Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Thing Worth Mentioning

     It was the day after my brother's heart transplant surgery. Up until this point, I had been calm, collected, uplifting and encouraging to those around me who needed it, and kept it together remarkable well considering the fact that my beloved brother, almost a son to me, was going through unspeakable traumas and procedures and having a staring match with death, practically. Yes, up until that day, i had been just fine and dandy. I knew I was in shock; i wasn't so naive to think i could deal with all that so well. My brother's heart was practically useless, we were looking at having to wait months to get a transplant, maybe even longer, and the prospects were grim that he could even make it until then.
BUT miracle of miracles, only 4 days after being put on the transplant registry, my brother received a heart. I was thrilled when i got that call, saying he was having surgery that night to get his new heart. I'm not sure of a moment in time when i have felt happier and relieved than i did at that moment when i received that call. Complete joy and happiness, no complaints, no fear, no worry.
       I spent a large portion of the next day after his surgery sobbing in a crumpled mess in the backseat of my car.
       The procedure had gone perfectly well, his new heart was beating like a champ! my parents and i wanted to be there when they "woke him up", took him off his sedatives. So the three of us arrive, and don surgical masks and gloves (after sanitizing hands more than once) and brush past the curtain to see him. There he was. There. He. Was. Tubes protruding everywhere, bandages, monitors, PIC lines, you name it, he had it. He was "sleeping" under the sedative still, so he was incoherent. Looking at him, lying there, so huge, so pallid, so weak, so entangled in all this medical tubing draining gastric fluids or blood, or pumping medicines into his veins, and then there was his breathing tube. The savages left the breathing tube in while they tried to wake him up! imagine the terror that would ensue upon waking up with a pipe down your throat.
       I gazed upon this sight, taken aback by it all, really. Could this be the same little boy i used to run around with at the park when we were kids? Could it be the happy little child, always quick to smile and be of good cheer? i slowly walked over, arms shaking, and held his hand. Tubes that were draining blood were right at my feet. I shuddered and tried not to look. After he came-to a little bit and stopped flailing around trying to get the tube outta his throat, he calmed down, lay back down, and held my hand. I looked at his face. His gentle eyelashes were matted together with his wet tears... A single tear rolled down his cheek, and I knew he was in misery. Arm shaking, i stroked his forehead, told him things will be alright, and that i would return, and i loved him, and left to the lobby.
      Walking through the lobby, i could feel the tears streaming down my own face. I tried to walk quickly to my car so nobody would notice or stop me, but the tears just kept coming. To see him like that, my precious little angel from Heaven, in that state, it was too much for me.

                          I BROKE

All the confidence and calmness went out the window. Even though i knew he was in no real danger anymore, to see him suffer like that is what killed me. and so i lost it. I got to my car, crawled in the back seat, and i lost it. Why couldn't it have been me. It should be me on that hospital bed recovering from surgery. Why did this happen to begin with. I also have PTSD from medical traumas, so hospitals terrify me something fierce. i was also having flashbacks pretty badly that day, and had nightmares the previous night. It all became too much for me to bear, so i just cried and cried in my car. Crying out to God, beseeching Him to intervene and give brian the comfort that only God gives, to give my parents the strength they needed, to help me get over my own idiotic problems so i could better help my own brother. I thanked God, too, for all that He had done for my brother and family, and for all the opportunities that had been provided to share His glory. But i cried and prayed for a long time, and generally felt worse than i had felt in a long time. Time dragged on, eventually tears subsided and my eyes shut and fell victim to exhaustion. I slept for a while. Never very peaceful sleep, but when exhaustion sets in, you'll sleep anywhere.
     2-3 hours apparently pass. I'm still sleeping. All of a sudden, I get a knock on the window. Mind you, I'm in a parking structure in East LA. My first thoughts are "OMG it's the cops!" or even worse "Oh man i'ma get SHOT!!!" slowly and sleepily i looked out the window, only to behold the face of an angel.

                                                                    ::knock knock::

Sleepily i brushed my disheveled hair out of my face and slowly opened the door. In shock, all i could stupidly say was "what are you doing here?" and she replied with "i came here to give you an apple pop..." at which point tears welled back up in my eyes. She handed me the beloved caramel apple pop and sat in the back seat with me, and we talked for a long time. She put up with my nonsensical complaining and fears, and just listened, cried, and prayed with me. I never asked her to come down there that day. She showed up at perfect timing. Just when i was at my very lowest point, she is there, ready and willing to love and support me. I was overwhelmed with gratefulness that she is my friend. To be able to talk to someone openly, to vent, even, was such a relief to me. To feel that someone cared for ME was a huge relief to me. My parents were too stressed out with everything with my bro, it would have been tacky if i had gone to them with my problems. And i typically don't like talking about my problems to anyone else for fear of burdening them. But no, Sarah approached ME to make sure I was alright. And i was able to speak freely with her, listen to her input, take her advice, and get a grip again.

     I'm back on track again now. I have no fears, no worries regarding my brother's condition. hospitals still scare the bejeezuz outta me. it still hurts my back a lot to drive all the way down to USC and back every few days. and i'm still keeping up with school to the best of my abilities. but i'm back on track, and not letting it all stress me out anymore. I try and visit bri when i can, providing of course that i have no major school assignments due or my back isn't too terrible, i go and see him in his room. It still hurts me a lot to see him like that, in so much pain, so miserable... but God is good, and has restored control in my life again, and i think i can manage now. Also, God is good to bless me with such amazing friends as Sarah, who show up at literally JUST the right time. I will never forget that day, when an angel bearing a caramel apple pop showed up and made my life bearable again. <3

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