Continued; part 3 Tell My Mother I Love Her...
My oldest daughter and I arrived at the hospital in record time. We stood at the information counter when I noticed a familiar face from behind the counter-she gave us a small nod to indicate she would send someone out. (It'll always amazes me how many times I see people I know in work-places here. It reminds me that I live in a small city, and not the big city from which I originally grew up).
The doors next to the reception desk opened and a nurse approached. Every fiber in my body was alert and screaming, I could hardly keep it together. I could hardly believe we were there!---when suddenly the nurse announced to us that my daughter was finally asleep.
I broke into tears that I had been strictly held back prior. I had pictured in my mind just then, the emotions that my younger-daughter must have endured alone before we came. I remember her phone call around 12am, she had said she arrived by ambulance around 4pm-she had to fight for her phone, they took everything, including her hair tie to wrap up her long-red-hair.
I begged the nurse to let me in to see my daughter, she paused, then let both my oldest-daughter and myself in. I almost ran.
Curtain six-near the nurses desk was partly open. I swept in and knelt down near her bed facing her. Her eyes were closed with a single white sheet over her body that trailed up and around her head, as if for protection. I wanted to burst into tears just then, but I didn't. She opened her eyes and looked at me, then she looked over at her older sister, then immediately sat up. Words came to her in a rush, they spilled out in a story of desperation, the kind of desperation you get when all is taken from you and no one knows.
And then she began to tell us about how poorly she was treated after she was place in the hospital emergency, not forgetting to include also the (kindness) from one police officer, and one ambulance attendant who arrived at-boyfriend J's house-to find her naked in the bathtub with a half-empty-bottle-of-pills already swallowed, of which J struggled to get out of her hand.
When she finished purging her ill story from her hospital bed, I immediately found a nurse who could explain to me what transpired once my daughter arrived at the emergency-ward. I was told twice over by two nurses that, its difficult for people in her position to come in here and have all their possessions removed-for safety reasons. I understood, however it wasn't what I was asking. Neither nurse's would address the unforgivable conversation the acting head nurse had with my daughter before I arrived, which I found sadly, typical, as if we hadn't been through this one particular hospital in the past with the same familiar exemption of compassion. I left the nurses station angry and defeated, and climbed into the hospital bed with my daughter.
Today, seven days later, I sit here at the computer while She, my youngest-daughter, text's--from J's house (I love you). I panic a little. I sit there looking at the text trying to convince myself things are okay. The last text message was on that ill fated Saturday when she declared she loved her father and I, and missed us already. I sent her a text back with all my love, then I sent another one to make sure she was okay.
I wanted her to stay home all week so I could stay close to her, but J took time off of work this week, so she left with him last night to stay the night. There isn't much we can do but respect her decisions, she's nineteen, and considered an adult in British Columbia-course, it doesn't keep my heart and stomach from fraying being without her.
Her text messages come to me with perfect images-she's doing her make-up sitting in J's living room sipping coffee, and looking out the window at the moving freeway traffic across a the corn field. But I feel more than I see, and I know she's thinking, so I keep the dialogue open and wait for her reply. In the meantime I scanned Pinterest for an image of a-Lily in the valley-she reminds me of one. I came across a photo of a tattoo with Lilies of the valley on an arm, and I imagined it---on my arm. For a moment my heart moved in such a way I thought I would cry, then I received a text message back from my daughter saying----
"I would like sometime if i ever get spare money to get a tattoo on my thigh to cover the scars. Help me mentally heal-not having to look at them."
It was then, after I read that, that I remembered her moving in her hospital bed and noticing a few nasty red lines over her upper thigh. She hastily hid them when my eyes made contact. She's done this before, years ago. I should have known. I should have. Should have. I should have.....
The rest of the text message was about, what flower and colours she would chose for her future tattoo, of which I encouraged in the keeping of things to look forward to, something she mentioned to me the other day-she needed to feel there was something----to look forward to.
