Thursday, December 16, 2010

Noah's Medical Emergency

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All should have been calm, all should have been right. It was nine minutes until 10pm when I checked on Noah and Daddy who were working on cuddling to get Noah to sleep. I walked into our bedroom, only to hear moments later what sounded like choking. I was only steps from Noah's room and I flipped on the light knowing something was terribly wrong. Chris had Noah cradled in his arms trying to sit up upright as much as possible. Noah was gasping and making this scary sound, he would not focus on me, I could not get his attention he just looked off to the side. I thought seizure although I've never seen one before. We keep a phone in Noah's room and I dialed 911 immediately. Of course in my panic I explained Noah had a head injury - cerebral palsy and I thought he was having a seizure. In my mind I think it still took forever for someone to get to us, but I know they were fast. It was just that time slows in a crisis. I started to panic and cry. I was beyond terrified. I shouted out to God, please don't do this to me, I've tried to be all you want me to be, spare us this pain please. Noah continued not breathing well, and still wouldn't respond to either of us when we got him down the stairs.

There were too many paramedics and fire department people for me to even count. I rushed him into the ambulance with no shoes, no coat, I felt nothing but numbness in my whole body. They attempted to give Noah oxygen, they were of course trying to ask me a million questions when I was pulled away because the dispatcher had misunderstood my call and called the police thinking Noah acquired his brain injury that evening and that we had caused him abuse. So they wanted to speak to Chris and I, thankfully I called Noah's grandmother who stayed with him in the ambulance while Chris and I clarified Noah's condition and what happened to him. When I got back to the ambulance I could hear him crying. A good sound. I wanted to know he was still here with me. They were attempting to find a vein for an IV but were unsuccessful and just gave up attempts but did manage to take blood for blood sugar testing. Although his grandma and I both agreed Noah wasn't paying attention to us at first, paramedics said typical seizure behavior is different. That children usually roll their eyes, or stiffen or jerk and shake. Noah did none of that he remained limp in our arms the entire time. They suctioned out secretions in his mouth and his temperature was low at 96. We chose to go to the nearest hospital we could with the option to transfer to Children's if things worsened. Thankfully the ride was only 6 minutes long as Noah still isn't a great traveler and it often shows. Noah started to improve in those 6 minutes he started to focus on me, I got a smile from him, I seen him react to bumps and his breathing returned to normal.

Paramedics suspect maybe he was choking which caused a lack of proper oxygen which caused Noah's slight disorientation and non-reaction as they said they could still see he was "home" something they say isn't really typical for a child that is seizing. This of course is all so new to Chris and I. We have been so lucky we've dodged an emergency call for nearly two years. Something we both knew could happen at any time given Noah's medical history and problems. Chris tried not to cry, but I could see is face swelling with fear and his eyes filling with tears. We were the most two distraught parents one could probably ever see.

I went back to that place after Noah was born, the moment they tell you your child didn't breath for 13 minutes of have a heartbeat for 13 minutes. That place where you sink, your soul breaks and your mind and heart snap at the same time. You relive it over again in some way. All those feelings rushed back, I've suppressed them all for so long, knowing they'd always be with me. Always worried that something like this could happen.

Noah was still responsive and growing irritated and tired when we arrived at the hospital. They said blood work would likely tell them nothing, but they ran a chest x-ray to make sure that Noah wasn't suffering from silent aspiration a potential cause of his breathing difficulties. We waited for hours for the results only to find out that radiology was so backed up. So they read a preliminary one saying they thought all looked okay, and would release us home and if radiology found something they didn't they'd call us immediately.

Even though it was already the early morning hours when we released Noah woke up from a small sleep to still be happy on the short ride home. Thankfully his grandma and grandpa stayed with us the entire time. I don't know what I would do without them. I simply cannot do this alone. They followed us home because our warning light came on telling us we had a low tire. It's like one little problem after another. Such as the story of life goes. However the car tire is the least of my concerns.

Noah didn't want to co-sleep with us. So Chris slept on the floor close to him. I listened from the baby monitor to both of them. Waking up several times to Chris snoring but I had to make sure which person was making sounds. I had to feel Noah side to make sure he was breathing okay. That's what a scared mommy does. We both are feeling quite emotionally and physically drained this morning I plan to cancel Noah's therapies today and do nothing but watch him. Chris stayed home from work today, as he wouldn't be a safe driver with really no sleep. However, I suspect he has no more time off to take and won't be getting paid for today. I feel bad that life offers us up both these unexpected things all the time.

I pray this never happens again. Chris and I are trying so hard to keep Noah healthy, alive and well. I hate seeing my husband so scared and terrified, I hate feeling like my heart is being torn again from my chest. Noah is everything. I love that child beyond words. I can't lose him. I need him to feel whole. Once you have a child like Noah your entire world changes, how you do things change, how you perceive situations and things change, your sensitivity and emotions are always on your sleeve, you remain raw and exposed to the world.

I'm so thankful Chris was with him and got him upright immediately. He is the very best dad God could have ever sent me for Noah. He is so attentive, so loving, so kind and gentle with Noah. Chris calls often times just to check on Noah and hear him on speaker phone through the day just to know we're both okay. We're never off his mind. There simply isn't a better man out there, and I'm blessed to have an amazing husband and father for Noah. We're both in this together for better for for worse. Sharing the same fears and pain.

Thank you all for thinking of us and praying that little Noah stays well and does not suffer any more medical problems. I want that to be the last time I need to call for help. Hoping that Chris and I can regain a calm center of focus to get us through the holidays and Noah's 2nd birthday. Even though both of us I know will be on guard and a bit of pins and needles for a while since the fear of last night is so fresh to both of us.


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Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.