Because you are more than a conqueror you must go through more than a conqueror goes through, but the end result is always victory.
March 21st, 2012 – The Modern Day Story of Job
Our day started off pretty routine. It was a Wednesday which was Brit’s weekly standing appointment day at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Although she was already under hospice care at this time, she insisted on getting out to her weekly appt because by now her outings were few and far between.
Helping her get ready for the appt today was different. I usually didn’t have to do too much to assist Brit with getting washed and dressed because she was always so very independent. But today, she needed extra help/care. I could tell she was getting weaker and didn’t have much energy, but as always she persevered because of her own sheer determination to prove she was ok. I was recovering from heart surgery just a couple of weeks before (3/9/12) and lung surgery the month prior (2/6/12). I swear it took us both forever to get ready but as usually we laughed through both of our limitations and finally got it together.
The appt today was also different. Brit’s younger siblings and her dad met us at the hospital to attend the appt together. Dr. Etzl went through his motivational speech reminding Brit that although she was now in hospice care, he was very much still her doctor and would be there anytime she called or needed him. He also reminded her that just because she’s in hospice today doesn’t mean she can’t be removed from it tomorrow as her health improves — “and that is our hope,” he added. I could see in Dr. Etzl & Nurse Annie’s eyes and their spirit that they both had heavy hearts. They knew I could tell. They knew Brit could tell, but neither of us mentioned a word as to why. We just all knew.
We left the dr’s office caravanning in 2 separate cars. On the ride home, Brit mentions that she wanted to go to Walmart. I didn’t think it was a good idea because she was really so very weak, but because I promised to never make my fears her reality, I agreed and alerted the family of our change in plans. As we’re driving down the road, Brit’s dad is driving the car in front of us with her siblings then all of a sudden the car starts swerving— hard and they pull over, so we pulled over as well to find out what was wrong. Before I could even get out of the car, her dad is calling me on my cell and soon as I answer all I hear is them all shrieking saying the sunroof glass just shattered out of nowhere and glass was everywhere. We were all shocked and dumbfounded as to how this could happen. But like most things these days, we compartmentalized it, cleaned up the glass and ventured on to Walmart. Strange, I know but when you’re in the throes of what we were going through as a family, you live in survival mode alone whether it makes sense on the outside looking in or not. In hindsight though, just wow!!
When we arrived at Walmart, we were greeted by Bill at the door. He was such a nice man who was a Walmart greeter at the time and had not only come to know our family but was very well aware of Brit’s story and her journey. He too noticed the change in her, but as usually he have her a hug and told her God’s hand was continuously over her life.
The Walmart visit was an adventure. Brit could barely stay awake in her wheelchair and couldn’t remember the things she wanted to purchase and everyone was getting tired and restless. As usually, my God given unhuman-like patience kicked in and I told Brit’s dad to take the kids home while I helped Brit finish her shopping and her sister Bri stayed behind to help.
Once home, Brit wheels herself into her bedroom while I unpacked her groceries – then the doorbell rang. Brit’s younger cousins who she mentored and was very fond of cake to pay her a visit. They all visited with her for a while in her bedroom then came out to the family room to hang with the rest of us for a while. Brit’s youngest sister, Taianna kept going into Brit’s room to check on her (she was her mini caregiver and very effective I might add at just 5yrs old). While the family and I were in the family room laughing and talking, I hear Taianna scream, “MOM, help!!” I knew something was wrong as I ran into Brit’s bedroom to find my baby girl holding Brit up but desperately struggling. I grabbed hold of Brit and noticed she was unconscious, but breathing.
Pure adrenaline took over as I picked her up and carefully laid her on the bed. I had no idea what was wrong or if this was going to be her final moments with us, but what I did know and remember we’re her wishes and I HAD to honor them. So I quickly sent told the family they had to leave ASAP. They were unsettled with what I was telling them because they knew something was really wrong with Brit and I’m sure they felt very much pushed out. I simply told them she needed some time to get herself together. (Red flag & compartmentalizing) Brit NEVER wanted ANYONE to see her like this and I was hell bent on honoring her wishes. As I rushed the family out the door, I was calling 911 to request an ambulance.
As the paramedics arrived, I quickly gave them an overview of her condition, they then laid her on the gurney took her vitals and rushed her to the ER. Brit’s dad rode with them as I made sure the kids were ok and then met the ambulance at the hospital. By the time I arrived, Brit was wide awake, alert and like herself again. Her dad explained to me that she had an overdose of pain meds in her system and they had to give her a shot of naloxone and she immediately woke up. I was sitting there wondering how in the world could she have an overdose of meds in her system. As her caregiver, I monitored and charted all of her meds and made sure she always had what she needed. But then I remembered, she had to take extra pain meds before her dr’s appt because she was in more pain and asked for it just to be able to get ready and go out—she also hadn’t eaten much throughout the day either. This also explains why she was so groggy when we were at Walmart. The hospital kept Brit for a few hours to monitor her vitals and she was later released. I couldn’t begin to thank God enough in that moment. I went from thinking this was it for her and how I would have to make the calls to alert family/friends in one minute, to the next minute broke down in praise that my baby girl would live to see another day.
Once we returned home, Brit cried hard when she heard how her sister Taianna held her and kept her from hitting the floor. She told Taianna how sorry she was for scaring her so bad and said she felt horrible about it. Taianna said, “it’s ok Brit. I’m just glad you’re ok.”
This is the makeup and inside look of a family in deep crisis, mourning and grief. When I look back at this time in our lives, nothing seemed normal but I worked full time wearing the mask of making it look like everything was better than ok. I made it look damn good, like we had it all together while all of our hearts were shattered, we were battle weary and didn’t know one day from the next. I can even recall watching my baby on the stretcher on the floor as paramedics worked on her and it was like I was watching a movie instead of the reality of my own life.
After 6 and a half years of grief counseling, I’ve learned that even today I still disassociate from time to time. The healing to that is, now I catch myself because I’m more self aware and I’ve learned to deal directly with whatever emotion or circumstance threatens to bring me back there again. ♥️🙏🏾
This post is in memory of Brittani Chantal Spight and is a short excerpt from my book, “Un-Masked, Un-Broken, Healed & Set Free”, Chapter 1 – The Modern Day Story of Job (c) 2019
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