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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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Crazy is Normal a classroom exposť
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Books by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Special Needs Parenting 101: Why Should It Matter? (Sanjeet's Story)
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Rated "PG" by the Author.

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Recent stories by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
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           >> View all 7,357

A tragedy has befallen a young family, and now the mother must bear the brunt of the implications by taking care of her severely brain damaged little boy.

How I wish I could erase that awful day from my memory forever!  How I wish my son were normal, the way he used to be, before the accident that was to change his (and our) world forever!

I have two children, a son, Sanjeet Raneesh, and a daughter, Vida Chunaram.  They are four and nine; they are my world, my reason for living.

Or so it was before Sanjeet ended up permanently brain damaged.

It happened a year ago, and I'm still consumed with guilt.

How I wish I'd been home that day instead of at the grocery store!

I will never forget the phone call.  It was Manjeet, my husband, calling.  The frantic tone to his voice terrified me.  Something was wrong; he told me to go directly to the children's hospital; he'd meet me there.  He was telling me our  little son had been in an accident and was now being flown by helicopter to the closest children's hospital.  He didn't say exactly what had happened, but it sounded bad, very bad.

Once at the hospital, I felt confused.  Manjeet met me; he was crying openly, saying that our little son was dying.  It scared me.  He said Sanjeet accidentally hung himself on a rope swing while playing in the backyard; he found our son dangling limply, face blue, eyes closed.  He looked dead.  When my husband freed our child from the rope, it was discovered that the little boy wasn't breathing.

He'd been without oxygen for over ten minutes.

I walked into the ICU ward, almost too afraid at what I'd see.  What I saw thoroughly frightened me.  It was too much.  There were tiny children hooked up to tubes, machines.  Doctors, nurses, and parents rushed back and forth.

In the midst of all of this was little Sanjeet, our boy.  Doctors and nurses fought hard to save his life.  Sanjeet had tubes of every kind in and on him.  He looked ghastly.  To see him this way sent me running from the room in a torrent of tears.  It was awful.  I thought he'd never wake up.

It is often said how sick a person is judging from the number of tubes he or she has.  Well, it seemed that Sanjeet was very, very sick, possibly dying.

For four long months, Manjeet and I took turns living at the hospital.  Both of us wanted to be there for our son, but we had our other child, our girl, to take care of.  She needed us, too.  It was not known whether Sanjeet would ever come out of the coma; if he did, he'd be irreparably damaged for the rest of his life. 

Well, Sanjeet finally did wake up from his coma; however, his life wasn't the same.  Now at the age of four, he can no longer do anything for himself.  He is unable to walk, talk, see, even eat or take care of his personal needs.  He is totally helpless.

We try to help our son with every need; however, it has taken a huge toll on our marriage.  Manjeet has closed up within himself; he no longer talks or smiles; we barely tolerate each other.  Vida has become irritable, easily angered, and often resorts to bad behavior to gain attention.  Her grades have suffered; she is on the verge of failing most of her classes, which is so unlike her.

As for myself, I no longer go out: I'm with Sanjeet every waking moment, changing his diaper, taking care of his feedings and/or meds, making sure he doesn't have another infection or respiratory crisis.  He is more like a newborn baby than a four-year-old little boy.

I try to be there for my family; yet it appears we're drifting apart.  It's getting to the point where I want to kill Sanjeet because he's taking everything away from us.  Maybe if he were not here, we could return to our former life.  Maybe it would be better if he were dead, so he wouldn't have to suffer any longer.

I don't know what to do anymore.  I'm at the end of my rope; I've had it up to here with our son!!



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Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen 3/26/2008
The Mothers heart break is evident in this piece
God Bless
Reviewed by Mary Coe 3/26/2008
Very deep, powerful and strong. Well written. You did a good job on this, as usual.
Reviewed by Georg Mateos 3/26/2008
They wonder how can you do it again and again, being the voice of those children...
I wonder because you do it.

Reviewed by Randall Barfield 3/25/2008
Horrible, nightmarish story, but so well told by your choice of words and accumulated expertise. I knew of a real case like this one in Atlanta when I lived there. Death seems sweet compared to these cases. In this predicament, my prayers would probably be for one of us to go on to heaven, either the sick one or me! Sadly.
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 3/25/2008
Heartbreaking story Karen!!

Have to skip a few reads......sorry bout that!!

Love Tinka
Reviewed by Jackie (Micke) Jinks 3/25/2008
What a gut-wrenching story...and sadly this is happening to families around the world. Children are so precious...and precarious at some time in their lives. This shows us how important it is for parents to share their grief with one another; it is their son who needs them to be "whole". Well-told story, Karen.

Reviewed by Cryssa C 3/25/2008
What doesn't kill us will make us stronger, right? But... maybe what she really needs is to have marriage counseling. It sounds to me like her husband is the one that is consumed with guilt and she isn't doing much to help that. In fact, it sounds like she is making it worse by saying she should have been home. No parent can watch a child 24 hours of a day. Accidents happen and we need to forgive ourselves.
When our son passed away the nurses told us that his death would either kill our marriage or make it stronger. You have to work at having a good marriage. It doesn't come without work.
Also, if she would stop thinking about herself then maybe it would help matters. Yes, taking care of a disabled child is time consuming and reprieves are needed, but there is also can be much joy in giving of yourself for the child of your heart. I hope they get things worked out soon so that there is some resolution in their lives and hearts and that they can look at one another with love instead of distaste.
Sad write...
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 3/25/2008
Tragic ... a parent's emotional storms excellently expressed - well done.

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
Reviewed by Ed Matlack 3/25/2008
You seem to have such inner feelings and knowledge about children and their problems, I don't know how you do it...Love to you and your sister...Ed & Rufuz
Reviewed by Jeanette Cooper 3/25/2008
Your story has human feelings and mood that create a vicarious read for readers. You make your reader feel the pain of what is happened. Problems such as you've written about do have a way of destroying families--rather than making them closer. Its so very sad, too. Well done, Karen.

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