Hindsight Is A Different Story

If You Are Feeling Suicidal Or If You Need To Talk Call The National Lifeline
1-800- 273-8255

Robert has had a lingering cough since his strep throat and tonsillitis episode a couple of weeks ago, and yesterday I took him to the doctor.
The last time I had seen Dr. Lubell, or that I’d been to the office was before Andrew died.
Pulling into the car park, I was flooded by images of past, happier days.
“Look Mummy, there is a space there,” one of the children might say.
“My turn to call the elevator,” Florentina and Andrew would hurry to be the first to claim the honor, until they were too old for that, and Robert was old enough to start claiming the privilege for himself.
How many times had we sat in the waiting room, coughing, sneezing, reading Dr. Seuss’ books or playing with the toys in the corner.
One of the nurses almost gasped when she saw me.
“How are you?” she asked, grasping my hand. Lips trembling, I tried to smile.
“Let me see if we can have you wait in one of the doctors’ office,” she said, seeing that I’d started crying.
What wouldn’t I give to have my children in tow, playing, talking or squabbling.

It didn’t seem all that long ago that Andrew had his last physical.
“He’s built like a swimmer,” Dr. Lubell commented once.
And what about that time when he had a bad case of poison ivy. Large areas of his body were covered by the ugly, itchy rash. Dr. Cho gave us an antihistamine prescription, and recommended that his clothes, bedding and towels be changed every day. After a day or two of ministrations, Andrew started to feel relief and was cured within a week. I remember his sweet face, his patience and stoicism: “I am feeling better Mummy,” I could hear him saying with his warm, beautifully modulated voice.

Lost in our own thoughts, Robert and I sat quietly next to each other until Dr. Lubell came in.
He gave me a big hug, holding me longer than usual, but didn’t say anything. I was glad.
I didn’t want to say: “I am well, or am I not well, or it is difficult or whatever one says.”
He had been my children’s doctor since we came over from England in April, 1995. He had seen them grow, looked after them when they were sick… I wonder what his thoughts were when he heard that one of his young patients had taken his life? I wonder if he had looked at his notes to see if there was a clue there, somewhere?
But the thing is that none of us had a clue.
Hindsight is a different story altogether. And that is why, I and others, are working so that more and more people have the knowledge and tools they need to recognize, if and when, help is needed.
And your help is welcome.
Esmeralda

If You Are Feeling Suicidal Or If You Need To Talk Call The National Lifeline
1-800- 273-8255

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3 thoughts on “Hindsight Is A Different Story

  1. Oh my. My heart aches for you, Esmeralda. My Teddy had his annual physical just a few weeks before he died, and some routine blood tests right after the check up. (We had to go to an outside lab for the blood tests, due to our insurance.) Our family pediatrician (since Clay was a baby and Teddy was about 5) came to the shiva at our house after Teddy died to pay his respects. It took everything in my power to stop myself from asking him if he had received Teddy’s blood test results and if everything was normal. I didn’t ask, because he would have thought I was insane. But, to be honest, I really wanted to know. I wanted to still hear those words I loved so much: “Teddy’s in great health. Everything is normal. See you next year!” Carla xo

    • I think you should still ask, unless you have managed to put it out of your mind, and it doesn’t sound as if you have.
      Personally, I cannot leave anything about my son alone, if it’s out there I want it, I have to have I have to look at it, study it, smell it…
      Non seeing things for myself, though painful is better for me that the agonizing on going wanting to.
      Would you like to share your story in complete anonymity?

      • I know what I need to know, and if I don’t, I ask until I do. That’s how I am, much like you, I think. Whether it hurts or not. Take care, E. And thanks. xo

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