Yesterday I was planning on going to the St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital walk/run, but I found myself taking my son to the hospital instead when he woke up frantic, unable to take in breaths. He has no prior history of breathing problems. After a few hours we were discharged with an albuteral prescription to take whenever he has an attack. We went home, went about our day, and later he went to bed while I stayed up studying for my exam on Tuesday. About an hour or so later, he began to stir in his and then he popped up out of bed, frantic, unable to breathe. His lips were blue, his fingertips were blue, he was pale. He wasn’t getting air in or out and he was freaking out, running around the room. I tried to give him the albuterol but he didn’t want the child’s mask. I took off the mask and tried to place the pump up to his mouth but he broke away, frantically looking for air. I grabbed him by the shoulders and looked him in the eyes and told him “I’m trying to help you breathe, this medicine is supposed to help you breathe”... I placed the pump in his mouth and puffed when he inhaled. He had been running an off and on fever most of the week, and this moment was no different, except with his temp of 101.5 F, his heart rate was 147, oxygenation 83%. After some Tylenol, we made our second ER visit for the day, where they ran more tests and gave him a breathing treatment. Now, instead of albuterol for when he has attacks, he’s on scheduled, around the clock puffs until he gets over being sick. Which helps me relax a bit because I don’t want to go to sleep feeling like I might miss an attack and he won’t seek for my help in his panicked search for air. Because during those attacks, his priority was breathing, not seeking assistance in breathing. So right now, I’m about to start studying for my exam, laying next to my sweet baby boy, listening to his breath, and preparing for him to wake up, hoping for the best but prepared for the worst.
I guess the moral of the story is things can change in an instant. Life will challenge you and make you shift gears, and usually at a time that you weren’t expecting. Whether you respond or react is entirely up to you.