Saturday, July 26, 2008

Trial Run

Last week I had a couple of friends over, with their kids, to help with the wallpaper glue removal.  All the kids were playing outside - we had the sliding glass door open so we could hear them and keep an eye on them.  My friend was helping her son out the screen door when I heard her say, "Alex?!?"  I was up on the ladder but I turned and saw Alex running into the house.  She was white as a ghost and looked like she was crying but no sound was coming out.  I ran to her as fast as I could,  but before I got to her my little baby collapsed on the kitchen floor.  She passed out.  Right in front of my eyes.  For all you mothers out there, I don't think I need to explain the panic and terror I felt in that moment.  You can imagine.  

I grabbed her and picked her up and she immediately came to, with a loud cry.  I started inspecting her entire body for injury as I tried to calm and comfort her - my friends were interrogating the other kids, trying to determine what had happened to her, but no one had seen.  I could find nothing wrong with her except a red cheek.  Alex simply said she fell down.  I had her show me where.  

Soon she was calm and happy and acting normal.  I'd eliminated the initial fear of a concussion (or a brain injury) and determined that she passed out simply because she didn't take a breath when she was crying.  I know that happens, but she's never done it before.  

Paul was working in the ER that night.  I have his pager # but I have never used it.  Not once, even in medical school.  I thought about paging him right after Alex's fall but, like I said, she'd calmed down and seemed perfectly fine and I felt pretty confident that it was nothing serious.  So I didn't.  I was afraid if I paged him it would freak him out and he'd think one of the kids had died or something.

So Alex was fine, but I wasn't.  I couldn't stop shaking for the next couple of hours.  And when I put her to bed and she wanted me to lay by her longer, snuggle closer, squeeze tighter, and give more kisses I didn't hesitate or grow impatient.  I soaked it up.  I couldn't bring myself to leave her.  

That's when I paged Paul.  I needed to know - I needed my "diagnosis" confirmed.  By a professional.  So I got the card off the fridge, followed the instructions, and within 15 seconds Paul was calling the house.  The first words out of my mouth were, "Everything's ok."   
I told him what had happened, what I'd seen, what Alex said and did.  I answered all his questions.  And he agreed - she passed out because she didn't take a breath when she was crying (not a traumatic brain injury sustained while running and falling down in the grass in the backyard).  

He did tell me (just in case) to go check on her every couple of hours throughout the night to make sure she was still breathing.  Which I did, religiously.  At some point in the middle of the night I brought her to bed with me and snuggled her till morning.  

I decided this experience was a good "trial run."  Hopefully I never have to page Paul at the hospital again with an emergency.  But when I think about how many times Noah has split his head open in the first 4 years of his life, I know I probably will.  And now that I've done it once I feel a little better.  I know how the system works, I know Paul is not going to kill me for giving him a heart attack (he was glad that I'd paged) and I know I'll get a VERY quick response from him...because he knows I don't page him for nothing.  

As a sidenote, in case you didn't already pick up on this, this experience made me realize how much I take for granted.  It made me want to cherish every moment with my kids.  You hear stories all the time of people who have lost children during routine activities that we all do everyday: bathtime, playtime, mealtime.  Things can happen to children of the most vigilant parents.  I'm not advocating "hovering" and you can't live your life in fear.  But maybe I needed a little reminder.  A reminder to play with my kids a little more, to snuggle a little longer, to laugh with them a little louder.  A reminder to enjoy the little moments each day...because isn't that what life is all about?

And even though Alex is in the middle of the "terrible twos" and earning the label in every way, shape and form here are a few of the things that I LOVE about her right now:

 - that she loves to snuggle
 - her slobbery kisses that she gives so freely
 - the way she smiles at me when she says "I wuv you mommy"
 - that she sings all day long
 - how excited she gets about the littlest things
 - how much she loves and misses her daddy
 - that she always wants to be where Noah is
 - her sweet smile    
 - that she's tough
 - that she's loves "girly" things
 - how silly and playful she is
 - her laugh
I love you baby girl!


