If you are new to this series, be sure to catch up here. Sorry for the delay in this installment–this one was very tough to relive. I have a crazy way of dealing with traumatic events–I block them out of my mind completely. Only within the last few years the memories have started coming back to me.
I wasn’t sure what to expect at our first visit to the Neurosurgeon, but I knew one thing for certain. That word was frightening.
We drove to the city, uncertain of exactly what to expect. They called us back to the exam room and ordered a scan of Nicholas head. I remember going back with him, frightened as I’ll get out. My baby boy and a huge machine.
I will never forget the moment the neurosurgeon came into the exam room and gave us the results of Nicholas’s scan. These words are very painful for me to write: Blunt Force Trauma to the Head. A force stronger than dropping my baby boy on solid concrete from a standing position.
I sat there absolutely speechless, fighting back a flood of tears. Little did I know, that wasn’t the end of the bad news. Someone was responsible, not something.
Over the course of the next few weeks and months, we made numerous trips to the city. Nicholas underwent many, many procedures to stop the bleeding on his brain–none were working. He spent days and nights in the Pediatric ICU, all while I was trying to complete my first semester of college, and hold down a full time job (both back in my hometown an hour away).
It was finally decided that a permanent solution was our only option. Nicholas was to undergo a major surgery where they ran a tube from his brain down to his stomach to drain off the excess fluid and blood, otherwise known as a shunt. It would be there forever, although he wouldn’t necessarily need it forever.
During his surgery I was a nervous wreck. If I remember correctly, it took many hours to complete–and I paced the waiting room during most of it. Following the surgery, he was in the hospital for many days to make sure that this solution was going to work and that he healed properly.
I spent as much time at the hospital as I possibly could. Although I was still enrolled in college, I was only attending enough that I could understand the assignments and get things done. One day when I went to Nicholas’s hospital room, he wasn’t there, and I panicked! I turned around to ask the nurses where he was, and the nurse was right behind me.
It was then I realized everything wasn’t going as smoothly as I thought it was. From that day on, I wasn’t allowed to be alone in the hospital room with Nicholas. A nurse had to be present at all times. The city police and a social worker from the Division of Family Services came and questioned me and D (my then-boyfriend).
It came time for Nicholas to be discharged, and I thought all of it would be put behind me…until they spoke those words. “We are unable to release Nicholas into your care, do you have someone else in mind? If not we can find someone.”
I wanted someone to pinch me so I could wake up from the very nightmare that was haunting me for the last few months. Please tell me this isn’t really happening!
My mom stepped in and allowed Nicholas to be released into her care. I was not to be allowed alone for any amount of time with Nicholas until it was proven that I was not responsible for all of this. A few days later my mom set up an appointment for me to get a private polygraph to prove I had nothing to do with Nicholas’s injury.
I’m fairly certain that I have never in my life sweated as much as I did the day I sat down to take my test. I knew that I had no reason to be nervous, as I was obviously not guilty–but it was absolutely nerve-wracking!
As soon as we got the results in, I jumped up and down and screamed with delight! Nicholas and I would finally be able to resume our life. Our life was as normal as normal could be.
That I was very thankful for.