Sunday, March 7, 2010
Doubt, and After
We came into the recovery room and Colby was on the bed still asleep from anesthesia. She had tubes everywhere: IV’s in both arms, oxygen sensor on her foot, a catheter line, and one coming out of her already stained white bandage, draining blood from her brain and spine. I felt doubt take hold of my mind, felt it sink deep into my chest. Taking on this level of responsibility, making this choice for Colby it is impossible to feel right, to feel free from doubt. I do not know absolutely what is right.
I only know that her seizures are terrible and that when they are happening I feel willing, compelled to extraordinary measures like surgery. Now surgery has happened. She is on her bed recovering and my doubt is deafening.
From within this doubt there is a beacon: I feel thankful for Craig, thankful that we are facing this doubt, fear and worry together. This point of gratitude extends and becomes my more dominant focus as we sit here beside Colby’s bed. We hold hands, we gaze at her. Connecting with our love for eachother helps us feel something besides terror when we see how brutalized Colby looks from our efforts to help her. The soft gaze we have for each other helps us past our fear and look at Colby with the same softness.
We have been intermittently awful to eachother in the weeks leading up to this moment, to today. We were sulky, surly, overly sensitive, lashing out our deep fears and all the anger on each other. There is anger in both of us that we have a child who suffers, anger about all the ways that her suffering affect every choice we make.
But we have become really good at this together. There are hard times of anger and lashing out, and we get better at recovering from them. We find our love more easily every time we make it through a low period. The work we have done, therapy, giving each other breaks from the kids for our work, is evident here, now in this unimaginable moment of brain surgery on a child. Here by the bedside of our darling girl, I see how strong we have become.