Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Little Saline

The People’s Pharmacy made me cry today. The effing People’s Pharmacy.

Check out this train of thought. Today’s episode was about managing allergies and asthma. Towards the end of the show, one caller mentioned how she has had great success with managing her spring allergies with a neti pot. The expert agreed that using saline to clean out the nasal passages was a great way to help with allergies and make breathing easier.

And just like that, there I was, back in the summer of 2010, berating myself for not sticking to my off-and-on routine of spraying Hudson’s nose with saline every night after her bath. At some point during that spring before she died, she caught yet another upper respiratory infection. I used the saline to help clear up her stuffy nose and had heard that daily saline could help rid your nose of germs before they have a chance to settle in. So I was giving her a few sprays each night for a little while, but eventually abandoned it not long after her cold cleared up.

And then she developed bacterial meningitis from streptococcus pneumonia, one of the most common bacteria in the world, one that colonizes in almost everyone’s noses and throats, but one that in the vast majority of cases does no more harm than causing a little cold. During that summer after she died, I remember thinking over and over and over that if I’d just stuck with the saline routine, maybe I could have flushed out the strep pneumo before it triggered the little respiratory infection that turned into a sinus infection that ultimately crossed the blood-brain barriers and let that strep pnuemo march right into her cerebrospinal fluid.

A little saline and maybe she’d still be alive today. A little saline.

I keep thinking I’m over this particular part of this grief. Could I have saved her?  How could I have saved her? WHY THE FUCK DIDN'T I SAVE HER?

Just when I think I am over that. And then a little saline triggers a lot of salty tears.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think we're ever over it. And those triggers come from nowhere to haunt us. There's nothing I can say, I know, to make it better. But, I'm here, reading in the darkness. Walking the dark road too...we walk together though we do not see each other.