Danny

I see the journey, the path I have taken like the wake of a great ship.

Floaters.  For some people getting floaters is just part of getting old. There are all kinds of floaters and the older you get the more gravity starts to effect us and so you may or may not get floaters. Floaters are generally not a good thing. The eye is full of a jelly like fluid which does not do a lot outside of help the eye keep its shape.  The eye is one of the most perfect parts of a human being, the closest thing to your brain. It is also fragile. One of the risks of cataract surgery is retina tears or detachments. Mess with the eye a little bit and you are at risk. You see your normal lens contracts and expands like a camera lens. The lens that replaces this in cataract surgery is flat and thus there is space for gravity to send a little jelly back behind it. When this jelly starts to ping off the retina you get floaters. The first floater I had I thought was a crow dive bombing me. Floaters put you at great risk for a tear. It does not mean you will get one but your risk is higher. The jelly is sticky and it will stick to the retina and pull it away. There are also other kinds of floaters but your eye would have to be damaged to see them. Your eye has a blood supply so if you tear your retina you will  have blood in your eye that will dry and congeal and create floaters. I call them trash floaters. My right retina was torn so badly that I had a few of these trash floaters in my eye. A couple of them hid behind the lens so after my second surgery they were still there. When I had my last surgery and the oil bubble was placed I asked my doctor to get as much as she could. There are some places that will blind you if they go in and try and suction them out. Luckily my doctor got them.

Long before I left the adult unit for the adolescent unit I knew about Danny. Danny’s reputation was all over the hospital. It used to be that insurance was so good that some places could keep problem adolescents for a long time. We had one girl that had been on the inpatient and then the residential unit for more than fourteen months.  There were also some wealthy kids whose parents just paid for them to stay. Danny had been on the adolescent unit a long time and it was his second admission. There were many times I would work overnight and Danny would be in restraints in the seclusion room. I felt for him because I just thought there should be another way. With Danny I truly believe that his reputation was worse than he was and there was so little tolerance for him. He couldn’t even be a kid. Treat someone like an animal long enough and they will act like one. Danny was not a big kid. He was only fifteen. I admit I did not do a lot when I moved to the adolescent unit to try and win Danny over. I was just myself. I used to bring a lot of music in when I worked and the adolescents liked to play them and I let them as long as they were respectful and doing what they were supposed to. Danny was drawn in by the music I had and he started talking to me about music. We exchanged all sorts of information on bands we liked and Danny started to trust me and so that’s how I started to impact him.

Danny was a lonely kid who did no seem to fit in anywhere especially at home. I found him to be incredibly smart and sensitive. His therapist actually coopted me and we started working on things together and Danny made a ton of progress. When he was discharged he made his parents wait until I got there so he could say goodbye. I don’t know if any kid ever sobbed so much on my shoulder as Danny did that night. It is a powerful thing to impact another human being so profoundly. Danny attended my aftercare meetings for a long time, sometimes he was the only kid to show up and I think those were the best nights. When things got bad at home Danny would call me at the hospital. He never said things were bad he would just ask what music I was listening to and I think it just made him feel better. Sometimes the best thing we can do for another person is just be there.

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