Stage Two – Major Rude has a heart

He was standing there for couple of minutes, behind the glass window separating intensive care room with a captain’s monitoring one, staring at Szymon, his vitals, and thinking what to do next.

“Remarkable…” Major suddenly broke the silence. “Take the epidural out and see if the normal dosage of pain killer will be sufficient enough. There is no point of poisoning him more if he shows such a high tolerance to pain.”

“Ok.” One of the two corporals that were in the room replied.

“I will come tomorrow morning to check on his progress and we will decide on what to do next.”

“Tomorrow is Sunday…” the other corporal stated.

“Not for him.” Major replied leaving out the captain’s entrance.

I saw him at the end of the corridor when I was coming to change M in the room. We were trying to take shifts sitting next to Szymek’s bed. There could only be one parent in the room, as this is intensive care, and the stool was very uncomfortable, therefore we tried to change every few hours. We needed to leave the room for the night and could sleep in his standard training room with two other parents. At first the thought of leaving him alone for the night was terrifying. Soon we saw that if Szymek needed us during the night corporal would rush and ask us to come. Otherwise they made sure he is well taken care off and we finally were able to get some rest.

“What was he doing here, today…” I started to wonder when seeing Major limping out of the facility. “It’s late in the evening and today is his day off.”

“Szymek is sleeping now.” M welcomed me in the entrance to the intensive care room. We decided to step out together, sit on the chair in the waiting room and chat for a while. We had very few chances to talk freely in past few hours, as one of us constantly needed to be with Szymek. Therefore, we used all the opportunities we had to at least exchanged few sentences in the corridor when we were switching places.

“How is he feeling?” I asked.

“With every hour much better. When he first woke up, he looked around and went back to sleep. This happen couple of times and each time he showed more and more strength. And few hours later he even tried to sit down. Like he would not do much with the fact that few hours back he was half open and having serious surgery performed on him.” M started to talk.

“He is incredibly strong, physically and mentally…”

“Major was here…” Meg informed me.

“Yes, I saw him.” I have reacted with a surprised.

“He checked Szymon’s status and decided that he will take out the epidural to see how he will cope being only on pain killers”

“This guy really surprises me. One day you would want to strangle him and the other he is caring more about your child than anybody else so far.” I replied with a bit of nerve in the voice.

“One of the corporals told me today, after asking me how I feel and I told her a bit of what we just experienced, that this is his style. He will be very unpleasant to the parents but will take huge care for his cadets. Sometimes even strangely jeopardises their flight to heaven for no reason.”

“Hmm…really?” I was still not fully believing in what Mag was saying.

“Yes, she was telling the story of her ten-year-old daughter who was suffering from belly pain. She started to go to different captains with her, first normal one from the day care camps, to find a reason for this severe pain. They started to examine her but could not find much so they were giving her different drugs hoping some will work but it didn’t. Then she decided, being a corporal in this facility, to try with captain’s here, but not many could of them could help and find the reason of her daughter’s pain. They looked from left to right, did plenty of scans but there was nothing special about her. No clue to what might be causing this pain. She started to worry and got very desperate as she could not easy the suffering of her little one. In her desperation she approached the Major asking for help. He, in no time, took her daughter to the surgery room and open her up. He said it should be standard, 30 min, procedure when he will open her up and look from inside hoping to find the reason for this pain knowing that it is much better to look this way. The surgery took 3 hours and when he left the room, he approached the corporal and told her that he just jeopardized her daughters’ flight to heaven, which in best case would happen in the next few days. There was a strange knot in her body causing bowl necrosis. If he would not cut it out this dead tissue would cause her death in the coming days. He saved her daughter’s life and she will always be grateful for that.”

” Remarkable.” I reapplied. “Well, let’s put it this way. He can be as mean as he wants to be to me, until he is doing all he can to jeopardize Szymek’s flight to heaven and leave him with us.”

When your child is close to dying you put away your pride, hide your ego and swallow all the nasty things people are throwing at you just to be sure nothing bad will happen to your little one. You will do all for him to be healthy again. To be a day longer in your arms.  You will take it all, as this what a real love is…

Eyes of curiosity, eyes of compassion

“With my eyes shut I sense your peeking, gazing, even when you’re trying not to show your curiosity. I feel your sight even when you think it is unseenable. In those short moments where our eyes meet…which last a life time to me. Don’t be scared to look deep inside.

A small window to my soul, I hoped to be small enough to hide my fear. And while looking back at you I could see what you see, it still did not give me full confidence I was able to cover it fully. Hide the reason why I’m here. Yet, it is not me who feared the most. You worried your child will catch it from mine. The uniqueness which you don’t have.

Don’t allow your superstitions take you over. You are perfectly safe, you can not be infected by his touch, by his smile. Don’t be scared to say “Hello”, simple “Hi”. Those few words in moments like those will allow us to take our minds off what is happening. Will give us a moment of rest from this heavy burden.  I am not asking you to lift my cross and carry it for me, just to pretend we’re no different, we are the same.  And I know it’s not true but let’s pretend. Can you do this for me?”

Funny how life can lead you to places you never thought will be given to you to experience. In the facility we were currently staying most of the cases were very trivial, minor to us. Not really life-threatening i.e. broken leg, or some minor surgeries. And we came here with serious case, where the surgery does not have to go well. This could mean we could be facing a situation where we did not even have a chance to properly say goodbye to our son. Szymek could just fly off to heaven and we would be informed afterwards.

It took only a day the news to spread, which cause for us to be on the spotlight. This was due to blood transfusion, which we needed before the procedure. Here, it was quite a unique thing as you don’t need it other cases. To our misfortune the blood came late at night making this even more spectacular event. Due to the big windows in the wall, and the need for having full light during the transfusion as we needed to make sure Szymek will not get any allergic reaction, next room neighbors had to be also awake. It was then, when curiosity filled their hearts and they have started to wonder why we are here. What was bringing us to this facility and how fatal it was since we needed late evening blood transfusion. A procedure already common for us, as this was quite often in the recent days, completely strange to them, causing more attention than really needed. From that moment on, we had their curious eyes constantly gazing at us, trying to find out why we are here.

It did not help when later in the week, after the surgery Meg or I was coming back to this empty room to get a bit of a shut eye while Szymek was staying in the semi intensive care room. This caused speculations if all went well.

“Don’t be afraid to look me in the eyes. I am not a monster, who will hunt you down. I am no different from you in a need of compassion. I still fully understand you because few months back, before all of this, I would too wonder why you’re here. Same as you, I would not have a courage to speak up, to say few words that will comfort you. Be more than me, be better than I would have been if I would be standing in your shoes. Just say, “Hello…”