Last Monday, my sweet Tucker and I spent the night in the ER. His asthma got the best of him that day, and despite several nebulizer treatments at home, an emergency visit to the pediatrician, and a new prescription for an oral steroid, he got sicker and sicker. That evening, when his cough got worse and he couldn't catch his breath, the doctor sent us to the ER. Not to urgent care, he was very clear. He wanted us in the hospital. Do not stop anywhere in between. Get that child to the emergency room, stat.
(Robb was on a business trip, so Tyler stayed with my parents, and Tucker and I followed the doctor's orders. Just him and me. My mom came by later for a couple of hours, with a burger for me, some toys for Tuck, and moral support for all of us.)
As soon as we entered the ER, we had their full attention. Doctors, nurses, and medics came rushing to our side. Tucker was wheezing and gasping, and they were in high gear to get his lungs resting. And let me tell you, those ER nurses know their stuff. They were quick and efficient and always at the ready, but they were so careful to be friendly and to never alarm Tucker. He was a big fan of the fuzzy animals on the stethoscopes.
We settled in.
We read books. We colored. We watched movies: Shrek, Happy Feet, and twice through Finding Nemo. And Tucker had a popsicle. I'm pretty sure he thought he would like to move in and live here forever. Seriously, they know their stuff. There's so much that's awful about the hospital, so they do their best to make the lighter parts as great as they can be.
But four hours later, my little boy was no better. In fact, he was sicker than before. He had been resting in my arms for over an hour, but his chest was still rising and falling with each breath, as if he had just run three flights of stairs.
They decided to keep him. They put bracelets on both of us. They secured an oxygen mask, and they put in an IV... three of them held my baby while I held his sweet, terrified face in my hands, sang to him, and tried to keep from falling apart. It nearly broke me in half.
He finally fell asleep in my arms, now with extra wires and appendanges, and they wheeled us together to our new room.
When he was finally asleep, and there was nothing for me to do but listen to the beeping machines and the precious rhythm of his steady breathing, I finally cried. And I prayed. And I recalled every bit of Scripture I have tucked away in my memory. And finally, I slept beside him. My precious boy.
They woke us through the night, to check his vitals and to administer more breathing treatments. And when they let him sleep, he still woke up with tremors, terribly disoriented, both from the confusion of his whereabouts and the aftermath of more steroids than his body knew what to do with. He thrashed. He tried to tear out his IV. He wanted me close, but then he started to kick and hit, out of no control of his own. It was a rough, rough night.
A hospital visit will bring out maternal strength otherwise unknown.
Robb came rushing home from his business trip, and he arrived first thing in the morning. Thankfully, he arrived in time to see me in my hospital-issued paper pants. When you don't have jammies of your own, they give you theirs. Not quite the same. Not as comfy, and certainly not at all flattering. I did not lose sixty pounds to wear pants like these. But, they did the job at hand, and they gave us good comedic relief. They were some seriously funny pants.
And this is where we stayed for three days. Tyler came and went between visits with his grandparents, and he snuggled with us to watch movie after movie, so Tuck could keep his breathing rate slow and steady.
When we couldn't stand another single minute of that hospital bed, we went for a ride in the wagon. Just look at that sweet, sick face...
Thankfully, pancakes save the day every time. Eat up, little man.
Finally, three days later, they decided we had done enough, we had served our time, and we could go on home. And it's a good thing. Because we had a plane to catch to Ohio. (I'm not kidding.)
We spent five days in Ohio, loving our Ohio family members and getting Samantha married (read on...). We came back last night, and I wish I could say we were returning to life as normal.... but that's just not the case.
Robb left town this morning. He has been deployed to Houston, Texas for Hurricane Disaster Relief. Sadly, he is gone for an entire month. That's a long stretch, and we are only four hours into the journey without Daddy. But he's going to serve people who are hurting, and we'll try to stay healthy and hospital-free while he is away.
And that, my friends, is why I haven't been blogging. But I'm back. And so happy to be.