Sometime around 4pm Monday…today or actually now it was yesterday…my brother Bill vaulted from the back seat of the van he was riding in and jumped from that same moving vehicle out onto the road.
The car was traveling between 20 and 25 miles per hour in traffic.
Bill hit the pavement hard on his right side head first.
The van stopped…the police were called followed by an ambulance…then Bill was taken to the hospital.
My phone rang and life stood still.
I was on the way home from going to the market and I don’t remember how I got home…don’t remember calling my friend Jeff or what I said. But I knew that I couldn't drive out there...just couldn't do it. I remember that Jeff and his partner came over so quickly that they must have dropped everything and just walked out the door.
And I remember being so grateful to have friends who live close and can understand freaked the hell out and about to lose control Shark-Fu.
We left for the hospital, which was way out in the county and I live in the city so…yeah, it was the longest drive of my life.
I don’t remember walking into the hospital…don’t remember going back to the room…and Lawd only knows what I said to the staff.
But for as long as I live I will remember looking into Emergency Room #11 and seeing Bill.
Totally fucked up, but alive.
He was asking for pizza and a soda pop.
Bill is autistic, so he wasn’t going to explain why he jumped out of a moving car…but he was firm that he wanted some pizza and a damned soda pop.
The nurses and doctors at DePaul Hospital were amazing. They explained everything to Bill before doing anything…they immediately acknowledged my role as a guardian (C-Money, bless her, is out of town on bitness) and they adjusted when we asked that someone be allowed to accompany Bill when he went for his CAT scans.
And somehow Bill managed to jump out of a moving van and hit his head and not fracture his scull…no broken bones…no internal injuries.
His face is fucked up, he has evidence of where flesh met road all over his body, and his lip is a full on Raging Bull…but that’s it.
We left the hospital after several hours with a prescription for the pain and for an ointment.
I left that hospital with my beloved brother.
And we took his ass for a burger, some fries and a damned cone of soft serve.
And now I sitting here trying to put into words what the last few hours were like and how hard it was to tuck him into bed and leave until tomorrow.
I’m frustrated because I lack the skill to express what it feels like to not be able to ask him what the hell he was thinking…ask him why he jumped out of a fucking moving vehicle...or make him promise to never, ever do it again.
And I am so terrified that he will do it again and that we won’t be lucky the next time…that our inability to find the key that will allow us to fully communicate with him may come at a cost to high to even consider yet so close to the surface that it makes me want to weep at the thought of it even as I deny it and deny it and oh God, oh God…oh my God.
Please, have mercy.
But there's nothing to do but work the new problem.
So, tomorrow I’ll wake up and begin the process of trying to address Bill’s new “behavior”…and the glorious non-joy of trying to find funding for the additional staff they need at Bill’s center, the training that staff requires, the programs that will enhance his life, the job coach that would make it possible for him to work and the adjustments that will most likely need to be made to that fucking van so that Bill isn’t isolated and home bound in the name of his personal safety for the rest of his van jumping life.
But first I’ll give thanks for friends who drop everything and come over to drive a freaking out bitch to the hospital then drive back to tend to her dawgs.
I love y'all.
I’ll give thanks to the fantabulous folks who work at the Emergency Room at DePaul Hospital.
You were and are amazing.
And I’ll give thanks that I left Emergency Room #11 tonight with my brother Bill.
My mind is blown and this blessing has been gratefully received...