Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Darkness within

A wife, 8 months pregnant with her first child dealing with gestational diabetes clinging to hope and doctors while asking every medical staff member what is going on.

A mom and dad sitting in the ICU wondering, waiting, worried beyond control, full of emotions trying to learn how thier child is doing and if he will live.

A brother and his wife also at his side impatiently waiting and listening to everything.

A 6 year old son confused and scared, not sure what to think about anything.

The son, already has a little awkwardness of feelings in school, learning from his parents he is going to retake the first grade for reasons he cannot comprehend now, and are out of his control, actually then starts to fall back in class. Then his daddy gets sick, he comes to visit him and his dad barely remembers. He visits his dad two other times in two months wondering why he sleeps all the time. When his dad wakes up the boy doesn't care about school, he just doesn't get why his can't hug him, or talk to him when all he wants to do is jump in his fathers arms and be held tight.

The brother, who tries to keep things at an even keel as can be between the family. He has spent his fair share in hospitals in his time dealing with cystic fibrosis. He later contracts diabetes as well. Things have been tough the last few years with this brother and his parents for reasons which became uncontrollable. Now in the hospital, watching over every step of the way with the brother and hoping not to make any unwanted waves during these time with the parents, will eventually soon backfire.

The mom and dad sit at their child's side giving love and encouragement and hope. All they want is to help and to be there, and with thier love, the struggle with helplessness and family tension boils. Emotions are ridiculous and bubbling. Thier child, sick and dying and unable to respond more than a few blinks of the eyes, sees his mom and hears his dad. But that is about it. The thoughts going through the family can not be explained.

The wife, strong as ever, doesn't let anything get in her way. She sleeps by her husbands side on the hospital rooms couch while every meal she has kept in a near by fridge gets tossed away, mistakenly, but repeatedly every day. She is taking insulin shots, and hoping more than ever she will give birth to her child on the expected day. She worries about her baby girl inside but doesn't know how to react. Scared both for her husband and for her baby. Is she hurting the baby by being by her husbands side so often all the while trying to coordinate the rest of her life including thier business, income, bills, family and friends but continuing to stay on top of every single aspect of her husbands medical care? Questions are too many, and too scary to understand. But she stays focused. She begins coming up with ground rules for family to visit for her own sanity.

Friends and other family members not sure of much of anything other than being transferred from NR to Regions start asking questions, looking for answers, and soon begin to start praying.

A boss from years ago and her son come to visit and soon realize that thier friend is worse than they thought and are even unable to visit because of the condition.

The brother tries to control a situation with news from the doctor.
The mom and dad try and do the same as well.
The wife is at her wits end and can't handle anymore. She is about to break, and feels helpless about her baby, not knowing if she will ever meet her daddy.
The brother steps in again to help the wife and tensions flare with the mom and dad.
Under stress and duress the mom, dad, and brother decide to respect the wishes of the wife and will take turns on visiting.

A month passes.  April 13, the baby is born. The daddy is still sleeping.
The son hasn't seen his daddy in weeks.

Three days later. The dad, which is me, wakes up. I don't know of anything of which I just wrote about at this point in my 'new' life. I didn't know what had happened during those first few days of ER's and uncertainty, let alone the next 6 weeks of my coma.

I have no idea of anything that has happened since March 17, and that is extremely foggy. I only remember it slightly beacause it was St. Patrick's Day and we had a little "celebration." Right around that time I remember what I thought may have been my last, gasping breath, and the most intense amount of shaking I can imagine along with pain. When I woke up it was like I was born for the 2nd time. I had no control over anything and all I could do was see. From what I understand it took me several days of  'waking up' before I could comprehend anything. Days after that I started learning a little bit here and there of what I started this post about, which was my family and the unknown stress, uncertainty, confusion and frustration within my family. My son, Ryan comes to see me and runs up to my bed but I can do little more than put my arms barely around him and smile through the medications and the pain and the fizzled body that had already taken form of me. My princess baby girl Scarlett, my true life saver, who I can also barely hold though has been at my side in my bed for naps every day. In ways hard to explain that newborn little girl saved Sarah's life and then Sarah saved mine.
My brother, his wife Michelle, my parents and obviously my wife were always there by my side. I didn't know until weeks later, but still in the hospital that they were not getting along. It was explained to me a little bit, but as much as anything I couldn't comprehend. Maybe I was too selfish, maybe I thought everyone was together and helped me fight, fight to survive.
Soon after I learned about the titantic sized love and prayers I was getting back home and around the community and all the followers I didn't even know being so supportive to me and my entire family. Through all of this, Sarah set up a Facebook page just on my progress as well as organizing other things. She also has a journal/diary of every day of the 2 month's stays between NR, Regions, UofM and Bethezda, as well as follow up appointments that still continue.

A LOT has happened since this time. Months of it I don't remember, and never will. It was an extremely difficult time for my family and I didn't even know it. Perhaps I was blinded some even before I got sick. If it was someone else instead of me and I was in that persons' seat I don't know how I would have reacted. It is difficult for me to judge or say right or wrong about any of what happened, as I see it as they all did what they felt was the best way to care for me. People deal with things differently and when it comes to family it is easily multiplied.

I made it. I don't know if I should have, but I did. Maybe time will mend, maybe wounds are too scarred for things that have happened within my small family, and maybe I could have helped prevent some of it. Maybe I'll never know. But I do know that I love all of my family, whether we are together or not.
The rest of you all I love from the bottom of my soul, wishing you the best in everything you do and to all of you - thank you, thank you, thank you.

Sometimes you just gotta write. Other need to talk. Whatever helps, do it. I write, it helps me, partially because I don't talk much, especially about feelings. I am getting better talking about this past year. So, I write until it hurts, then write until that hurt eases a pain.
I had no intention of writing this, not because I was holding anything back, but I never really thought about it in detail until I was falling asleep. It was right after Sarah mentioned something about right before Scarlettt was born. It hit a nerve so I had to grab my iPad and write away. Write I did.

I can't apologize for what happened, and I can't say anyone was wrong or right. We all did what we had to and that's the way it is.



  1. You have the most incredible family and friends. We are all blessed to know you.

  2. You don't know me, Mike, but I work at NR so have followed your story as much as I could. All I can say is that I am thankful to God that you were given the opportunity to need to figure this all out! God bless you, Sarah, Ryan, Scarlett, as well as your parents and brother. I pray you are able to come to a place of peace and understanding of all that you have been through.

    1. Thank you (anonymous) for your kind words and your understanding :)

  3. Thank You, Michael Moore.

  4. Mr. Moore, God bless you.

  5. I can't even begin to imagine how hard all of this must be on you Cheek. Take pride in the fact that you persevered against all odds with so many people who love you behind you. It is a true reflection of what a great person you are!