ICU – scott’s story

This post that you’re about to read precedes my first memory, the previous post. This is written by Scott who was my boyfriend at the time of the car crash, but has since upgraded to my husband.

Heidi’s mom stood up as I entered the ICU family room. I had been trading shifts with her and other members of Heidi’s family at this post everyday for the past two weeks. She looked worried and had been crying, which wasn’t unexpected, that’s what people do in places like this. But something was different today. Her eyes conveyed a sense of urgency. There was a question in them.

“Heidi’s awake.”

“What?” I’d heard her but I needed a second to let the words sink in.

“Heidi’s awake and she won’t stop crying. They’d like you to go talk to her.”

“ok.”

This was the moment I’d been praying for. But the joy I was expecting didn’t arrive. There was no fear or anger. Just the cold reality of the conversation I knew was about to take place. But there was love. Only love could give me the strength to walk the path appearing before me.

“The doctors turned down the drugs that were keeping her asleep. Her Dad and I tried to talk to her but she just keeps crying.”

“ok.”

She doesn’t know anything. She’s been lying there, unconsciously fighting for her life for every second of every day for the past two weeks.

“I’ll tell the nurse you’d like to go in.”

“ok”

There’s so much to tell her. Where do you start? How do you tell somebody they’ve lost everything they thought they would have forever?

As Heidi’s mom left the room, I sat down on the small couch and stared at the floor. The family room wasn’t your typical hospital waiting room. This one felt like it had been given a little more thought in design. The other waiting rooms I had visited over the past two weeks all felt as though they’d been added to the building as an afterthought or the space had been reluctantly conceded by the other more important parts of the building. This one was equipped for people whom would be waiting a long time. The couches and chairs felt comfortable at first but quickly lost their charm as your muscles discovered the lack of support. During the night these couches pulled out into even less comfortable beds. Cheap prints of impressionist paintings hung on the walls overtop industrial strength wall paper and wall sconces cast their soft light up the wall to illuminate the t-bar ceiling. Meanwhile, a film of thin carpet attempted to conceal the hard concrete floor beneath. While the room was welcoming and warm, it ultimately failed in its efforts to conceal the fact that you were sitting in a place where death knocked often.

The door opened as Heidi’s mom returned with the nurse, “Hi Scott, come on in. Heidi’s awake and wants to see you.”

“ok”

As I stood up, I noticed the pile of paper cranes on the table across the family room had grown again since yesterday. Behind them, a middle aged Asian woman spoke quietly to a teenage girl as they both focused on the little birds forming in their hands. I followed the nurse out as she turned to lead me down the now familiar maze of hallways toward Heidi’s ICU room.

16 thoughts on “ICU – scott’s story

  1. Christy

    Wow – I can't even imagine how hard this must have been for Scott. He has an elegant way with words, just like you Heidi. It makes me hope that he might write another segment of this story, from his perspective too.

    Again, you're so brave for getting this down on paper (computer) and for sharing it with us. You're an incredible inspiration and I'm so glad I discovered your blog back when I did.

    I hope you're having a nice weekend, and having better weather than we have!

    Reply
  2. Intense Guy

    I am reading each of these entries slowly and trying to grasp what when through each of you and your's minds.

    I am choked up and really uncomfortable – your writing with such power that I am both transported to the hospital room and back in time to "that day".

    I sit here silently thinking, "I'm so glad Scott was so strong and steadfast. If this isn't the biggest test and the biggest expression of love, I don't know what could be bigger." To have that love – that bond – is incredible and so special – I hope you will always treasure it and each other.

    Reply
  3. Lynne

    It's as though Scott has gone right back to that time and place. Powerful writing. Hope to read some more.
    Have a great week both of you.

    Reply
  4. Kate Coveny Hood

    While you got through that terrifying time together, you really did have your separate pathes to follow… How strong and brave that husband of yours is.

    Reply
  5. Heidi

    Thank you all! Your comments have meant a lot to both me and Scott. He is one of the good ones.

    Cute new pic, Kate!

    Reply
  6. kendalee

    So hard to see someone you love balancing on the verge of life like that but to have to be the one that breaks the news to them of what's happened – unimaginably hard. He's definitely one of the good ones, as are you, and that's why you make such a great team! This made me breathless. Even though I knew what was coming next… the tension was palpable. I agree with some of the others – a powerful anchor for parts of the story that you cannot narrate yourself Heidi.

    Reply
  7. Dorkys Ramos

    Wow, Scott's such an expressive writer. I can't even imagine the strength and love it must have taken to see someone you care about in your position and will them to fight.

    Thank goodness he was able to bear through it and love you unconditionally then and now.

    Now go ask Scott if he has a good brother/cousin in the states, thanks 🙂

    (Kidding!)

    Reply
  8. Linda Sue

    The shock- that space of (?) and anguish and not knowing…and pain- shock. So well written. I am there with you, in the bed and by the side- very well writen! Might be interesting to get the physician's perspective also…just for contrast…

    Reply
  9. Suz Broughton

    Incredible. I can really feel the intense moments. Isn't it funny the things that we remember during these powerful moments–all the little things seem so important.
    Great writing, Scott.

    Reply

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