September 21, 2013 Evening

by Robyn Bryant


September 21, 2013 Evening

I have not written a “Blog” post in a while...There has been so much going on lateley it is hard to verbalize it all. But, tonight, as usual, I was late starting dinner and Chris and Bailey decided to start watching a movie Chris rented.  The movie is “42”.....I have never seen the movie, but tonight, just the mention brings back many memories for me.   This movie was being filmed in historic Engel Stadium in Chattanooga (literally right beside T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital) while Christian was critically ill in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). So tonight, I am thinking about my “roommates.”  I never spent a night a lone in Room 316, either Chris was with me or I had special friends with me.  Most that know me well, know that on a good day, I can be very guarded about who I allow to get close (I know where I got this from and my sweet Christian was the same way).  Well, I do not need to explain why or how I allowed these women to get close to me, but I will forever be thankful for their presence in mine, Chris and Bailey’s life.  My roomates:  Becky Cullum, Alisan Taylor, Cindy Tidwell, Darlene Glenn and Ann Bryant.  I had one other person that was willing to stay, but that was a crisis night and Chris needed to be there.  Cindy and Darlene experienced the hardest nights with us...Just for reference, Cindy is the mother of Olivia, one of Bailey’s good friends, Darlene is the Mother of Lauren, one of Christian’s good friends.  Once Christian entered PICU on April 13, 2012 things rapidly moved in the wrong direction.  Almost everyday, we were hit with a new complication, I know things could have been much worse...but I also know that my daughter was the sickest patient that unit has ever taken care of at that time and she was the sickest person I have ever seen in my 20 + year nursing career.  But tonight, I want to talk about my friends, my roommates....it took a special person that was willing to stay literally right below the room of someone’s critically ill daughter and know they were there for support in a crisis.  Fortunately, the crisis never came during the night.  During Christian’s last week with us, we had 2 major events. I need to regress a little here...Christian and her friend, Corbin Cullum had been planning a graduation beach trip for years....well, Corbin and her Mom (I was supposed to be the other adult going) left reluctantly the Monday of the week Christian died.  That week Christian had 2 major events, the first was something, as a nurse in the ED I thought could be handled, she survived the 1st event...the 2nd event was on Thursday, May 24, 2012...I did not think she would survive.  I stood outside her room and told Chris she was going to die.  It was one of the most horrific things I have ever witnessed as a nurse,  and as a Mother it is off the chart.  Christian was stabilized, we left later in the evening to talk with Bailey and we had Ashley Zani and Hailey Bryant and Bailey’s good friend, Olivia spend the night with her.  At the hospital, we slept close to Christian in one of the unit rooms and our dear friends, Cindy and Craig Tidwell and Darlene Glenn took time sitting with Christian all night, so she was never left alone.  She was so sick, she was never alone, the incredible nurses were always with her...the next day, things seemed better.  Friday night, Chris stayed with Bailey at the condo of of dear friends and Cindy Tidwell was with me.  Chris arrived that Saturday morning before I was out of bed, he entered PICU first and returned to room 316 quickly...he said things don’t seem good...I quickly showered and walked in Christian’s room, I looked at her IV drips and the monitor and I knew she would be leaving us very soon.  I am so thankful Cindy was there to make phone calls, I am thankful I was able to explain to Chris that Christian’s time on earth was done.  I am thankful for Lori Mayberry Atchley and Coleen Martin for their presence that day....I am so very thankful for all the many nurses, doctors and friends that came to say good bye....Christian’s friends were on their way home from the special trip Corbin and Christian planned.  Eric Gratias, Christian’s Primary Oncologist offered to meet us and talk to her friends...a gift.  I know this has been long, but my primary purpose was to say thank you to Cindy, Darlene, Ann, Becky, and Alisan.  I love you all!  I will forever miss Christian, but I am so thankful for the strong presence you offered during the worst of times.  - Robyn Bryant