Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Dr Hamish and Dr Meredith

This is Doctor Hamish-

My sister Kylie bought him for Max, the morning after his stroke. We named him after the ICU Registrar who cared for Max that day. Out of the zillion toys Max has, for me, Dr Hamish is the most precious. He was the first toy Max had on the cot he would call home, for the next 6 weeks.

It was the 3rd of June, 2011. That afternoon Max had his first EEG and his first MRI scan. The plan was, that after he had the MRI, they would start reducing his sedation and 'wake him up'. They were hopeful he would start breathing alone, so they could take him off life support.

I didn't go with Max to the MRI. He was escorted by about 8 doctors/nurses already and heavily sedated, so I took the chance to grab some time alone.

I spent most of that time perusing the gift shop at the hospital. I wanted to find the perfect toy to hang on the other side of his cot. I wanted him to have something nice to look at when he woke up. I don't know how, but my mind was blank and racing, all at the same time (is that even possible??)

After half an hour or so of staring blankly at toys, I bought him this-

I named it Dr Meredith after the ICU Consultant. Dr Meredith was the doctor who had the job of telling us, our son had suffered a massive brain hemorrhage and probably had leukemia (thankfully he didn't). I'll always be grateful for her genuine compassion in delivering such shitful news. (Though, I have no idea why I chose a toy hippo when Dr Meredith was slim. Oops)

When Dr Meredith and I got back to ICU, we were met by another Dr with a hauntingly serious expression. Time was so critical, he didn't even take me to the 'bad news' room with couches and tissues. Brain damage, constant seizures, brain dangerously swelling, inducing a coma now. I clutched Dr Meredith, with a fear far greater than anything I'd ever felt before. Inside, I was howling hysterically, outwardly, I was paralyzed and emotionless.

Earlier this week, Max and I were at the brand new children's hospital. We had a bit of time to kill, so we checked out the new gift shop. There was a whole wall of Dr Meredith and Dr Hamish toys. Just one look at those toys and I remembered 'that' day with such ferocity, I burst into tears. Right there, in the middle of the gift shop, I sobbed and not a single happy thought could stop it.

On June the 3rd, 2011, I faced the very real possibility that my son would never wake up again. I will never forget how lucky I am that he did.

I love you Max xxx

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1 comment:

  1. Michelle Irvine5 April 2012 at 08:41

    Faith I can relate to you so much it's scary! On the day of roses MRI I too tried to fill in time and went to the gift shop. I bought her a special toy to wake up to as well and every time I see it it reminds me of that scary day. It's amazing how all those memories are so raw and can come flooding back and resurface at any point. I love reading your posts!