Monday, July 30, 2012

Biggest Fear at PCH Became a Reality.....


courage - quiet courage

Last night I finally had to face what I have feared since starting at PCH.....a child with injuries due to a television falling on them.

 I was floated to a different floor. When looking at my assignment I noticed a lot of traumatic brain injuries listed (this happens to me a lot). This always breaks my heart and I am always curious of what happened to them. I went about my daily routine, I go and get report from the nurses. The last nurse I came to starts giving me report on one of the patients. As she is giving report I asked what happened to the child and she said, "a television fell on her head" I said, "say that again" because I wasn't quite sure I understood. At this point I am holding back the strong emotions, fighting the tears and wanted to run and never look back. I immeditatly go to the breakroom because I could feel the panic and tears building. I stand there for a moment trying to figure out what to do. My mind is racing a million miles an hour. Along with feeling this way, I work in a place where I don't have a support system, no one to turn to in moments like these. That too is a terrible feeling. I  try to stay focused and to breathe. The tears start to fall and I begin to breathe faster and faster. I kept thinking, "I can't do this, I can't face that room, I can't face her mother, a television, a fucking television fell on her, I hate TV's" I call a friend, no answer. I start to panic again, my mind racing on who I can call. I call another friend and she answered. I try to gather my thoughts to explain to her what I am feeling and how I am going to deal with this. The tears keep coming trying to wrap my brain around this information. I hang up with her and I try to go do my job, I can't focus, mind racing, heart pounding, tears at the surface. 

Am I being tested? Should I challenge myself like I always do when I am faced with situations like this? Can I really do this? I don't think I can do this. I call another friend, my safe person, just to hear her voice.I tell her, "just 2 days ago I get a tattoo of my dead child who died from a television falling on her, and here I am faced with a child who lived from a television falling on her." We get me to a place where I can try and do my job since I have 13 other patients to care for. I go back out and start my vitals (again). As I approach her room my heart is pounding and I feel the panic. I slowly go in, I see 2 nurses and the girls mother cleaning her up. I see this beautiful child lying there with the evidence of what that stupid TV did to her. I immediatly leave the room trying to figure out what to do. After seeing her I knew I couldn't take care of her. I went to the charge nurse and started to cry, I explained to her that I can't care for that patient and why I can't. I said "I am really sorry, I tried to get myself to a point of being able to care for her, but I just can't." She understood and the nurse was able to take her.

What a roller coaster of emotion to face. Took me hours to recover (still trying to recover). It is times like this that I find myself questioning my choice to work at PCH. Why I torture myself? What it is I am trying to prove working here? Am I really meant to be here? Did I fail? I often feel like a failure when I am unable to do certain things that I challenge myself with. I did not see this challenge coming tonight. I still feel like I have failed myself and that I have failed Mckenna. I often feel that since I put myself in this situation of constantly challenging myself, that I need to suck it up and just push through the pain. Though that is nearly impossible. I am at a place where I am trying to find that balance of allowing myself to feel all while being able to function at the same time. Normally I able to push through and put my "mask" on. Tonight I was unable to push through, I was unable to face this challenge head on, I was unable to be there for her and her family. I know I need to give myself permission to be ok with this because, I went as far as I could without pushing myself over the edge and, that is enough (as my safe person would say). Though saying it was enough, doesn't always make it feel like it was enough.........

