On November 1 th, 11/11 of all days, we arrived at Sunrise theater to see a live performance of Michelle Shocked. The building was dark and the doors locked. My partner and I looked at each other as we checked the tickets printed online. The concert was November 9th, two nights earlier. I’m not sure why I assumed it was the eleventh but on the way home I made a comment that maybe we weren’t supposed to be at the concert. I said, “Everything happens for a reason.”
An hour later we were sitting at home when the phone rang. It was my 18-year-old daughter saying she needed us to take her to the emergency room. Blood was coming out her ear, and she couldn’t remember anything. I asked her what happened and she said her friend said she had fallen off the back of a golf cart and her head hit the cement. She didn’t remember driving to her apartment. We rushed to pick her up.
I helped her into the car as she stumbled and blood dripped from her ear. The hospital performed a CT scan and informed us she had two skull fractures and she needed to be ambulanced to the trauma center twenty miles away. At this point blood was coming out her ear, nose, and she was vomiting blood.
I prayed like never before as I sat in the front of the ambulance while they worked on her in back. We passed the cemetery where my parents are interred, sirens blaring. I asked them to watch over her now and please help her pull through this.
We arrived at the trauma center, and they rushed her into a room. My partner and I were asked to sit in the waiting room while they hooked her up to various machines. When we walked back and stood on the sidelines in her room it felt so surreal. There were five or six people working with her and it seemed as though I was floating in the room. My heart pounded with fear yet I remained speechless as I watched in disbelief. According to the trauma doctor, most of those with her injury do not make it. My daughter was lucky.
My daughter is home now and cannot finish her fall semester in college or drive. She was in EMT school. Her neurologist wants a scan done of the brainstem. He feels there might be an injury that was missed due to the weakness on her right side. We were informed yesterday she is in for a slow recovery, up to a year. She is in constant pain and I feel helpless. Doctors are leery about prescribing too much pain medicine because of all those who have abused it. In turn, my child has to suffer needlessly.
I don’t let her see me cry. I don’t convey my fears. I remind her each day I love her and I will be there for her and she is not alone. I keep inside the fact that my worst parenting moment ever, not just of 2012, happened only three weeks ago.