Part II – Continued from yesterday’s post
Fortunately, I am extremely level-headed and “all business” in crisis situations. That was the one and only thing I had going for me at that point. My husband continued to help the EMT complete the form and I called my mom to get a detailed account of the events that happened that day because I knew if we couldn’t provide that information to the professionals they would be shooting in the dark.
As I was waiting for her to answer the ringing phone, I saw the medical team putting oxygen up to my daughters face. I also heard the head nurse say, “Her breathing is lapsing.”
I stepped off to the side to give room to the six or so people all trying to do their part of the job. I kept one eye on the table. She wasn’t moving. My mom answered. According to her, the events of the day went something like this:
8:00 AM – Kids woke up and ate a normal breakfast
11:30 AM – Lunch followed by a nap
3:30 PM – My daughter said she felt sleepy and volunteered to go up to her bed (this was NOT normal but grandma assumed she was coming down with the flu.)
4:00 PM – My daughter vomited in bed. (Grandma discovered it when she checked in on her.)
4:15/30 PM – My husband came home and gave her a bath. (She only answered “yes/no” questions.)
5:00/30 PM – My daughter stops speaking and stares up at ceiling.
I started to think. Had anything else happened to us recently that could bring on a severe illness or reaction? Could a flu shot be the cause? Our daughter had just had one the day before, but she’d never reacted to vaccines in the past. I told them everything my husband and I knew and then the ambulance arrived. I am not sure how much time had passed at that point. It felt like an hour due to all that had gone on it such a short period of time but I assume it was only 10 minutes.
I strided quickly along side the gurney as the men pushed her bed outside and toward the back of the ambulance. Once she was loaded in, I got in the front seat. My husband got in his car to follow us. The drive to the main hospital downtown should’ve taken us 20-25 minutes. I called my mom back to give her the update. When, my mom heard what had taken place I think the severity of the situation finally set in. I had time to text a friend of mine and let her know we were having an emergency. I don’t know why now that I did that but I think I just wanted as many people to know as I could think of and to ask them all to pray. Whatever your belief system, my thought was if there was a higher power and if the power of unified prayer really worked, I sure as heck needed it right then.
No sooner than I had drafted the message, I was interrupted by the driver telling me they couldn’t stabilize her all the way to the downtown children’s hospital and we were making a detour to the nearest adult hospital. WHAT?!!!!!
I hit send on my text. Then, it was officially scary. At that moment, I prayed to God that if he had to take someone, please take me and not her. I would’ve been alright with that. I’d had a good 34 years on this Earth. I remember hard trying to hold myself together at that point.
The sirens were so loud. My daughter is very sensitive to noises and I could only think of how scared she must be.
We pulled up quickly but there was an emergency team awaiting us at the door. I thought My daughter was quickly wheeled into another room and I was asked more questions to complete more forms. At one point, a man told me they were going to try to give her an anti-seizure med but I don’t remember the name. Pretty soon, I was being told that I couldn’t stay with her because she had to be intubated. (I guess that’s not something good for a parent to see.)
We sat in a waiting room for about an hour or two. Time was slipping away by that point. I was drinking bad coffee and repeating the day’s time table then by heart. My husband and I kept reviewing the timeline that day to make sure we hadn’t missed something. Finally, we got word that we could get back into another ambulance and proceed with her stabilized to downtown. My husband and I were taken back to her room and handed a plastic bag of her personal effects. In it was her Dora the Explorer pajama top, which had been scissor cut down the front when they had to work on her, socks, and a hair bow. That made me sad and my stomach queezy—not the intubation. It was as if she was already gone. I kissed her on the cheek but she didn’t move. The machines were helping her breath.
Round two in the ambulance was not as rushed but somehow more stressful. After two stops, our daughter was no better off than she was when we brought her in. No one knew for certain yet what was wrong or why this had happened. I called my mom again and asked her to call our Pastor. It was then that I began to prepare myself that our daughter may not live. And, if she did live, she may already be a vegetable. It was a horrible, sickening feeling. I was 80/20 on bad news versus good.
After a 30-minute drive, we pulled up at the children’s hospital. Again, there was a team waiting. Again, I got out and answered more questions and filled out more forms. My husband arrived shortly after but couldn’t find us because we went straight to the emergency room.
I was asked if she could’ve gotten into something in the cabinet that was poisonous. I didn’t think so.
I was asked if she started to show signs of paralysis setting in from the feet gradually up the body. No.
I was asked if she was allergic to latex. I didn’t think so.
I was asked if she could’ve been exposed to any unusual bacteria. Well, she goes to daycare.
The physicians drew blood, monitored her breathing, watched the heart monitor and my husband and I faded off into the background. I thought I saw her eyes twitch. I was just relieved they let us stay and tried to stay out of their way as much as possible in hopes of showing that I wasn’t the type of mom to freak out or be overbearing. All business.
She seemed to be fluttering her eyes a bit and although her eyes were closed, an arm tried to raise up purposefully and appeared to be reaching to pull out the tube in her mouth and nose. I prayed my baby was still in there THINKING of how to get out of the straps she had holding her limbs down.
The nurse put something in her I.V. (I assume another dose of sedative) and they continued working.
To be continued tomorrow for the final of three posts.