Break in Denial


Alexandra Makenzie Malcomb

Tonight I had the realization that Alex was gone at the scene of the accident. I was reading about the different parts of her brain that were injured. I did this after hearing about another woman in a coma from being hit by a drunk driver. When I hear about other people going through this experience, I relive what we went through with Alex and my other daughter, Landria. I have been in a lot of denial about the extent of Alex’s brain injuries. Diffuse Axonal brain injury. Her mid brain was completely gone. Her Reticular Activating system had holes of dead areas through out, her pituitary gland did not function, her Basal Ganglia was damaged, she had damage to the of optic nerve pathway to her left eye. I know there was more, but that is what I remember. When brain cells die, they do not regenerate. I did not know this. When they first told us this, I thought I would die. I ran out of the meeting and locked myself in the bathroom. I could not handle hearing she was not going to come out of this. She would never walk again, she would never feed herself or be free of some kind of life support and she would never wake up..she would be in a persistent vegetative state.

After my sudden departure from the meeting, I took a deep breath, and told myself, I had to go back to the meeting for Alex. I had to keep fighting for her. This is when Neurology got involved. Her Trauma Surgeon kept them at bay to give us time to be ready for what I believe he already believed would be the outcome. In the meantime, I asked that he consult with Doernbechers Children’s Hospital in Portland, a hospital in Chicago and the East Coast. Three Neurology opinions later, besides the consults, we took her off life support. I am shattered right now. Reliving and having the denial lifted is horrible. Denial protects us at times.

This post is disturbing and hard to write, so I’m sure hard to read.
More later..hopefully not so dark.


4 thoughts on “Break in Denial

  1. Lyn Jenks

    My heart aches for you, Nina. Breaking through denial is so painful, but I also know that it is necessary to heal. I have deep faith in the process of grief. Each time we revisit it, it moves us to a new place. You have such great courage and you keep moving forward. With love and prayers, Lyn Jenks


  2. Lyn Ryan

    Yes, I’m sure it was difficult to write. It was difficult to read. I can empathize with you, as I lost my 16 year old son to brain death as well. I also, ran from the consult room because I could not hear what they had to say. I believe losing a child is the worst thing that can ever happen to a person. I am so sorry, just know you are not alone.


  3. I am just so sorry you lost your daughter this way, we all wish it were possible to help. I lost a two year old son and have thought many times how it would be even harder to lose an older child, more to miss.


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