Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Dear Alex, Hospital.

Dear Alex,

I haven't paid much attention to the time, but I shot a look over to see the time, 3 am, we'd been here since 7 pm. I am stood leaning over you, I trace the lines on your face with my finger. It's been a long night in A and E.

I go back to my friends' house who lives near the hospital at 4am just to get my head down for an hour or two. Then I race back in, my friend gives me a lift.

The scans were fine, they are still not sure why where the bone flap was taken out there is big swelling. They rule out meningitis, but with each potential diagnosis they give me I have to try and calm a racing heart, try and focus out of my fuzzy light headedness.

I have a fear of hospitals now. Terror that they won't listen to what I am telling them, that the consequence will be much worse. I explain to everyone who assesses you 'we've been here before you see, and they didn't listen, that's why we're here now. If they'd listened 16 months ago, Alex wouldn't be like this.' I think I am doing well at keeping the hysteria out of my voice, but I guess my eyes betray me, it speaks enough for them to get what I am trying to say.

They think it's an infection you have picked up in the spinal cord and brain fluid. Luckily I was there and insisted you got checked out...

A lumbar puncture now, and now, 15 hours after we got here I am feeling very lightheaded as the Dr inserts the needle, I don't look, but I can't help feeling queasy.

You are ok in yourself, I check every other minute! So the longer it goes on, the calmer I start to feel.

We wait now, you lie in the hospital bed in front of me, I'm on a plastic chair with a polystyrene cup of tea I paid £1.20 for!

The beeps are deafening, the bustle, the noise, clipping of heels, rattling of trolleys, beepers, walkie talkies crackle out announcements.

Everyone has rallied and looked after the kids for me. I want to be there to pick them up from school reassure them that it's all ok and I am still around.

Then I'll come back in when they're in bed tonight.

It's strange what a visual prompt can do, seeing that swelling protruding from the piece of skull you have missing, it grabs at me like iron tongs round my throat and I find it hard to push away the feelings I had that time before, when things were really bad. I just focus and I focus on the fact you seem ok.

This life is so fragile.

Each day I am reminded vividly of that.

Me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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