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It Took Twelve Days For Him To Die

Monday, June 25, 2012

I've avoided it for years, the building, the people, the memories. I was there Sunday as I have been the last few Sundays. I've been uncomfortable, wary and guarded. I still am.

I didn't know why, until then. Sunday morning the memories came flooding back of a small dying child. I was flipping through my Bible and found the bookmark that announced the death of my grandson.



The cause of his death was listed as viral encephalitis. I've written of Isaiah before but never in depth, I wouldn't let myself go there. I wouldn't allow myself to remember, to feel, to experience the intense feelings that surrounded those months and the tiny child whose destiny was the grave.

I've written the facts, but not of the excruciating feelings. I keep those feelings locked tightly away in a box that's filed in the deepest recesses of my brain, I keep that box far from my heart lest it once again be pierced.

But today is different. I'll write of the experience, of the decisions, of the ultimate fate of the perfectly beautiful angel.

I knew when Isaiah was a few days old that he was sick, very sick. He slept way too much, even for a newborn. And I had this feeling, this really bad feeling in my gut that he was extremely sick.

My daughter, Karli, took him to the doctor several times. They diagnosed him as a sleepy newborn. She took him to the ER and again was told he was a sleepy newborn. Little did we know at the time that those misdiagnosis' were critical in the life and death of Isaiah.

Karli took him to another doctor who witnessed seizures. Isaiah was immediately taken to the children's hospital in Portland. There was a team of incredible doctors assigned to his case and test after test was done.

He was finally diagnosed with Herpes Encephalitis. The Herpes virus can kill newborns, Herpes killed our newborn. Karli contracted it from her then husband but she had no symptoms. It was passed on to Isaiah. Had he been accurately diagnosed in the beginning, he might still be with us today. I wish I had pushed more, I wish I had been more proactive. I can't help but feel his death is my fault. I knew, I knew, there was a problem.

After many meetings with the specialists at the hospital, and many treatments, there was one final meeting with his team of doctors. I avoided that gathering of the medical minds. I knew what they were going to tell us.

Isaiah was brought home to my house and put in hospice care. His brain had been destroyed by the virus. He was going to die. We had to wait and we had to watch.

My daughter made the decision to end his life support. His feeding tube was removed, all medications, except those to keep him comfortable, were stopped. We watched the chubby little cherub grow frail and emaciated. We watched as he starved to death. We dabbed his little lips with cold water. We tried to keep him comfortable. We passed him from person to person, he was never laid down, he was never alone.

It took 12 days after his nourishment was stopped for him to die. Those were the longest 12 days of our lives. We prayed for his death, for his suffering to end, for our suffering to end. We waited, we watched and we prayed.

We were sitting at the dinner table when Isaiah's soul left this earth. Karli took the stethoscope and listened for a heartbeat, there was none. We called his doctor, his wonderful doctor, and she came to our house. Our pastor and his wife came as well and we all waited for the men with the black van to come take our child away.

While we were waiting we passed the lifeless baby around, we each held him, kissed him and told him how much we loved him. When the men arrived Karli carefully strapped him into his car seat after she had wrapped him in his blanket. That night was the beginning of a journey none of us wanted to be on, but we had no choice.

Sunday as I looked at the bookmark it dawned on me why I had avoided church, or at least one of the reasons I had avoided it for nearly 8 years. The building reminded me of Isaiah. We had taken him to every service with us. We had his beautiful memorial service in that building. We said our final goodbye to him there.

Sitting in church I read the verse my daughter had chosen for him, for his bookmark and for his headstone and I cried.

Isaiah 57:1 and 2
The righteous perish, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous are taken away from the evil to come. 
He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness. 

I thought of the evil that Isaiah was spared from. The "person" that had fathered him was a meth addict we found out, a very sly one. He also sexually molested my older grandson. His family was full of drug addicts and, to put it rather strongly, they were losers of the worst kind.

Who knows what Isaiah would have faced, who knows from what abuse he was spared. But it doesn't stop the grief, it doesn't stop the hurt, it doesn't stop the anger.

I think my realization Sunday was the beginning of healing for me.  I need to open that box. I need to feel the pain. I need to embrace the memories. I've only visited his grave a handful of times in  8 years.  I think I'll go more, I need to go more, but I'm afraid to. 


 

24 comments:

Recovering Church Lady June 25, 2012 at 4:10 PM  

Yes, it does sound like the beginning of healing. So sad that his death is tied so strongly to the place you could be going for comfort. But you saw the beginning of comfort there so maybe the memories of that church can be changed into good.
I am so sorry for this deep loss Teri, it marks a person and everything is different from then on.
My prayers and blessings go out to you tonight my friend.

