Where do the words start? I guess where the feelings end. Not really where they end but where they spill over and out of the not so quiet corners of my mind and finally garner enough strength to make themselves heard outside of my mind, outside of myself.
I've been having flashbacks. Bad ones. I didn't even realize that is what they were, until recently. I thought the constant replaying of the moments in the doctors office when I thought Cason was dead was just, (and I use the term 'just' so lightly it is weightless) me reliving it. And it is that too. But it occurs to me that these visions, popping into my head without warning and playing themselves out, over and over again, are more than that. I am, or at least I feel, powerless to stop them from happening. They come without warning, sometimes triggered by something someone says or asks about Cason, other times all on their own.
When it happens, I am sucked back into that room, I see Cason hovering over the exam table, his body dusty and gray and limp, I don't know who is holding him, I can't see the hands under him, are they mine, are they the doctors, I don't know. I can feel the room shrinking and all I can see is him, there over the table, lifeless, and in my mind, in my heart, in that moment, he is dead. Gone from me. And I think, "That is all I got with him and now he's gone." I am cold and I am resigned. Of course my baby is dead. That is what my babies do. They die. I feel myself letting him go, saying good-bye to him. I begin the fall back into the pit of which I thought I had escaped and I don't even try to stop it. I tell myself to just let go. It's what I have to do. It's the only thing I can do.
Then I come back to the present. I shut it off. I tell myself he's alive, he's here, he's o.k.. But still, the tears come, the sadness, the idea that I was so close to losing him. It overwhelms me. The idea that it could happen again, it paralyzes me. The mere thought of witnessing anything like that ever again, cripples me. Standing in a room, watching your child die, knowing you are helpless to stop it or feeling helpless to stop it, it's terrifying. Life. Altering. Terrifying.
Even with the living, breathing baby I have, the terror of that day, of those moments won't go away. Every time I leave the house and I check my purse and the diaper bag to be sure I have no less than 3 epi pens with me, every time he makes a funny sound when he sleeps, every time he looks like he might be getting a rash, every time someone touches him without asking and I brush their kind gesture away thinking have you eaten or touched something that might kill my son? Every time. Every God Damn Time.
That is what I see.
And I don't know how to make it stop.