Something About an Elephant

I’d like to start with my apologies for my absence. Life seems to be quite consuming as the children grow, and my priorities are in order. With them forever remaining at the top.

Today however, I have some feelings to share. If you wouldn’t mind, we’re going to go 6-years back in time.

I woke up to a feverish babe. Not like slightly feverish, like this child had been pulled straight out of hell. With no sign or reason for this, I rushed to the Emergency Department.

There was no use questioning me, by now we’d been there so many times only the Lord really knew the count. The ED staff knew our names, they knew his medical status, and they immediately began his routines.

Pneumonia? Maybe it’s pneumonia. They checked the X-Ray. They cultured his blood. They cultured his urine. Then they put us in an ambulance, again. On our way to our second home.

The nurses in the hallway waved and smiled as he was admitted straight to the cardiac unit this time. He was a local celebrity.

Now connected to all of his wires and IVs, they began antibiotics for the unknown.

He was getting sicker by the minute.

They found a blood infection in his broviac line. The line coming from his chest.

The worst part came later. It wasn’t just contained to that line, it was in all of the blood. In his entire body.

He was septic.

I was scared. Which is the biggest understatement you’ll read to date. Let’s try again.

I was out of my mind terrified.

If you’d been there 6-years ago. You would’ve complimented me for how well I was handling everything. Told me “I just don’t know how you do it.” You would’ve seen me calm and collected. And I was.

I could mask my feelings of terror and sadness beautifully. Now some of you won’t believe this part, but even my frustration was pretty minimal on the outside.

I was numb. I had trapped in and shut off any pipeline that could present outward emotion. I was inwardly preparing my defenses.

Turns out, while I was busy turning off pipe lines, my body was making some core memories. Like the ones in Disney’s Inside Out. Except I didn’t have a pink, cotton candy elephant in an outdated suit and a wagon to help me access those.

I just had me. And me wasn’t touching it.

Me now however, has a lot of things to feel about that.

Turns out, opening those pipes back up isn’t as controllable as one would like. Imagine it something like turning on the garden hose. You forget that the sprayer setting is on jet. So you quickly try to turn it to sprinkler and end up at flood before you can make it back around a couple times to the right setting?

By then the water has shot off the house a couple of times, sprayed dirt into your face, and you’re soaked in water and there’s really nothing you can do but finish the task at hand. The next time you try again, and again, and again, for as many times as it takes. And maybe, just maybe, one of these times- you’ll show that PTSD who has gained control of the sprayer.

One morning, waking up to a core memory won’t feel like a stab to the heart. Today wasn’t that day, but the pink elephant is telling me we’re going to get there.