Meet the McNeil Family

Meet the McNeil Family

Thursday, July 28, 2016

A Bump on the Head

Oliver had an appointment at CNMC this morning and thanks to the Metro's Safe Track project, we now have to allot two full hours for the 25 mile trek. We were out the door by 7:30 and arrived on time for his Modified Swallow Study, only there was an error in scheduling and his appointment was for Monday. I almost lost it then and there, but I reminded myself that a kind word is going to be my best friend in this situation. I explained our story, showed the order with the appointment information and said that we were willing to wait if they could please fit us in.

An hour later we were back in radiology getting prepped. I popped Oliver up in the x-ray chair and he waited ever so patiently for his first bite of food for the day, no worries that it was covered in barium paste. As we waited for the team to assemble, Oliver started to get a little antsy. I bent over my bag to grab the iPad, stood up straight and banged my head on some piece of equipment. I saw stars. Embarrassed and in a considerable amount of pain, I tried to shake it off and hold in the expletives that were aching to escape.

And then they came. Tears. It hurt, but not enough to make me cry. I turned my head to try to pull myself together and they started flowing even more. And in an instant that bump on my head released a few weeks worth of emotions. Flashes of memories of Oliver's surgery, my worries, my memories of Waverly, the realization that this g-tube is not a step I wanted to have to take already, my fears that Oliver's time is slipping by too quickly - they all poured out. And I was completely unable to stop them.

I am fairly certain the SLP and radiology tech thought I suffered a traumatic brain injury or an emotional breakdown. I muttered something about wanting to just keep moving forward and we did. I fed Oliver spoonfuls of barium purees, cups of barium nectar and graham crackers coated in barium paste  And with each of his swallows, snot dripped from my nose and tears fell off my face. I was a mess.

I haven't had this happen before. A bit of physical pain causing an avalanche of emotional pain to rush forth. I have read about other bereaved parents having a similar outburst, but this was my first time. It is always cathartic to have a good cry and feel. However I try to do so in the privacy of my home or surrounded by a few close friends. Not in front of 5 strangers during a medical procedure.


Laura said...

It makes so much sense that you had this response to banging your head, and I understand completely why you'd prefer not to experience such raw emotional vulnerability in public.

E said...

Bless you, Shannon. Thankful you found a little release amidst strangers, but sorry it came through a bump. I have cried like that in a very similar circumstance (among strangers, physical pain and grief) and it felt silly, but so, so good. <3

Joanne said...

Shannon - I can truly feel this through your words. I know how cathartic those cries can be, and the triggers can be so unexpected, and how when it happens in public it is just beyond unreal. I am thinking of you, Shannon! xx, Joanne

Susan said...

This does make so much sense -- I have had a seemingly small thing trigger a flood of tears. And yes, it's always worse when it's in a public place. Reading your posts, praying for all of you, and wishing things could be different for your family ...

Janelle said...

Ohhh... I feel your embarrassment. Those emotional releases come at the WORST times - like at your very first visit to the orthodontist with a kid who is far too young for this kind of work anyway - and she has a second open-heart surgery scheduled for the near future. So help me people, I am NOT worried about her missing teeth right now! And once the tears start, they will not stop... then there's the snot... followed by the headache. I commented to my husband that I wish tears were not viewed as a sign of weakness, because they aren't... I'm not weak, but this road is hard.
A friend from WI "introduced" your story to me today... PEACE to you.