It was supposed to be routine, but what happened wasn’t. My brother went in for a biopsy. The Doctor said some bleeding after the test was normal, not a major concern. We waited for news of how it went, and then I got the text. To come over alone. When I got there he was sitting on the edge of the bed looking for the Doctor’s number. Every number we called led to the medical group but not the office. I even googled it. Still same wrong number.
He said, in between trips to the bathroom….”I think I need to go back in.”
And because he lives close, I said I would run into town and go to the office myself and let them know he was coming back in. I ran home to pick up my Dad and he was already on alert, about to leave for my brother’s house himself. We drove crazy back to the office, where the confused girl at the desk said she would give the Doctor a head’s up that he was coming.
By the time we got back to my brother’s house, he could barely walk. There was no time for an ambulance. He stood up and almost passed out in the driveway. As we frantically adjusted the seats for him to fit in back, he kept calling out for us to hurry and I heard the panic in his voice. I stayed in back with him and Dad drove the short distance. 5 minutes felt like 30. I prayed we had time.
And that we wouldn’t get in an accident on the way.
The Doctor took one look at my brother’s ashen color and said, “I will meet you in the ER.” It was literally on the next street over. By the time we got there we were all scared and shaky, running on adrenaline. The attendant said, “Chair or gurney?”
And when he came around the back of the car with that chair that looked way too flimsy, I knew it wasn’t going to work. He was not a very big guy and my brother is. As we headed toward the door, me on one side and he on the other, he started to throw up, then he passed out cold.
It was then that everything started to get chaotic. It all felt surreal. I experienced how things can move fast but agonizingly slow at the same time. Nurses were giving orders right and left but no one was moving fast enough for us. I was still trying to hold him on the chair and so was the guy on the other side. I learned something that day though that I had always wondered about myself.
When it comes to someone I care about, I can do what I need to do.
I heard my own voice over and over, “We need help here, we need help here.” I heard one of the nurses say, “We’re losing him.”
I thought, “This is how it happens, just how fast.”
I fished his medical cards out with shaky hands and my legs felt wobbly. Later, as we all sat in the waiting room, my Dad said it.
“Where was my prayer? I prayed for a good outcome with no complications.” He said.
I said, “God isn’t a Genie, sometimes He answers a different way, but He always answers.” Then I thought of parents who pray for sick kids who don’t make it, and then I felt sanctimonious for saying it. “Sometimes, there just are no answers we can make sense of right now.”
I thought of how that morning it had all started so good. I thought of Lauryn as she came in smiling with the cake she made, and then all of a sudden none of us were there except my poor Mom and she was trying to pretend that everything was okay, trying not to scare her. She said later that it was one of the hardest things she ever had to do. And special needs kids have a kind of radar. They know when things are not right.
I thought of Lauryn losing her Daddy and how terrible it would be. She would not understand.
As soon as she could, her Mom came from her appointment and took over. She calmed her and us by sending photos from Funderland, one of her favorite places. But it was tinged with the unease of events that were still rolling by, better but still unsettled.
Family is the glue, that is what I kept thinking that whole day. And really, all of us are held together by our larger family, Gods.
Bind us together Lord, bind us together and bind us in Love. It’s what matters most when everything is going wrong.
My brother is okay, but awaiting results from the biopsy which is scary.