You can hear me read this by clicking below, or subscribing to the podcast at the end of this post.
August 19, 2016
On this day I could only see Dana once, for a few brief minutes. He had sepsis, and was in danger of losing his hands and feet. This was made more real and serious to me by a friend of a friend, a mother, who had recently had her hands and feet removed because of sepsis.
Dana was having so many surgeries. None of them were about the bullets which were still in him. The surgeries were for the infections and everything that was coming after the bullets, after his body being blasted open.
Have we talked about this in media? Have we talked about what bullets actually do? I mean, it looks like it hurts when someone is shot in a film, there is blood and stuff. But you don’t actually see the bullet’s trajectory through living flesh, the rending and ripping of living tissues. In school they showed us videos of our brain on drugs, not of bullets through legs, through bellies.
The hospital had a small garden that was beautifully put together. It had flowers, little stream with carp. Benches, little zen spaces. Statues.
I loved the statues, the constant reminder of the links between worlds.
My kids loved the garden space too.
We would head on down to the garden, respite from devices, from the ICU waiting room. A place to play and for them to be loud and jump off the benches and pretend to fly.
Of course they played inside as well. Kids are kids.
Meriah Nichols is a counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one on the spectrum). Deaf, and neurodiverse herself, she’s a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.