Family

Grey’s Anatomy

Prepare me for what I was about to see?  I can tell you that I was not prepared to hear her say something like that.  I guess I was so used to getting calls and things working out that I hadn’t even let my brain entertain the idea that this was life threatening, as in, she could die.  My younger daughter and I paced the tiny family waiting room and my breath began to get erratic and my skin was crawling and the hairs on the back of my neck were standing at attention when the doctor walked in.  “I need you to sit down” he said with a very pensive look on his face.  “I’m good just as I am” I said, waiting for the next words out of his mouth.  I hung on every syllable he said and it went something like this “You daughter was crossing the street and was struck by a car going 40 mph.  She was thrown approximately 90 ft. in the air and has sustained life threatening injuries.  She will need multiple surgeries and right now we are figuring out where she will go because her injuries are too extensive for us to handle.  She sustained a direct break of her femur, she has a compound fracture of her humerus, do you know what that means?”  It was like I was in a dream sequence, I saw his lips moving and knew he was talking to me, but I really couldn’t hear what he was saying.  “Mom!” my younger daughter yelled “He’s talking to you.”  I snapped out of it and replied “Not really.”  He began again, “It means he bone is sticking out and we can’t do much about it because it needs surgery.  She has multiple hematoma’s, she is bleeding internally, she arrived here in respiratory arrest and we have already given her two blood transfusions.  She has two fractured vertebra, her pelvis is fractured both in the front and the back…..”  He went on for what seemed like an eternity.  The words were spinning around my head like those tiny birds do in cartoons.  My head felt thick  and I could feel myself beginning to feel sick to my stomach.  Then as I returned my attention back towards him he said this “She is conscious, barley and she needs to see you.  Stay positive, do not get her upset, she has lost a lot of blood.  Are you ready to see her?”  Stay positive.  Got it.  My younger daughter and I took a deep breath and we followed the doctor to the back of a long hallway.  As we turned the corner, the room she was in was a buzz with activity.  There had to be at least twenty doctors in there, nurses, support staff, helicopter pilot, ambulance driver, two cops and a Chaplin.  It looked like a movie set.  Like a scene from Grey’s Anatomy with blood soaked towels all over the floor and someone mopping up.  I saw her lying there with her leg up in traction and blood slowly dripping to the floor from her arm.  I could only focus on the sound of the drip.  It hit the floor with precision and a rhythmic beat to it.  Drip.  Drip.  Drip.  The Chaplin came towards us and I smiled uncomfortably as I walked closer to the gurney.   I didn’t want to touch her, but I wanted to grab her and pull her close.  She opened her eyes a bit and I said “It’s mommy”  She began to cry said “It wasn’t my fault, this time it wasn’t my fault”  My heart sank and I turned away as I got choked up.  My younger daughter looked pale and needed to sit down.  The Chaplin sat with her as she sipped on a ginger ale.  Then my daughter spoke again, a tiny voice from behind all these wires “Am I paralyzed?”  It never occurred to me.  Holy Shit!  How could it not have dawned on me to ask that?  My brain was in slow motion.  I turned towards a nurse and asked “Is she paralyzed” the way in which the mother in Saint Elmo’s Fire spoke the word Cancer.  The very robust nurse walked up to my daughter and said “Wiggle your toes”  and she did.  Then she said “Wiggle your fingers”  and she did.  Then she looked at me and barked “No, she’s not paralyzed.”  Somehow her abruptness did not comfort me at all.  Within minutes the doctor came back in the room with a phone in each hand.  “She’s leaving now, we have to move her now” he yelled and a flurry of bodies were swarming over her, strapping her in and having me sign things and said “We will take her by helicopter, it will take us just about 40 minutes, you have quite a drive.  Meet us there as soon as you can, she needs surgery now.  Before it’s too late”

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10 thoughts on “Grey’s Anatomy

  1. What a story. You have captured what I imagine would be the feelings and shock of seeing this drama unfold. I like the way you put it in one giant paragraph. I think it added to the suspense and as I imagine the brain would not be able to separate sentences and concepts from one another when working so hard to absorb this awful reality. Well written and glad to see your note that she is okay.

    Liked by 1 person

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