Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tick tick tick tick tick...

6/24/2014 (Tuesday night)
I don't know it yet, but you're going to die at the end of this week.
I saw you yesterday in the ICU at Chester County Hospital.
Your hair was in a jaunty little ponytail, blonder already from the early summer sun.
Your skin was deeply tan...I always give you shit for not protecting your skin better. 
There's an insidious, horrid infection taking over your body, but none of us know it yet.
You were cracking jokes with dad & laughing with Dr. Yoder, lamenting the awful Lactulose that you hate taking.
You sent me away, insisted we keep our plans to take the kids camping at French Creek.
Honestly, I don't feel that uneasy about it. There's no grim foreshadowing, no signs to speak of.
Dad agrees. Go.
So, I'm sitting at the campfire watching Max light marshmallows on fire and wondering if Maeve is going to sleep tonight.
I rode my bike alone on the trails earlier and willed you to get better and get home soon.
I sent you all kinds of positive juju and good vibes.
I sailed down descents I'm normally afraid of with ease because you gave me confidence that everything would be okay.
(And it is, but...)
You're going to die on Friday.
I'll be there when you take your last breath. I'll be there with dad.
We'll be there with you.
3 more days.
We can't do anything differently, we can't change the course of events and we can't ask for better care for you.
You will be transferred to Penn via chopper; this is serious.
You'll be proclaimed the sickest patient on the floor.
Your condition will just get worse and worse, but the doctors will still puzzle over every possibility...so, so many doctors.
They won't give up until they have tried everything.
This is probably a little jarring, a little hard to follow...trust me, I feel the same way.
It's Tuesday night and your life is really slipping away.
Tomorrow morning, I'll rush back home at dad's urging and you'll be in pretty bad shape.
You're drowsy and I think you're kind of scared.
You tell me, "I think I'm really fucked up, Kim."
I tell you it's going to be fine and thank god I utter a breezy, "love you!" as I hustle out of the ICU to get home to the kids.
(Now I feel uneasy, now I feel a sense of doom)
Is this hard to follow?
Am I jumping all over the place?
That's just how it's going to go.
The next few days are going to be hard to follow.
The next few days are going to blur together and get mixed up.
There's going to be a frantic drive in the middle of the night to Penn...and a dearth of machines and bags and wires and blips and beeps and tape and bandages and whirring and whooshing.
Not yet, though.
Right now, it's still just Tuesday night and you are still 4 minutes down the road, just a few miles south of our home...serious, yet not grave.
They haven't decided to move you to Penn yet.
I don't know you only have a few more days, the last of which you will barely open your eyes.
I don't even know what life support looks like in real life yet.
I haven't even remotely gone there in my mind yet because...
Pony tail. Laughing. Wide eyes. Cute.