"If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you"
~Fred Devito


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hard to Breathe



I have never loved someone the way that I love Mckenna. I have never MISSed someone the way I MISS Mckenna. I have never felt the pain I feel MISSing Mckenna. My soul has been scarred from the pain. There are no words to describe what this life feels like to live everyday without my one true love. How to navigate through all the emotions that you face. Living with the responsiblity, the blame, the memories. I have been on this journey for 3 years 6 months and 13 days and yes I have learned more in this time than I have in my 28 years on earth. Yes I have come so far in my grief from even just 6 months ago, but the MISSing is the same. The ache in my chest, the knot in my stomach, the shivers down my spine, are all still present. I am planning a birthday celebration for my dead child, those words should not come out of a mother's mouth. I should be tucking her in at night, watching her grow and learn, teaching her the alphabet, learning her letters. I should be a mom to her on earth. Instead I have to wonder what she would be like, what she would look like, sound like. I have to sit here and use my imagination of the little girl I will never get to see grow up. I have her things piled up in a storage closet on my balcony in which I can not get rid of, though can't look at. I still have no pictures up of her beautiful face because it's too painful to look into the face of the little girl I took from this earth. No one will ever understand or change how I feel. In many ways I feel I don't deserve the happiness that so many believe I am deserving of. I have always just half lived because fully living meant I have forgiven myself. This is not true. I can't not forvive myself for something that took my child's life. I can only relearn to live a new life the best way I can without her. Some days I have the heaviness in my heart, the tears just at the surface, the anxiety all over my body, yet no one knows. It has become a part of who I am, though it is a reminder of the loss. I wish I was a "normal" mother with the "normal" motherhood lives and worries. I MISS my daughter everyday and some days it is almost too much to bare. I wish I made a different decision that day, I wish I never would have moved that TV, I wish I would have been more present that day, I wish things were different, but they are not. I can not change what happened that day, I can only learn from it and that is all I seem to be doing. Learning to live with the mistake, learning to live without her, and learning to feel. Tonight I can only breathe in and breathe out because living without her is making it hard to breathe........

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Nothing Like Planning Your Dead Daughter's 5th Birthday Party to Take Your Breath Away....... :-/




In August of 2008 I started planning Mckenna's 1st birthday. I was making the guest list, picking a location, choosing the food and getting so excited to celebrate Mckenna's 1st birthday. That day never came and now she would be turning 5. How did that even happen? This has been hard for me to come to terms with. I am struggling to find a balance to all the emotions this birthday is bringing up. I am still 6 months away and my anxiety is threw the roof. All the details of the party have consumed my thoughts. The theme, who to invite, decorations, food, what to do, how to honor, yet celebrate her life. So many details to planning a party and it seems to be different when you are planning a party for a little girl who isn't physically here. I wanted to have a party for her this year because 5 is a big deal. It's the start of becoming a little girl, the start of school, the start of losing her teeth, learning to read and write. These are big mile stones that I will never have the pleasure of experiencing with her.I wanted this party because I never got to throw one for her. I want people to remember her and celebrate her life. Nine months is all we got with her, but in those nine months she touched many lives. In the 3 years and 9 months she has been gone, she has touched more lives than I ever thought possible. I don't want those 9 months she was here to be forgotten, because those 9 months are the most important months of my entire life, and they deserve to be celebrated......She deserves to be celebrated.

The biggest struggle is the theme, where do I even begin? What would Mckenna choose? This part kills me, because though as her mother I would like to think I would know, truth be told, I do not. I have been looking and looking at themes and not one stands out. Not one says "this is what Mckenna would choose." How am I to choose a theme for a little girl who is not here? Will it just come to me? Will I see one and say "yes! this is the one?" I hope it becomes clear in the next couple months, because it hurts my heart not having her here to pick out her own theme. I knew what Mckenna loved at 9 months old and that was books, Blue's Clues and Backyardigans. I would have to guess that would be very different as a 5 year old. I wish I knew the 4 1/2 year old, soon to be 5 year old Mckenna. The Mckenna I will never get to know, the little girl she would be, the laughter, the growth, the mommy I love you's, the learning to spell her name, watching her concentrate so hard to learn her letters, watching the joy in her face when learning something new, the frustration at learning to tie her shoes, and the list goes on and on. I will never get to know that Mckenna. As her mother I am hoping I will get a sign as to what theme she would choose. Patience is needed on my part in order to see the signs, though patience is a struggle. My heart dropped after seeing a picture from Billy's sons first birthday party. The party I never got to throw for Mckenna. I am now planning a party for my dead daughter's 5th birthday, and that sentence alone takes my breath away.

With the help from some special people in my life, it will be a wonderful celebration of the birth of a sweet, beautiful, wonderful baby girl named Mckenna Jodell Fox. My heart, my soul, my life............