Continued; part 4-Tell My Mother I Love Her...
Day eight. I don't really want to write this anymore, though, I know there's things yet to be said, or purged, so to speak.
She, feared the morning; thought she would have to face it without her mother. She sat there alone and cried from 4pm until midnight with little to no one stopping to let her call her parent's, or say a kind word, or hold her hand, or, or, or......
Eventually She requested the head of nursing staff, an older woman with spiked hair, to allow her a phone call to her mother. The nurse hovered over her while she made the call as if she were a prisoner. And although I understand why they take all possessions away in this case, it doesn't take away the shrilling emotions of a nineteen-year-old trying to get in touch with her parent's. That aside, it was what the head nurse said to my daughter that sits on my tongue like a hard-sour-candy I want to spit out----
" There's no need to bother your mother, she won't sit here all night with you. And we'll see about your tests in the morning, and what you've done to your liver. You'll have to live with your consequences. Do you want drugs to sleep?"
I have-never-ever-hated someone so bad in my life as I do this one nurse. These words here will not be the last words spoken, I reckon they'll find an avenue to this nurse in due time. That said, both my daughter and I feel tremendously ill knowing others may come across the same dispassion concerning patients whom attempt suicide.
The morning came and I was right along side of my daughter. The acting doctor arrived and signed her out, her medical tests came back fine. Next to see her was the psychiatrist-a nice man with a thick accent I could barely understand. I left the curtained room to give the two time alone. About fifteen minutes later the man found me and I followed him into a quiet room. He said he was happy with my daughter's answers and was going to release her. She would be relieved-she feared the psych ward. I thanked him and proceeded back to curtain six where I found my daughter with a councilor, a woman of sweet nature, and who had our local University in common with my daughter.
Between the councilor and the psychiatrist we were left with pamphlets with information that would steer us in the right direction in getting for my daughter. Unfortunately someone dropped the ball by giving us a pamphlet that only pertained to teens up to eighteen. We did though, have other information that might be useful, but one place had a whopping three month wait, and didn't deal with suicide, and the other place had a wait too, but would see what they could do. The next call was to her family doctor's office-my daughter's work was requesting a doctors note for her absence. I got that usual grumpy lady on the phone. She said they were all booked up, until I mentioned what happened. Even still I couldn't get my daughter in that day. I asked the doctor's office if they could pass our doctor a message of what happened over the weekend, her answer wavered, in fact, I don't think I really received a quality answer at all. Meanwhile my daughter and her boyfriend were stressing all over town trying to get into a walk-in-clinic for a stupid doctor's note for her work, to no avail. Eventually they went into Her work and explained to her manager, where she said don't worry, get it when you can.
The next day was my daughter's appointment with our family doctor-she went in alone, leaving her boyfriend in the waiting room and me on pins and needles near my phone. He finally recognized her for what she had, depression, and talked with her at length. He then made an appointment with a professional and prescribed her an antidepressant, something I feared, but now hinged on with hopes that it might help in her quality of life. I wouldn't let her drive for a few days because of it, and I tried in vain to keep her home, but really, I can't keep her forever, as much as I really, really, want to-that's a mother's agony for you. What she wants isn't always me. What I can give her isn't always what she wants. What she really wants is to wake up in the morning occasionally, along the side of her love. And he's been a fine man all along.
I need to end this writing for now and move on for my own mental health-I'm needed, and I'm bound and determined to be there for my daughter.
I need to block out the horror of which finds my mind at night, and in a sickly stomach in the morning. I need to stop thinking of Her pleading to the ambulance attendants to tell her mother she loves her, when she thought she was dying. I need to stop the images of her crying for her mother in the hospital when no one would listen. I need my daughter to see that she is beautiful, truly beautiful. I need her to be happy and confident with her self-image, and I need her to pass a mirror and smile. I need her to love herself again. I need to get her the best help. I.....need my daughter and every other daughter out there holding a mother's hand to know, that their not alone. Oh, god, your not alone...