Karyn June 25, 2012 at 4:13 PM  

Please know it was in no way your fault Teri. We all have gut feelings that let us know something is wrong, but never make it our fault. Instead, God choose for Isaiah to be an angel, free of all the evil that we face daily, and he became a guardian angel for your family. He is with you daily in everything your family does, and he will always be there, you just can't see him. He is part of the fabric that keeps the Worley clan together, day in and day out.

Anna See June 25, 2012 at 4:17 PM  

oh sweetie, this was wrenching to read. i am so very, very sorry for your loss. i know what you mean about being spared future pain. i think, 'but what would jack have encountered that could not have been overcome???' i don't have the right words, but i too experienced that feeling that something wasn't right, but i didn't act soon enough. love you.

Furry Bottoms June 25, 2012 at 6:15 PM  

This hurts to read... I've been there except I never really got to say goodbye nor could I see michaels body. The praying the waiting was very hard Don't be too afraid to visit -- it may bring peace to your soul. And? Nothing you could have done to prevent it. Everything karli could do, she did. I blame those flippant doctors they're supposed to see these things that's what they're trained to do. Growl (at the lazy drs) heal in peace, Teri. Hugs!!

The Bipolar Diva June 25, 2012 at 6:33 PM  

RCL, I hope it is the beginning of healing. I realized what a heavy burden it is to carry around grief.

The Bipolar Diva June 25, 2012 at 6:34 PM  

Karyn, thank you so much. You mean so much to me. I've been wanting to call you all weekend.

The Bipolar Diva June 25, 2012 at 6:36 PM  

Anna; it's just a nagging feeling of what would have happened to him as you said you sometimes feel for Jack. Aren't those feelings that "something's not right" strange. We know. We know. I love you too and you're always in my prayers.

The Bipolar Diva June 25, 2012 at 6:37 PM  

Mad Mind; I love you and I know, that means a lot to me.

The Bipolar Diva June 25, 2012 at 6:38 PM  

Furry; I didn't realize you didn't get to see Michael's body, I'm so sorry. I know there was nothing we could do, but I still feel at fault. Although we eventually got the right team for Isaiah, it was too late.

Tami June 25, 2012 at 6:59 PM  

I had a hard time reading the end of your post because I was crying so hard. Logically you know it's not your fault. You will feel like it is your fault because you care, you love, your hurt! Teri, you have to go to visit him. Don't be afraid. He is at peace. It's your turn to have the peace you need.

Nolie June 25, 2012 at 7:06 PM  

One must go through the grief before they can find the closure. You need closure. Also know he watches over you all and is with us.

The Bipolar Diva June 25, 2012 at 7:09 PM  

Tami, I think you're right. I need to go visit. He's less than 5 minutes from my house.

The Bipolar Diva June 25, 2012 at 7:10 PM  

Nolie, thank you. I need to drag myself there.

angel shrout June 25, 2012 at 7:29 PM  

Do you realize how much I admire you and Karli? How when I look back at all the crap I have been dealt I look at you and her and think if they can do it so can I. I know it isn't easy, if it was easy everyone would do it, but everyone doesn't. That baby knew the love of God from his family before he ever got back to God. He knew the depth one will go to for someone that has changed their world. He leftyou behind to tell others what you learned, to be a voice for those who don't have one yet. Sending you love and hugs and you know I am only a phone call away.

middle child June 25, 2012 at 9:50 PM  

It is a good start to your healing. There is no forgetting but there will be an acceptance and peace in your soul. None of you did anything wrong. You know that. Take it slow. God is beside you at all times. Whenever you need to....grab hold of his hand.

The Bipolar Diva June 25, 2012 at 10:30 PM  

middle child;
I hope it's a start in acceptance and peace. I hope in time the guilt will fade and good memories will prevail. I will take the hand of The Almighty and follow His lead.

Kirsten Dentroux June 26, 2012 at 6:26 PM  

Please know that we are all here supporting you as you handle this. Try and find time to visit Isaiah because I am sure he is smiling at you from above.

Karyn June 27, 2012 at 4:54 PM  

You know I am ALWAYS here for you and the entire W gang- no matter what time of day- you are one of my closest and dearest- Love to all of you.

Tere June 28, 2012 at 5:40 AM  

Thank you for posting that. That is definitely a heart-wrenching situation and I am sorry you and your family had to go through that. I appreciate your sharing of this.

Pat June 28, 2012 at 1:39 PM  

I cannot imagine the pain and sadness you and your family are experiencing. I don't think you need to carry the burden of guilt around,for it was NOT your fault. Shame on all those doctors for misdiagnosing poor little Isaiah!

The Queen August 29, 2012 at 2:45 PM  

There is always something that triggers the healing. Only you can know when the time to heal is. Only you can heal yourself. All we can do is hold your heart in ours, while you go through the process. Love ya long tie.

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