Sunday, Jul. 25, 2004 | 9:27 a.m.



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Still More Coolness

Waiting

On Wednesday, Jeff and I will have a telephonic meeting (heh, I haven't used that term since I worked for the Farm) with Dr. Sweet and Donna to go over the results of Jasmine's post mortem. Dr. Sweet, for any new readers, was Jasmine's doctor and Donna was her transplant nurse. Donna called last week to arrange the appointment after I called inquiring as to when we might find out what the results were. When Jasmine died, Donna had just left to go on vacation and didn't get to see her or attend her memorial. She sent a nice card, but it was the first time I spoke with her since Jasmine's death. It was bittersweet. For almost a year, when I heard her voice on the phone it was to share results of Jasmine's cyclosporine levels or to talk about something that was going on and had us worried. When I heard her voice on the phone, it was to discuss things that indicated Jasmine was alive. Talking to her about how much she missed Jasmine, about how mature Jasmine was and what a great character she was, to hold it together and not just start crying, to make sure I thanked her for all she did for Jasmine just as I did the rest of the staff at Jasmine's hospital memorial, well, that was a confirmation of Jasmine's death.

When we left the hospital, the chaplain said we would miss it. I thought he was nuts. But I know what he means now. We got close to some of those people and there are faces I do miss. Oh, I definitely don't miss the circumstances, but we met some very cool people there. I think my favorites were Donna, Dr. Sweet and Dana. There was another transplant nurse named Debbie, and we used to joke that you had to have a "D" name to be a nurse on the team. We had respiratory therapists we knew and liked to chat with. The nutritionist. The child life specialist. Even the receptionists in the office where Jasmine had her appointments. People we intimately shared Jasmine with. Yeah, I get it now.

The post mortem may shed light on exactly why Jasmine died. Will it make us feel guiltier? Will it make it clear there was nothing we could have done? Will it make us want to blame someone else?

The post mortem may only tell us what happened to her body, but not what the cause was. We already know this, so it would leave us pretty much in the same place we are now.

The phone call will be an opportunity to ask the question that I'm both terrified and compelled to know the answer to. This question: "When we turned the ventilator off gradually, did we also gradually increase the suppression of her breathing?" In other words, did we simply remove Jasmine's life support and allow her body to take the natural course while keeping her unconscious and unaware of its struggle, or did we actually cause her death? I have to know, but I am afraid to hear. Why? Because in the fuzz of everything that was happening at that time, I thought we were doing the first while Jeff thought we were doing the second. And if Jeff is right, well, I don't know what I'll do, but I know how I feel will take a sharp turn for the worse.

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Recent Entries ...
Go Here - Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2006
Short, But Sad Good-bye - Sunday, Oct. 16, 2005
Jasmine's Story ... Our Story - Friday, Sept. 30, 2005
Ache - Thursday, Sept. 29, 2005
Twists & Turns - Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2005

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