Three weeks ago, we brought Jaycee to the ER for her asthma. It was a short 2 day stay. She was discharged but never got 100% normal.
Two days ago....Jaycee obviously is having difficulty breathing. She is bent over, which is always the position she takes when she can't breathe, and her skin is very modeled. Breathing is labored. I hate being at home alone when this happens. But, it's 9 am so my husband and the close family members are at work. I'm trying to give her medicine, call the children's hospital, and hook her up to her oxygen saturation monitor all at the same time. Next, I roll out the oxygen tank just in case we need it. I start running around the house grabbing items she'll need in case she goes into the hospital. I'm tired and panicked. I can't think. Three weeks ago, I was fairly calm and level headed when I was doing this but today I'm not. My 3 year old son asks me to play with him and read to him. I gently tell him "not right now, sissy's sick." But I want to answer him harshly and tell him to go upstairs while I'm being panicked but I stop myself. It's not his fault. It's not Jaycee's fault either. I can't control what happens but I can control my reactions.
I load the kids, the oxygen tank and monitor, the bags, diapers, and miscellaneous items into the van in a rush. I leave the house a mess. There are clothes in the washer and in the dryer. I have clothes drying on the clothesline. I have bills that need to be paid and checks that need to go to the bank. But, in an instant the busyness of everyday life halts. The only thing that matters now is getting my sick little girl to the hospital as quick as I can.
I make the trip to the hospital. I don't get far when I have to pull over and put oxygen on her. It's just 1 liter though so this isn't too bad compared to other trips to the hospital. It takes an hour to get seen in the ER after we arrive. She is immediately put on 2 liters of oxygen. She hates the ER. She remembers it. She doesn't want to get into the bed. She wants to stay in the stroller and we let her for the moment. She is given lots of breathing treatments and an x-ray. She cries a lot and says "mama" when she's scared. It makes me feel good and sad at the same time to hear that. An IV is needed. There are 4 of us holding her down so a nurse can put it in. I have flashbacks of other moments like this. I always say I'm not going to help hold her down anymore but I always do. I at least feel better if it's my hands she feels on her and my face she can see telling her that things are ok.
Hours go by in the ER, 8 to be exact. ICU or the regular floor is being debated and no one can decide. Finally, they do and we head to the asthma floor on the hospital. Jaycee recognizes this place and feels totally comfortable here. There are several nurses and staff who have taken care of Jaycee here over 7 years. My adrenaline is gone. I'm tired now. I'm in disbelief that we are here again and at the same time not surprised at all we are here given her symptoms in the previous three days.
And now.....it's been almost 48 hours since all this started at the house. Barney is singing about butterflies while Jaycee's droopy eyes are glued to Barney's every move. A cannula in her nose is giving her a small amount of oxygen. A sensor on her toe lets me know how well she's breathing. She is still sick but getting better. This is our 13th stay in the hospital for an illness together. I count myself fortunate to have another day with her smile and love in my life. I hope this is the last trip to the hospital but I am doubtful that it will be. I have written up Psalm 27: 1 on our dry erase board (The Lord is the strength of my life). We can keep going through these illnesses and hospital stays knowing where our strength comes from.