Saturday-previous Jonas got a barky cough along with a high fever, but was doing ok with just tylenol. By Monday night he was struggling to breathe, and was getting noisier. After conferring with several people, we decided to take Jonas into the ER. Healthy oxygen levels are 95 and higher, and Jonas was measured at 76 initially. We got admitted for the night and my poor baby was subjected to many tests and tubing.
By Tuesday he was much better, so after observing him all day long, they sent us home thinking he was over the hump. Wednesday after taking him out in the cold, then doing the steam shower, I put him down for a nap. Poor sick Caedmon, myself with a sore throat, and sick Jonas desperately needed at least a 3 hour nap.
Jonas woke up 20 minutes later coughing. He couldn't get on top of the cough, so he started crying. I woke up and went in there to see him walking across the room off-balance trying to make sense of what was happening to him. He was trying to whine Mama Mama but it was too much effort. His chest and throat were depressing with each breath. I called my Dr. and dashed out the door, not strapping Caed in the carseat and with both boys sans shoes in very cold weather. It occured to me I should run back inside to grab some library books and a sippy cup for the boys, but I knew that every second counted and truly thought I couldn't afford the time. By now I cannot even describe how Jonas sounded, although it is etched vividly in my memory. It was a barky, sucking, wheezy desperate attempt to get enough air to do it again. It was 3 miles to the hospital and 2 to my Dr. so I headed that way going who knows how fast. I remember Caedmon, very groggy, sensing the urgency of the situation as I called out to God in a shaky voice. He said, "I love you so much, Jonas." It made me cry because it seemed prophetic of his last words to his brother or something. Then Jonas just started fading. In the rear view mirror, it was just as if he gave up. I could see him not care. He slowly closed his eyes with his hands loosening on the tag of his blanket, no longer frustrated, just resigning himself to not working so hard to breathe. I don't know how close to death he was, I only know what I saw I will never forget.
We made it to the Dr.'s office, I just scooped Jonas up and ran into the building with Caedmon trailing in the parking lot. Although they had said on the phone all doctors were busy, within a minute we were in the back with TWO Drs. available to care for him. They stabilized and evaluated him, then sent us back to the hospital. We were in for 3 more nights during which time Jonas had ups and downs with oxygen saturation and fevers, steroids and monitors.
We learned a lot about respiratory therapy this week! The swine flu test, pneumonia, and RSV test all came back negative, so everyone's best guess is that he had a para flu which caused the croup. We will see a specialist Thursday to determine if Jonas has a malformed trachea or inflamed birthmarks or any such abnormality. They say it is possible it is an allergy that caused this. He is most likely going to develop asthma too, and will be prone to more breathing difficulties in the future. He is home now taking 2 steriods a day and breathing treatments as needed. He has also bounced back into fighting with his brother and playing with toys again.
Yet we rejoice! He is alive and well! So many wonderful gifts were given us this week in God's timing.
1) We had the most amazing staff at the hospital we picked out of the phone book-and they doted on Jonas and pampered him with first-rate treatment!
2) We got to the office in time-and capable doctors were available.
3) Friends and family supported us and prayed through it all-THANK YOU!
4) Jason's coworker Jimbo had heard that Jonas had been sick earlier in the week, so he offered to take Jason's pickup route on Wednesday, so Jason could come home earlier. Jason had NEVER gotten a chance to come home early before, and this was before I had told him that we had gone back to the ER. So he was able to come up and rescue Caedmon at least 2 hours earlier than normal. Meanwhile since Caedmon wasn't feeling too hot, he was an angel in the ER preferring to sit in a corner chair with his blanket and just watch all the excitment. I was so proud of him but torn that I couldn't hold him too while they were working on Jonas.
5) Jason's coworker Patti upon coming back from her Florida vacation and hearing about Jonas, cooked dinner for us!
6) FedEx let Jason take off all the days where I was in the hospital with Jonas, to care for Caedmon at home. Of course they kind of had to, but my point is they were very gracious about it. A big blessing!
We learned personally about the fragility of life. That Jonas is a priceless gift entrusted to us for a season only, and he was put into our home to love. I cannot imagine how it is for so many around the world when their kids face health crises like this and they have nowhere to GO, no practical medical help, but are forced to sit and watch their children fade away. We also learned personally that you absolutely CAN put weight on God's promises. There is nothing more precious than being held in the palm of God's hand. I am thankful for this experience! A hymn I sang over and over this week:
Day by day, and with each passing moment, Strength I find to meet my trials here. Trusting in my Father's wise bestowment, I've no cause for worry or for fear.
He whose heart is kind beyond all measure, Gives unto each day what he deems best. Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure, Mingling toil with peace and rest.
And while we are documenting how God has worked in our family, I wanted to list other times God clearly could have taken our children back to their heavenly homes, but chose to spare us that pain.
1) When Caedmon was about 8 months old, he pulled a TV on top of himself. He was fine!
2) Caedmon-also about 8 months-crawled/bounced down 14 stairs at a friend's house.
3) Caedmon-about 6 months-found some coins and was seconds away from eating them.
4) Caedmon-about 1 1/2 was playing in the car unattended for a few minutes and managed to find and open a bottle of ibuprofen and extra strength tylenol. ER visit-he was fine!
5) I had Jonas (11 months) on a counter next to where I was brushing Caed's teeth. He turned himself around and I watched him fall in slow motion backwards onto the tile floor. The thud of his skull hitting the stone was like a gunshot. He didn't even suffer a concussion!
What can I say except God has been gracious and merciful to us! I know this is a long story, but what part of God's immense power and healing could I have left off? To be continued as life goes on. . .