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A Life Flashes Before My Eyes

We have been extremely lucky over the years. We are blessed. We have never had to rush one of the boys to the emergency room. That is until now. The last three days have been kind of a blur for me and Rhonda.

On Sunday some friends of our from college came to visit with their kids. We all had a great time: Trey entertaining their oldest son and Noah entertaining their youngest, who are both 4 years old. They were running and rough-housing like boys will do. Everything seemed normal. About 10:00 pm, we noticed that Noah was wheezing a bit. We put them in bed and Rhonda rubbed some Vicks on his chest and gave him some Robitussin. It sounded similar to other times that he was congested. We all went to bed finally but Cindee (our friend) was awakened by Noah crying. She went in the bedroom and brought him to our room. He was having a lot of trouble breathing which, naturally, scared him and that was exacerbating the problem. Rhonda and I laid there a minute or two trying to evaluate the situation. We quickly decided that he should go to the ER.

It is not as easy as it might seem to go to the ER. There is no hospital in Forney. So we either go to Terrell or Mesquite both of which are 11 miles away(or I guess Dallas is an option, too.) We chose Terrell because it is that hospital that our family doctor is affiliated with. There are people in this town, I will call them “Hospital Snobs”, that cringe when you mention that someone is in the Terrell hospital. We have had good to excellent care in Terrell and a small hospital has its advantages. All of the staff that dealt with Noah quickly fell in love with him.

noah in bed

The ER doctor took one look at Noah and immediately sprang into action. They quickly called the respiratory therapist (RT) who came over to assist. Noah had been so unable to breathe that his oxygen level was only 54. It should be 98-100. His was cyanotic (his tongue was blue). The RT had this look of grave concern on her face as she held the tube of oxygen under Noah’s nose. He was listless. She looked at the doctor and slowly shook her head. They have him a two breathing treatments and finally put one of those oxygen breathing nose thingys on him. He didn’t like that – it irritated his nose – but his O2 level was rising. They gave him another breathing treatment and he was slowly responding. Rhonda and I got about one hour’s sleep that night. We spent three hours in the ER and then they admitted him to a room. He has been there since having to put up with various contraptions to aid his breathing. He has had various masks and even a ventilation tent. He has been a real trooper and not complained too much about all of this. We found out Tuesday morning that the doctor wanted him to stay another night because it is those hours when relapses can occur. He wanted to check out his heart because Noah was having to work so hard just to breathe. When he inhaled he would suck his whole chest in and his little diaphram would just be working so hard.

The diagnosis was croup. The ER doctor told one the RTs that it is the worse case that he had seen in a long time. Noah was categorized critical at some point during this whole ordeal. As I looked at his very tired, listless body there in the ER his life flashed before my eyes. While I am trying to not be overly dramatic that really did happen. It was more like a rush of feelings. My little boy was in trouble and I could do nothing about it. I know that many of you have been in situations like this and you never really understand until it happens to you.

I am convinced that everything happens for a reason. I truly think it was a God thing. I think it was no accident that Mark and Cindee were in the room adjacent to Noah that night. Rhonda and I would not have heard him and Dayna sleeps very soundly and probably would not have heard him either. I don’t know what would have happened if we had not have acted when we did. I just know that it seemed to be a very close call that kind of shook us all up. But now, I sit here and think again about how blessed we are. Noah is back at home after three nights in the hospital. He is acting normal again – if not more hyper. We are giving him breathing treatments every six hours. I am glad this episode is over. Now maybe we can all get some sleep.

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