I don't know what to say to all you people. Thank you, I guess, is the biggest thing. Your thoughts and prayers, advice and well wishes, I'm reading them with tears streaming down my cheeks and I'm just speechless -- with a very full heart. Thank you.
I went to the hospital late this afternoon to see Michael, my brother. My SIL had been there most of the day, of course. My mom was there, and her husband had arrived shortly before I did. Michael had only arrived in the Critical Care Unit a few minutes earlier. It's just like in the movies or on TV -- his head is bandaged, of course, and he has monitors and tubes everywhere, including a breathing tube. There's a monitor specifically to measure the pressure in his brain. They don't want to see it go over 20; it didn't go over 10 while I was there, and was mostly 8 or 9. Besides the accoutrements of having had brain surgery, and other than a couple of scrapes on one foot, some scratches on his hands and a few (barely noticeable) across his nose, you wouldn't guess that he'd emerged from the crinkled, crumpled junk pile that was his car. A sheriff on the scene said that in 30 years, he'd never before spoken to someone who emerged from such a wreck.
Ugh, my head hurts from this day, from trying to be strong, from being the "other mother," and my jaw hurts, too. Talking, mom, talking, sisters, talking, aunt, talking, more sisters! And I talked to dad again. Not only is my uncle the flight nurse out in Oregon fishing, so is my uncle the retired doctor. I know that Michael's condition will be closely monitored by watchful eyes. So much information to process. We are very fortunate to have some expertise on our side. Mom is a retired surgical nurse and I could see her putting on her professional persona -- checking the the stats and dials and tubes and whatnot -- able to be more objective at times. Then she'd remember that it is HER son in the bed; see his wife, his sister; know that the outcome is all over the map at this point.
As it is, it's pretty scary. But his eyes fluttered when he was spoken to, and he squeezed his wife's hand in the "special way" they have that brought tears to her eyes and let her know that he's still hers. They hope to remove the breathing apparatus tomorrow. He was quite restless and thrashing around -- I'm sure quite disoriented -- he didn't remember the accident -- and due to concern about further injury to his spine, they were going to sedate him a little more this evening, try to keep him calm. I'll be spending a good part of the day there tomorrow.
There are freaky coincidences... My boss who knows exactly what we're going through because his sister suffered very similar trauma quite a few years ago; she had lasting physical reminders as well as some measure of brain damage. My stepmother who knows, too, because her son suffered brain trauma some years ago -- he was in a coma for a week -- from which he made a 100%, full recovery.
Here's how I'm calling this one. I don't know exactly when they're going to remove that tube from my brother's mouth and I don't know when he's going to really wake up and be coherent. When he does, though, he's going to have that goofy grin on his face and give that goofy laugh and he's going to say something incredibly wry and dry and funny. I can't wait.
Thank you again. No doubt I'll be back sooner rather than later. This is my way, to write it down and try to make sense and make it real, make it be logical. Blah blah blah. This time it's in a living-out-loud kind of way.
My brother, the plastic surgeon -- giving Barbie doll a breast reduction by vigoriously scraping her boobs across the sidewalk.