Tuesday, October 6, 2009


[On Friday morning], right after the accident, the police would not even tell me if Roger was breathing.
The refusal to answer me was terrifying.
Were they not telling me because they knew it was bad?
The answer was yes I discovered later.
He was barely breathing.
They noted on the police report as "possible fatality".
Even later I found out they had reported it as such even on the news.

The first time I learned anything about Roger's prognosis officially was a few hours after the accident.
After the public.
The trauma surgeon was blunt.
He told me it was not good.
He read off a list of injuries that I cannot even remember in totality.
But it was bad nonetheless.
Worse than I imagined.
My hope was sinking.
I wailed.
I begged for his wedding band.
I needed it.
I needed it right away.

The resident attending to my arm went to find more answers.
The computer system was down.
It was hard for her to get more information for me.
She looked at his CT scans.
She came back with a little hope.
Enough to feed me something.
I was able to breathe again for a few moments.
I was able to find some humor.
Just a little hope.

Later that day, maybe minutes from then or maybe hours I am not sure, I saw him for the first time.
He was so swollen.
He looked as though he had gained fifty pounds.
I gasped.
His skin was tight.
His hands were cold.
I knew it was not good.

But then later that day, I noticed he was moving a bit.
At first, I thought it was my imagination.
I was seeing what I wanted to see.
What I needed to see.

On Saturday morning, the movement was a little more.
He was moving his right shoulder just a bit.
Raising it up a few centimeters.
More hope.

On Sunday, someone else saw it.
Without me pointing it out.
More hope.

I was reading more and more about brain injury.
More about how people had recovered.
How they went on to lead mostly normal lives.
People who had been in car accidents.
People who had been in comas.
More hope.

The doctors wanted to fix his humerus on Monday.
As his wife of only six months, I had to sign consent forms.
I had to sign I knew the risks of surgery.
I had to talk to the surgeons.
But they were doing surgery.
Roger was stable enough to go through surgery.
Grace went back to Miami to take care of some things.
Everything was looking up.
Roger was strong.
More hope.

Monday morning.
The surgery went okay.
The orthopedic surgeon had done his best.
It was the worst break of the head of the humerus he had ever seen.
It was in a million little pieces.
Roger would need a hip replacement and one every fifteen years for the rest of his life.
He would never run.
He would never do martial arts again.
He had also fixed his elbow.
There was a plate in his arm.
Roger would never be able to lift more than ten pounds with that arm.
But the surgeon said it had to mean something that we were standing in the hall talking about this surgery.
Post op.
A little more hope of his survival.
A little less hope of his quality of life.

But later on Monday, the movement stopped.
He was not in any pain despite the surgeries.
He was not pulling away when his finger was pricked for testing his blood sugar.
His shoulder was not moving.
His hand was not griping mine.
Less hope.

I wept.
My body was heavier.
I noticed the difference in Roger.
Something was wrong.
I barely slept.

Tuesday morning, the neurologist insisted on seeing me.
He had talked to me via phone every other day.
This day he wanted to see me.
In person.
The CT was bad.
Roger was in a vegetative state.
Roger would always be in a vegetative state.
My husband was gone.
Hope was dead.

1 comment:

Supa Dupa Fresh said...

Honey, this is the saddest thing I've ever read. I'm so sorry.