you remember the little things your child did that made you laugh, or angry, confused? How about your spouse, do you remember some wonderfully kind thing they said to you, some supportive and honest bit of vocal warmth that entered into your shattered brain and helped piece it together, so you could get a good nights rest? Maybe just one full night.
I do, I remember everything, every detail.
I remember each day, every twitch of Ella’s body as she lay in a coma after undergoing brain surgery to remove that fucking cancer! I remember each tear, each time a doctor would hint, through some slight facial expression, that they didn’t think Ella would live. Every new nurse, every tasteless meal, every time Deb would hold me and tell me she was there for me, no matter what.
I remember the last five months vividly and I suspect I always will. What all of us who know and love Ella have gone through in this past five months is trauma, and trauma tends to stay with you. Not that any of us plan on trying to remember, I’m sure we will all have so much overwhelming joy coating our insides, each day we get to spend with this brave little girl. We’ll have to work hard at putting that joy aside, for a moment of reflection. Everything I have expressed on this blog over the past 5 months has been honest, and has been as close of a description of our suffering and pain as I could manage to write about. I did this as both way to to vent, as a way to explain to those of you who cared, what it was I was feeling and as a way to document this ordeal for Ella.
Of course there were many times that I did not think Ella would ever get a chance to read any of this. To be honest, I’m still in shock about Ella waking up, and although I’ve cried a bathtub full of tears in the last month, tears of joy mind you, I haven’t quite accepted it. I was so distraught, so sad and angry, I spent so many days and weeks and months feeling that way, that it’s like my body is rejecting the all this positivity and wants to sneak back under the cloud of misery, the only home it knows.
Don’t worry, I’m fighting it back with the help of my amazing daughter and incredible wife. Each hilarious thing Ella says, each time I look at her gorgeous face and half-cocked smile, the sadness and anger gets beat back a little. Hopefully after a few months of my new full-time job (which I’ll share with Alycia) of working with Ella doing her rehabilitation and recovery, being her father and nurse and physical therapist, I’ll get totally blissed-out and never have to worry about being destroyed by depression ever again.
It’s 5am here in the hospital room. Ella is sleeping, I just moved her. She has to be turned every two hours so she doesn’t get bedsores. She is doing a bit better at moving herself, although she has developed what I’m calling “bed madness” which makes her not want to move in the bed very much, for fear that she’ll fall out. The doctors told us a while ago that she would be very scared of falling, because she doesn’t have the control of her body like she used to. Fear of falling or “bed madness”(which is much funnier) she is dependent on us to turn her and that means interrupted sleep all throughout the night.
But we’re used to it at this point, and I kind of like it cause Ella starts mumbling in her sleep when you turn her over, and she says some really hilarious stuff. What I’m not used to is the mini-fridge wheezing and crying all night, just one of the many possessed machines in this room that make very unnatural sounds, annoying sounds. In the doctors office you get calming music, cheesy usually, but peaceful nonetheless. In the hospital you get no music, you get beeps and buzzers, “code blues” and “visiting hours are over” on the loud speaker. Nurses ramped up on energy drinks, with squeaking tennis shoes and big clumsy hands, crashing about in the dark. Plastic, plastic, plastic!!! Every little piece of everything comes pre-wrapped in it’s own 100-decibel-smashing plastic wrapper, which gets thrown away, not recycled. I haven’t even seen a recycling bin anywhere in this place. Although, in a perfect world, if each of us gave a crap about the earth and preserving it, and recycled everything, hospitals should be the place that gets a pass. But because we all don’t do our part, ahh, that’s another blog altogether.
I’m so ready to be outta here!!
I will miss the high-speed internet though, see I have slow internet out in the BEAUTIFUL REDWOODS OF WEST SONOMA COUNTY!!!! AHHH!! I will miss nothing about this place, not one thing, nothing no!
Patch Adams finally came in and did some entertaining for Ella today. Robin Williams has nothing on Dr. Dan and his harmonica, pocket xylophone and dirty clown nose. I laughed because I was truly entertained, not at Dr. Dan, but at watching Ella horrified by the 6 foot-tall clown doctor standing over her bed, speaking in a very unclowny deep voice, and scaring the crap outta her. I think she was just respectfully staying focused on the act, after all she is an entertainer herself, she knows how to be a good audience. I also suspect she was thinking “these people are doctors, I don’t have to listen to them, they’re a bunch of clowns!”.
Wait I think the mini-fridge just whispered “Damian” at me, I wonder what that means? Ah, my sense of humor is back, how I missed me.