Seroquel with repronex I should be preparing for my final exam right now. It is the last week of my family medicine rotation after all. But instead, I find myself sitting at my desk, staring blankly ahead, trying to thoughtfully process all that has happened.
My nephew, lovingly dubbed “Benny Boyee” by my 3-year-old, was born one day shy of 28 weeks. He weighed just 2lbs 3oz. For the past 17 weeks, he has remained in the NICU with his mother, a NICU nurse herself, by his side. His little lungs just don’t seem to want to work, not even on the oscillator or with his tracheostomy. Six days ago, he was declared a pulmonary non-survivor. So we have spent this week preparing for his death.
I usually can figure out complex problems in the shower. During high school and undergrad, I solved many mathematical problems this way. I found that as soon as I let my mind wander, I would arrive at the answer. I have even found this to be true in med school; that’s how I finally figured out how the kidneys work. Something about the distraction allows me to identify the one detail I don’t understand and in doing so enables me to finally understand the larger, more complex whole.
I usually can work through stressful and overwhelming situations by working out; in feeling physical pain, I allow myself to feel, process, and resolve the deeper emotional pain. While studying for step one, I ran 114 miles.
That’s what I do. I process and resolve difficult situations in a thoughtful, purposeful, deliberate manner.
But I can’t process this. No shower, no amount of exercise can touch this. I have no solution; I have no fix. I don’t know why. Why them, why now, why another loss, why another heartache. I don’t know how. How to grieve the loss of someone I barely got the opportunity to know but yet wholly and completely love. How to prepare my son for the loss of his cousin and friend. My son who prays every night for boyee to be healthy, who longs for the day when he can share his love of dinosaurs with him, and who hated to let go of his little hand when he finally got to meet his beloved Benny Boyee for the first time. How to love and support someone who is experiencing a pain that runs so deep. I just don’t know.
So as I sit here, powerless, directionless, with tears streaming down my face, I say that some things cannot be thoughtfully processed – they must only be felt.