Mothering and Punching

Day 1

I arrived at the Emergency Department ahead of the ambulance transporting my son. Anxious, I pace lobby area while feverishly checking my phone for updates. Rain pours down in heavy sheets on the glass walls of the Children’s Medical Center.

I text my ex-husband, my sons father, and tell him where I am. He responds quickly and notes he is following the ambulance and they are stuck in traffic.

I text my husband. I let him know I have arrived ahead of the ambulance and I will text him as soon as I have an update.  He responds quickly asking if I want him to come to the hospital. No.  Not now. Let me find out what is going on first.

My name is called. I am escorted back to the triage. I see my 6’2 sixteen year old son prone on a stretcher, his size thirteen feet dangling over the edge. I stand a bit away before a nurse encourages me to squeeze between the stretcher, IV Unit, blue vinyl chair and small sink. I touch my sons arm and lower my head down to him.

Before I finish saying “Hi, [sons’ name], its Mom…” he turns his head and quickly recoils from me. His facial expression is contemptuous.

I turn towards the nurse and my sons’ father.

“He has no memory.  He does not know who you are.”

I am unable to breathe.

Terrified. My mind floods with disturbing thoughts.  The visions come too quickly. I cannot articulate any of them well enough to ask a question.  I am frozen in space and time.

Among the disturbing thoughts?

I have another child that does not know who I am.

Day 10

Doctors come and go from my sons’ hospital room.  We are winding down our stay here. They want to transfer him to another facility.  Most are stumped by his condition; none have been able to adequately diagnose him.  All ask me if there is any history of this or that in our family.  Three ask me if my other children have ever experienced this or that.

I can only answer for one child. The other one wants nothing to do with us.

Day 13

Son is home.  Two of his major symptoms have resolved. I am ecstatic. A few remain and again I am asked if my other children have x, y or z.

I resolve to ask my daughter. I have to do it for my son. I have to at least try.

I write her and let her know what happened to her brother. I ask if she will consider sharing personal medical information that will help her brother’s doctors.

She does.

Day 20 something.

One of the experts on my sons’ case has recommendations for parents to help with child’s recovery.

Expert tells me to back off and be less nurturing.  Expert tells father to step it up and be more emotional.

I swing between wanting to punch expert in the throat (right side would do nicely) and laughing maniacally. Both actions may be worrisome to experts and would reflect negatively on my child’s genetics.  I remain quiet while my eyes begin to hurt from holding back tears. Seriously?  Be less nurturing to my injured child?

Ten years ago a similar “expert” told me I was not bonded well to my son. Expert told me I was a responsible mother but “distant”. Inference made that my adoption surrender experience had caused me to be distant from my child.  My subconscious was preventing me from getting close to a second child after surrendering my first to closed stranger adoption against my will.

I work hard for ten years on this perceived lack of bonding and here I am being told I must back off.

Throat punch surely warranted.

Day 74

Son continues to recover.

Mother continues to doubt and challenge experts.





6 Thoughts.

  1. “He has no memory. He does not know who you are.”

    Can’t. Begin. To Imagine.

    That took my breath away…

    If any throat punches are given, and bail money is needed, I will gladly contribute to the cause.

  2. Suz, I think you’re wise to question and challenge the “experts.” Trust your gut, your wisdom, and your ability to access the necessary resources to develop your own expertise in whatever area you need to get “expert” advice on.

  3. Ask 50 “experts,” get 50 different answers. You are right to question and research. You know your son and yourself better than they do. I admire your strength! Hang tough.

  4. Yeah, I’m a little behind on reading my blog feeds. I am so glad that you contacted her and so pleased that she agreed to give you some information. It’s a step. A little one. But, she agreed. It’s something.

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