I can't remember if I mentioned it in an earlier blog entry but this has proven to be quite cathartic for me, as an LVAD caregiver, to be able to vent. To be able to put my thoughts out there. To be able to let it go. Since starting this blog I have been reading the journal I kept... the journal that Kevin could read when he woke up, the journal that my kids could read when they got older... well, said journal has been in my purse and is presently falling to bits. This particular blog entry is dedicated to my children. Dedicated to the only other people (other than their father) that "get" me, their mother. I would like to share with you instances, happenings, conversations, moments, that have all happened since that dreary October night. Moments that kept me going and other moments where I cried myself to sleep.
After Kevin was taken away in the ambulance, my boys went off to bed. When they awoke in the morning Uncle Chad & Aunt Susie were here to greet them....party time as far as they were concerned! I put them in for a nap that day, left to meet Kevin's helicopter, and our former nanny came over to put them to bed. When they woke in the morning it was as if it was Christmas... only in family form. Aunt Lauren, Uncle Jimmy, Grandma, AND Grandpa were all here to greet them!!! It seriously was party time for them!! The next few days went on..absolutely they asked where Daddy was. My reply in the beginning was that "Daddy was at the doctors." I honestly had no clue what to tell them nor did anyone around me.
And then that dreadful Tuesday morning...I refer to it as the morning where both my boys had their first meltdown. It was as if they knew I had gotten two phone calls in the middle of the night telling me Daddy was bleeding out of control. They stayed home from preschool that morning. It was best that they stayed home with Grandma & Grandpa. They knew something was up and my new reply as to where Daddy was: "he's still at the doctors because his heart is sick." WTF?!?!?! Seriously, WTF would you tell your twin four year old boys whose house was just invaded by a schloo of freaking family that they usually only see a few times during the year??!?!?!?
Wednesday... oh F@#% you Wednesday... Daddy was still in critical condition. I went to the hospital early in the morning but made it home for preschool pick up, by myself. As we get into the car they both start questioning me to Daddy's whereabouts?!?!??!... I brokedown and had NO IDEA what to do... so I opted to the toy store... what do my boys pick out??!!? A freaking ATAT... A freaking $130 god damn ATAT. Thank my lucky stars Uncle Chad was coming over...he put it together. WEEEEHOOOO for Uncle Chad!!!! As he arrived, I left. It was Back to School night at the boys preschool. Hello Life, can you kick a girl while she's down? Freaking Back to god damn School night?!?!?!? Our FIRST too... this blew major chunks. I was a few minutes late, worried, trying to be strong, and relieved that when I entered the doorway I saw Lisa & her husband Reid. They had a chair waiting for me and they both welcomed me with open arms. A few minutes later my other friend Claire showed up...even later than me! I felt even more relieved when she looked at me & said "oh crap you made it on time & i'm late?!!!" LOL Back to School night continues... of course we had to draw something for each child from mom & dad. Ok Life you've kicked me once tonight & you're going to kick me again? Kevin is the creative one. NOT ME. As you can see from my creations, well, Kevin really is the creative one. I made it through my first back to school night, solo, but only thanks to Lisa, Reid, & Claire.
The few days following were rough with the boys, they so needed to see Daddy... old videos from the iphone just weren't doing it... they needed Daddy. Could you blame them? With that said, I put them to bed one evening... tuck Kaeden in... go to tuck Quinton in & he wants to talk:
Q: Mommy, do you miss Daddy?
Me: Yes, of course I miss Daddy.
Q: Me too...
[I hug him.]
Q: Mommy, I don't feel good.
Me: What's wrong? Does your tummy hurt?
Q: No, my heart is sick. Can I go to the hospital where Daddy is?
Are you crushed yet? Just imagine hearing that while "Daddy" is on a ventilator & at the time was not responsive when being taken off sedation... ummm, Ok? You're right where I was then...
The week of October 24 was when the boys got to see Daddy for the first time since Oct 6. It had been 3+weeks. My Aunt Marie was with us... Jed was his nurse... we waiting patiently on plaza level for Daddy.. and when he came around the corner... well, no one on plaza level knew us but there wasn't a dry eye anywhere. I will NEVER forget the look on our boys faces when they saw DADDY... and the screams for DADDY... it was the most uplifting experience ever and gives me chills just thinking about it. Here's a pic of our family reunited as one...
After I put the boys to bed one night...oddly enough I was alone in the house for a few minutes. What do I do? I chose to cry. Low & behold Quinton comes out of his bedroom, sees me crying, stares at me, walks over & hugs me. Tells me "don't worry Mommy, Daddy will be home soon. Remember you told me the doctors just gotta fix his heart a little more? You want me to hold you?" And from that night on Quinton crawled into bed with me for 4+weeks... my empathetic one... the one who knew Mommy was putting on a show....
As the days & weeks went on, the hospital became known as "Daddy's place." The nurses all knew our boys. And before you knew it.... Daddy was home with US again.
Since being home, our boys have clearly been subjected to the "medical world" as I like to call it... they've become more mature, and I've realized they were indeed the strength behind me the ENTIRE time.
Recently their preschool class was turned into a doctor's office/hospital... they told me there was a thermometer. "Mommy, Daddy has to take his temperature every day!" They told me there was a blood pressure machine. "Mommy, Daddy takes his pressure every day!" And then Quinton tells me "Mommy, there's no LVAD though like Daddy has."
Even more recently on the way to preschool, I'm taking my first sip of coffee while sitting at a traffic light. Kaeden says to me: "my ad woke me up last night Mommy."
Kaeden: "My ad woke me up ..it's loud."
Me: "What are you talking about?"
Quinton to Kaeden: "You talking bout Daddy's LVAD? You got one?!?!"
Kaeden: "Yea I got one, just like Daddy... the AD is loud."
Quinton: "you mean LVAD"
Me: "so you have an LVAD like Daddy? REEEEEEEALLY?"
Me: " ok well make sure you have your back up batteries with you."
Children are amazing. My boys are beyond amazing... they are the reasons why I am able to do what I do. Day in, day out. Their smiles, their hugs... they are me and they are Kevin. I love them so very much and if when they're 20 + years old reading this... Kaeden & Quinton, please know that I did the best for you both during the worst time of our lives and I only did it because I love you and because your father loves you.