Friday, May 17, 2013

Too Much Fun Linked to Near Death Experience for One Little Boy

Monday, February 28, 2011

Do you know what it's like to never let your guard down?  It's impossibly exhausting.  After yesterday's event, I am once again feeling mentally worn down and overwhelmed.

I decided to take the children to a park, just recently discovered by Kelley.  It's just a few miles away, and it's a playground for all children of all abilities.  There are areas for wheelchairs, swings for children who cannot sit up, and activities at the perfect height for those in a wheelchair.  Eliah was so excited to be able to participate.

It was perfectly sunny and 77 degrees when we went to the park.  We played for an hour or so, and as the sun shone down it's midday heat, we opted for a cooler spot....the mall.  We got Icee's and soft pretzels, and then strolled up and down the corridors, looking in the shop windows.  Eliah had already had his nap for the day, so he was full of energy and curiosity. 

As we drove back from the mall, only a two mile drive to my apartment, Natalie and I talked about all the great things we saw and did.  When I pulled into my apartment complex, I heard a small snort. I looked back and saw Eliah with his head down on his wheelchair tray, his arms out to the sides with his hands in small fists, and his head was slightly bobbing.  I stopped the van, and leaned back, lifting up his head.  I knew he was having a seizure.   I think the day's activities were too much stimulation for him.

Just as I realized what was going on, he stopped breathing and his lips began to turn blue.  Do I try and drive the 50 yards to my apartment and get the oxygen?  Do I leave the van in the street and help him?  I didn't know what to do, so I put the van in park and jumped out, Natalie ran over to hold his head up.  I opened the door and jumped in the back of the van.  He was still not breathing, lips dark blue, and I panicked.  Do I take him out of the wheelchair?  It would take too long, so I started hitting his chest with my palm and breathing into his mouth. 

I looked up and Natalie was holding his head up with one hand, and her other hand covered her mouth, as she stood there terrified.  I kept breathing into his mouth and yelling, "Breathe, Eliah, breathe!".  I stopped and looked at his chest to see if it was moving, and all I could see was a vein in his neck throbbing wildly, but no movement in his chest.  His lips started to turn blue again.  So I began pushing on his chest and breathing into his mouth again. 

After about two minutes of doing this, he seemed to be breathing sporadically.  So Natalie stood there and held his head while we drove to the apartment.  I got in and unintentionally floored it, and poor Natalie was thrown to the back of the van.  But she jumped up and picked Eliah's head right back up.  We were both shaking and knew we had to hurry. 

I pulled into the space and Natalie jumped out with the keys to open the apartment.  I tried my best to get Eliah out of his wheelchair as quickly as possible.  It is not a fast process, as there are 8 different straps.  I picked him up, and as I carried him into the apartment, I looked down at his limp body.  His lips were white and eyes were cast to the side. 

I set him down on the floor, and put the oxygen on his face.  He sprung to life with a startle and fought me with every effort to put the cannula in his nose.  Natalie stood with both hands over her mouth, frightened and shaking.  I tried to reassure her that he would be okay (I was telling myself at the same time).

I finally got the oxygen secured to Eliah's face, and he fell fast asleep.  Natalie also fell asleep, sitting straight up, clenching her stuffed tiger tightly.  And there I was, left in the wake of what just happened.  I was in shock, my heart racing, and feeling like I was going to throw up.  Even today, I am still very shaken by the possibility that my son was about to die yesterday. 

There is no point in going over all the "what ifs" in yesterday's situation. Sometimes I do wish that my concerns only lie in what I would wear on the red carpet.  But other times, I know that parents are chosen by God for a reason.  It's just that today, I am feeling very burdened by the weight of this enormous responsibility.  I couldn't even find my keys this morning, and eventually found them still in the door of the apartment.  Luckily, nobody had taken them. 

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