eight hours

by thankfeldenkrais

The smell is what first hits me like a slap across my cheek.
It’s all too familiar,
And instantly brings a wave of cold panic,
I’m washed with it by the time the admission is complete,
Sick to my stomach.

Delays make it all the more unbearable,
But when finally Isaac has his bed in paediatrics,
It hits me again,
How sad it is,
Nestled between small sick faces,
Big blinking eyes staring innocently.

The rush of medical staff wash in,
Load him with Dilantin,
And then gone in a hurried sweep.
So routine,
So mechanical,
We are left to watch the drip feed him through needle.

It doesn’t take long for the beautiful smile to fade from his face,
A glaze to cover his eyes,
He cannot focus his stare,
His body goes limp,
He is only a trace of himself.

This is not normal,
I throw the words around the room
I start to panic,
Looking around for staff,
But no one responds.
I watch as my bright spark boy is reduced to a hollow floppy frame,
And my blood pressure spikes as I fear him lost to me.

A nurse is the only one to take on my concerns,
Having seen Isaac’s alertness upon arrival.
By the time the doctor arrives,
He’s smug and unwavering,
How is he different from usual he spat like an insult.
Shaken by the lack of sympathy,
The blatant neglect in seeing him prior to dosing an anticonvulsant,
Clearly too liberal for his tiny size.
I’m livid and petrified in equal measure.

For everything about him has been lost.
I’ll take the panic,
The sensitivities,
The screams,
The troubled feeds,
Any day.
Over the docile,
The vacant,
Total lack of connection,
He had been reduced to in mere moments.

My words are caught in my throat by tears.
I want to scream and throw things around the room.

All they can offer is time,
To wait and see if the overdose rectifies itself.
And an inter hospital transfer is arrange,
Which couldn’t come soon enough.
Some relief in knowing a major hospital again awaits his arrival,
To remedy the errors.
And ultimately stop the seizures,
Without taking his persona.

Eight hours of sitting by his bedside,
Eight hours of holding his little limp hand,
Eight hours he couldn’t look me in the eye,
To tell me he was OK.

Then finally it’s time to go,
Transferred by road ambulance,
Thankfully this time me sitting by his side,
Not taking my eye off of him for a second.


We ride the 3 hours north,
And Isaac luckily starts to reemerge from the fog.