Writers Cramp entry
| “Dad, I don’t feel so good,” said Janey.
“I know, pet. But it’ll all be over soon.”
I reached out to gently hold her frail fingers. Months of dialysis had taken its toll on her young body and it was nearing collapse. Finally her pain would come to an end. Daily battles with fatigue, pain and depression were carving our family apart and no one could tell us why. Why us, why her, why my little girl was dying. Although deep down we all knew.
Janey forced a broken smile, despite the pain and torment she was in she cared enough about the rest of us not to let it show too much. Her smile froze and I could see her trying not to let the smile become a grimace, but the sweat still beaded on her silken brow and what colour remained drained from her face. Slim fingers in my hand trembled and slipped from my grasp.
I was scared too. Would I ever see her again? I was prepared for the pain and changes the next few months would bring to all our lives, but I was older and could understand these things a little better than her – but not much.
Sleep finally took her and her breathing gently slowed into a gentle rhythmic pattern. I took one last long final look at my baby and began counting, just as the doctors had requested. What happened in the next few hours would make or break us as a family.
The Consultants had claimed that the prognosis was good, for both of us. More so for me, I could function just as well on one kidney as two. I had turned out to be a good match for Janey, not perfect – but good enough. I didn’t have to think twice. As far as I was concerned If she needed them, she could have them both.
From ten, counting backwards I was determined to get to one. The anesthetic claimed me at six, tough guy huh?
I was out of post-op recovery long before Janey even returned from Theatre. I felt like crap, but I could not let that define my mood. My daughter needed me more than ever now and I had to be there for her.
Sitting in a hospital wheelchair by her bedside I watched her sleep off the remains of the anesthetic, she looked angelic. Even this soon after the operation she looked better, colour in her face was returning to somewhere approaching human.
Her eyelids fluttered gently open a crack; I could see that she was still weak.
“I’m sorry, Dad.”
“Don’t be silly. You just rest now, we can talk later.”
“Love you.” She is gone again; sleep reclaimed her to its healing embrace. I felt uncomfortable from my own surgery, not quite pain yet as the painkillers were still active, but I could tell they were wearing off.
Hours later, I couldn’t be sure how long – I fell asleep too, I woke to find Janey exactly as I’d last seen her but this time she was awake and smiling at me.
“Feeling a little better?”
“Yeah, some. I’m so sore though.”
“That’s gonna get worse before it gets better,” I warned her.
“It’s nothing like the pain from before though. And I know this pain will go away so it’s not so bad.”
She stared at me for a long time. Tears started to form and roll down her pink cheeks.
“I’m sorry, Dad.”
“Hey, we’ll have none of that. You’re on you’re way to getting back on your feet.”
“But everything I’ve put you through.”
“Stop it. It’s all done now.”
“You saved my life.” I was getting uncomfortable at they way this was going.
“Anyone would have done the same.”
“Yeah, but not just anyone did. You Did. After everything.”
“You will always be my little baby girl.”
“Stop it,” a genuine smile and reddening of the cheeks. I hadn’t seen her give such a smile in a long time.
“I love you.”
“I know, Baby. I love you too.”
“How long you gotta stay here again, Dad?”
“They reckon I’ll be out in two to three days – provided there are no complications of course. You should be here for upto a week.”
“I remember now. Just feeling a bit fuzzy still I guess.”
“It’s okay, honey. Do me a favour though.”
“Look after this one.”
“I promise you, Dad. No more drugs – ever.”
I had my little girl back – she was going to live!