Customer Reviews

Saturday, June 4, 2011

January 2008: The Talk, Part II

every morning when i wake up at RMH the first thing i do is call over to the NICU to check on Charlie. i get a brief report, then i take my shower, then i eat a quick breakfast, then i go over to the NICU for the day.  this morning when i called big C answered.  she didn't tell me very much, but told me that i should get over there as soon as possible.  i skipped the shower, skipped breakfast, didn't bother with the shuttle and ran over there.  when i got there, it wasn't as horrible as she had made it seem on the phone, but it wasn't good either.  apparently at some point in the night Charlie had another episode of de-sating, and they had to airbag him.  i've gotten fairly used to these, but this one was much worse than normal.  he wouldn't come out of it and his heart rate started to drop.  it dropped so much that they were about to start doing chest compressions.  then all of a sudden, big C asked the doctor if there was a DNR on Charlie.  i was surprised and disappointed that she didn't know the answer to this.  the doctor was pretty mad about it too.  you can't be just about to start CPR on someone and then have someone else shout out something about a DNR.  this in my opinion is really really bad.  so they were about to start chest compressions and he suddenly snapped out of it and started breathing again and his heart rate came back up.  but it was obviously enough to scare the shit out of all the doctors and nurses.  i can't even imagine what the whole scene looked like.  there have been a few times when there has been an emergency on a baby and it's terrifying.  the nurse goes to the PA system and says "doctors to nursery 1", and about 20 white coats start swarming the nursery.  the nurses get on edge.  so far i haven't been present when a baby has died, and i've seen the look of relief on everyone's face when the crisis is over. 

so after this incident, jay and i wanted to sit down with one of our favorite doctors (mr. long-winded) and see if he could give us any answers.  we talked for a good two hours.  we talked about everything.  all of Charlie's problems...every single one of them.  the whole thing seems like a blur now, but he told us that we needed to start coming to some decisions about the tough questions.  do we want a DNR?  do we at some point want to shut the machines off and let our son go?  do we want to have him baptized?  i will never forget the moment he told us that he thought Charlie had some kind of condition that they haven't figured out yet that will cause him to die.  he told us he didn't think Charlie would be able to pull through whatever is wrong with him. 

my son.  my baby.  he's only a baby.  how can this life be so cruel?  what am i doing?  why am i keeping him alive and allowing him to continue to suffer?  but how could i possibly tell them to turn the machines off and let him die?  if i tell them to turn the machines off is that the same as killing him?  i don't want my son to die.  i don't want my first and only baby to die.  my god, please don't take him from me.  i can't lose my son. 

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