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Comfortably Numb
more than you'll ever know
wrin
So at 2:07 a.m. I got a phone call from my dad.

I wasn't even going to answer it. Thinking they were just being assholes, haassing me about where it was I was sleeping.

And so I pick up the phone, kind of indignant, and my dad is all, "Where are you at?"

"Why?" I half-whisper, half-grunt.

"James has been in a motorcycle accident."

(Insert predictable gasp here.)

"He's at the University of Alberta."

"Do you want me to come?"

"I ... would appreciate it, yes."

So in my car we get, Brad is driving, because as much as I haven't freaked out yet, I am not comfortable with the idea of not freaking out on the road.

And we get to the University, me, the whole time, spouting off such axioms as "If he isn't tubed I will be a very happy kitten!" and "I guess I will have to make fun of him for almost getting hit on the first day of school."*

And so we get there and mum is kind of upset and Dad is well, nihilistic Dad, and Ian, the kid who was with him when he got hit is there, and the police are asking for statements, the like.

And an X-Ray tech runs in in full lead, panting, with pen poised to write on her hand. "Does he have any meds or allergies?" she gasps, and mum stutters out a 'no, no, no...' kind of answer.

"We're doing all we can, we're running some tests, we're giving some blood," she says kind of breathlessly as she dashes out of the room down the hall to CT scan, and mum's eyes widen.

I can understand now what John Alberda means when he says you can't say anything to the family yourself.

And the Clinical Supervisor comes in later on, has to answer a phone call about stab wounds, etc, she seems kind of harried and a little overworked. Tells us another tidbit of the story. I had to ask her if he was intubated.

He was. And chest tubes. Plural.

So he's got a hemipneumothorax, likely broken ribs, likely a contused lung, (not having seen inside his chest I cannot say,) a contused liver if not a somehow-lacerated liver, a badly, badly, broken pelvis (as the Trauma surgeon, who was roused from his bed this fine morning, informed us,) and God only knows what else.

I saw him and he was white, and not that bloody looking, on the outside anyway, but he was bleeding all up the endotracheal tube and into the flextube on the bagger. There was a lot. Of blood. In that tube. Bubbling and gurgling up into the bagger.

His head is okay, his spine is okay. They've taken the hard collar off post C-spine X-rays so he's not paralysed. He has no head injuries, even though he was combative at the scene.

The trauma surgeon gives my mom the bit about how himself, and the orthopaedic surgeon, and probably someone else, are going to be going up to OR RIGHT FUCKING NOW with James to fix him. He says about how right now his injuries are life-threatening and it's going to be a tough twelve hours.

I had to go home, I had to get some sleep. He hadn't even been admitted to the ICU at the U of A (Which will henceforth be referred to as 3C3) yet.

My classmates are on practicum there. They're doing their rotations. He'll be a vent patient.

... Actually. I just got a phone call from my mom. Just now.

... He didn't make it.
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(Deleted comment)
It doesn't mean a goddamn thing, but I'm very very sorry, Nicole.

That's all I can say.

I'm always around if you need to talk.

Nicole, I'm so sorry to hear this. You know where to reach me online. Home phone is 631-285-1735, work is 631-435-9844 x105, cell is 631-877-0905. And with any of them, I'll call you back ASAP so it doesn't eat your dough.

It's a parent's worst nightmare to outlive their child, I'm sure you know that. You're a good person, a caregiver and a healer. You're strong, and you have ways of handling things -- you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you -- they're going to need you to show them strength, or at least, show them how to maintain composure and keep together in some of the times that are to come.

Most of all, try not to blame yourself for this. Try to encourage others not to do the same.

We're here for you, if you need us.





I think I will phone you at some point.

I don't evne think I read that message until now.

I will phone you at some point but not now. Sorry to keep you waiting.

Nicole, I am here for you whenever you need, You have my condolences, prayers and all the hugs I can give.

my deepest, most sincere condolences.

So sorry. :( I know it's not much, but...*shrug*

I'm so sorry, and I'm here if you need the shoulder of someone shorter than you to cry on. I know it's not much, but... if you need it, or just a hug, I'm available.

Oh my god. I hope to god you know how much I love you. Jesus, Nicole. Just, fuck. Jesus. Fuck. I'm not sure even what to say, and I have no idea what to say, and there are a million thoughts running through my head but I just want to make it BETTER and I CAN'T and god I love you.

I'm really sorry Nicole. My condolences to you and your family.

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