Saturday, September 01, 2007

Delayed Shock

I think I am experiencing delayed shock over my brother's death and resuscitation last week in Tuscaloosa. It's like I have been walking around in a daze all week long. I keep having dreams about it and I rarely remember dreaming anything. I can't even remember what these dreams are about only the vague, haunting, certainty that they are about what happened that day.

It sort of reminds me of doing a live interview on National TV. I never know how well or poorly I did until I have had time to watch the video a few times and analyze every word. People always seem to have incredibly positive and excited reactions and they ask me, "Loretta, how do you do it?"

I don't know how I do it. It's like going on auto-pilot. The information is just stored in my brain and, when called upon, it comes to the front and center.

Certainly, my brother dying from a drug overdose in the seat next to me while I was driving down the road is much different than a TV interview, but I keep asking myself how I did what I did when it happened. I don't have the convenience of having the entire episode on video tape and, somehow, that should seem like a blessing. The drawback is that I have the whole incredibly, damn frightening, horror show in my brain, going reel-to-reel and I can't shut it off.

I saved him, avoided him having brain damage or permanent injury due to lack of oxygen, made all the right calls and did everything the 911 operator told me to do and that should be enough to judge everything I did or didn't do as a job well done. I am not sure my delayed reactions to it are being born out of a need to judge my performance though. I have been through many traumatic events in my life including the death of an infant to SIDS in 2000. I guess after that kind of shock it possibly takes longer for the shock to set in the next time a major traumatic event occurs in ones life.

I just feel really fucking weird!

My brother is back at the VA in Tuscaloosa. He remained in DCH for two days and was transferred to Northport, where the doctor in charge negotiated his return to the VA. At first the VA refused to take him because he had already been there over 21 days before he was released and this happened. They refused him entry into the PTSD program because they want people going through that to have been stable for a certain period of time. After they found out that if they did not take him back they would be responsible for the bill for the extended stay at a civilian hospital they changed their mind.

I do not have a lot of faith that they can help my brother. They have been remarkably unsuccessful so far. However, he has to want to fix his broken life or there is no help for him. I believe he realizes that this is truly rock bottom and will grasp the lifesaver that has been thrown to him.

Here's hoping......


Don said...

Damn!! I had instant shock as I began to read this until I saw the words “and resuscitation”. Please don’t frighten me that way again, Lo.

You’re right; sometimes people have to hit the bottom before they can rebound. I hope he can do that and reclaim his life for himself after you have already saved it for him.

One dividend from your experience is that if you’re ever confronted with a similar situation in the future you have this experience to draw on.

Take care, and just learn from this, and let go of the weird feelings. This episode is in the past, so just look forward to today and the days that follow.

I now relinquish the pulpit and I didn’t even ask anyone to pass the collection plates. 

(If that posts as a question mark at the end, it’s supposed to be a smiley face)

Anonymous said...

wow, i fl so srry 4 u ! g2g vst u ltr

Dena Braves said...

Well, you are forever changed and it's going to take time for your body and mind to accept it. It will be with you always, but - you saved your brothers life! What an incredible thing to have been there and able to do that.

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