Anna said...

Wow Summer that's crazy! I'm so glad you knew what to do. I would have had no idea - I actually didn't know kids pass out when they don't take a breath while crying. I mean it makes sense I just never thought about it. I'm so glad everything is okay. Thanks for reminding me to enjoy my own baby more right now. Sometimes I get too caught up in myself. Even if nothing scary ever happens these years will pass by too quickly.

Dad said...

As I'm reading your story I'm having flash backs to when you guys were little.....specificaly I remember Sheli and Tiff choking, I remember that look of panic in their eyes as they were out of air and scared to death. I hated those moments....and I'm glad I was there and knew what to do. Glad all is well....Alex is precious.

Randy and Tiffany said...

That is so scary, Summer! It gave me goosebumps! I miss Alex so much! I am glad everything is ok...We miss all of you guys so much and love you! Give the kids hugs and kisses for us! :) xoxo

Faye said...

Wow - I had dejavu too thinking to times when you kids gave us a real scare. I'm glad Alex is OK and it made you reflect on the sweet things in life - instead of giving you a nervous breakdown. I miss Alex and Noah so much - I look forward to seeing them in Sept.

Carrie Anne said...

isn't it amazing how these different experiences give us a fresh perspective on life and different things? my whole deal with baby david being pre-term scared me in so many ways, b/c you never know what can happen to you or your kids! you just never know and so you can't take things for granted! it's hard, though, when you're stressed or tired, etc. when i would go to the hospital day after day hoping for his situation to change and improve, i'd feel sorry for myself just wishing i could bring him home! but then i met another mother who lost a twin and the other one had to be emergency c-sectioned, and my tune changed fast, b/c at least i hadn't lost my baby. maybe he couldn't breathe or eat yet, but he was here, in front of me, in my arms & improving each day! you are so great! that would be a very scary experience FOR SURE!

gregandlaura said...

Wow! That is so scary! I guess we all need a reminder to stop and enjoy life and our many blessings more often! I am so glad everything is ok!

sara said...

Nothing like having an experience like that to put life (and the fragility of life) into perspective.
Glad to know that everything was ok.

Shellie said...

Thanks for such a great reminder of what's important Summer. I am so glad Alex is OK.

Jeppson said...

OH MY GOODNESS! Summer that would be so awful. I'm so glad everything is alright with her! Way to keep it together. And good job never paging Paul - I think Pete regrets the day he gave me those numbers :)

tracey said...

I'm so glad that Alex is okay and that you were able to get in touch with Paul. It brought tears to my eyes just thinking about it! I'm sorry to hear about your wallpaper nightmare, how discouraging. I hope it all turns out okay. I love that we can keep in touch like this even from so far away! It's great to know what you're up to!!

Lexie said...

I'm so glad that she is OK, that has to be one of the worst feelings ever! Thanks for the reminder to cherish the little moments that make up our crazy days. I loved what you put about paging too, I was so scared to page Todd, and finally did for the first time toward the end of intern year. Now we have a code, 911 after our number if it's an emergency, just our number if he can wait to call until later, somehow it just makes me feel better. I also just learned that he can get a little thing from the hospital so I can text page from our computer. I don't know if your hospital has those too, but it seems like a much better idea to me! We sure miss you guys, give the kiddos hugs from us!

collette crew said...

how scary summer. so glad she is okay, but I know sometimes that stuff like that is harder on you and hope you are doing better too. thank heaven for trial runs and calm husbands.

Sarah said...

Oh my goodness, Summer, that is so scary!! I'm so glad that Alex is okay and that you all got through that, but man I bet it shook you up pretty good. I don't think anything is worse than those moments as a mom. Thanks for the reminder to cherish my children, I definitely take things for granted daily. I am so glad everything is okay!!

Elise said...

Sum. That is a freak out! I'm glad everything is ok though: ) Sorry I didn't make it over today. My neighbors didn't leave until 1 o'clock. I'll try to swing by tomorrow!


p.s. so when do I make the friends list? : )