Some Things That I’ve Learned.

I’ve learned a lot of things in the past month.  I’ve learned that I can’t control everything in my world like I thought I could, and that was not a pleasant realization.  I’ve also learned that sometimes the only thing a person can do is have faith if it seems like there’s nothing else.  It’s not easy for a control freak like me to just stop freaking out let go and have faith at all, but  I didn’t have much of a choice.

My youngest son has a life-threatening allergy to cow’s milk.  While on vacation in Palm Springs last month, he had soy milk that was cross-contaminted with cow’s milk.  Shortly after ingesting it, he began to have trouble breathing so we had to call paramedics to the hotel where he was then transported to the hospital.  About 5 minutes after arriving at the hospital he ‘crashed’, going into respiratory arrest. He had stopped breathing. That moment in time will forever be frozen in my mind.  We were possibly losing him and there was absolutely nothing I could do.  My husband and I were pushed out of the room while it seemed like every medical person within a 5 mile radius came running.  Never in my life did I ever think I would hear ‘code blue’ over a loud speaker and have it pertain to my son. 

They were able to get my son breathing again, but not on his own.  He was bagged, tubed and put on a venilator.  The doctor came out and said a lot of things, but all I heard was ‘critical but stable’ and ‘air lift’.  It’s funny what goes through your mind at times like that.  I remember thinking, “He’s going to be air lifted and I’m only wearing a swimsuit and shorts and I need to change”.  I never did.  An hour later a helicopter arrived with a specialty PICU team: a  pediatrician, a pediatric pulmonary specialist, a respiratory therapist, and an R.N. and 20 minutes later I watched him being loaded into that helicopter and then fly off to a children’s hospital 75 miles away. 


 Though my husband had been right there with me the whole time, I can honestly say that we were both lost in our own individual hell and neither one of us had really spoken to each other at all during the whole time this was going on.  It’s not like we really had any chance to talk anyway.  But right then, at that moment while watching that helicopter get smaller and smaller in the afternoon sky, my husband said quietly, “We’ve got to have faith he’s going to be alright.  It’s out of our hands now”.  Countless times I’ve said to others going through a crisis or dealing with something catastrophic, “you’ve got to have faith”.  It’s so much easier to say it than to actually tell yourself to do the same, but at that moment I knew in my heart that my husband was right.  I grabbed onto it like it was a life raft and the only thing I had left to keep me afloat. 

It’s been one month this week that this happened and today, my son has fully recovered and is no worse for wear.  He’s bounced back just fine.  Me?  I’m still trying to come to terms with all that has happened and sleep is not the greatest right now.  I know as each day goes by and I see my son doing fine, I’ll be better too.  Until then?  I’m just going to have faith that all will be well in my world once again.

(Yes, that’s my son in the above pictures and yes, that’s him being loaded onto the helicopter.  I took them after he was on the mend and resting. Before you think it’s morbid that I have these pictures, my son had asked me to get pictures of him getting on the ambulance when he was not doing so bad so he could take them to school for show-and-tell once he starts 3rd grade next month.  Being a photographer, taking these pictures was very cathartic for me.  And, I knew he would be bummed out that he didn’t remember the helicopter ride so I documented it for him.  And I was right.  He thinks that’s the coolest picture ever!)


6 Responses to “Some Things That I’ve Learned.”

  1. Marie Says:

    Oh how incredibly scary! Thank God he’s OK. And yes, they’re beautiful pictures….

  2. Lynda Sims Says:

    Hey Chris! WOW very scary for Owen and all of you. Jeff and i were in Big Bear last week and we were thinking of you guys. Wondering if you had been there this summer. I hope you guys are all doing better now. I think of you often and miss you so much. We are still in Glendora, unable to sell our white elephant. We lost the house in Temecula. But seeing your blog i see that my problems are miniscule compared to what you went through. if you need anything….anything at all call me. Love Lynda Lou

  3. Jenny, Bloggess Says:

    Featured on Good Mom/ Bad Mom on the Houston Chronicle:

  4. gwendomama Says:

    What a great ending. I likes those kinds of stories best.

  5. Dr.Mani Says:

    I’ve been on the ‘other side’ of that ‘got to have faith’ thing, and it’s the scariest bit about being a heart surgeon for children, knowing that the biggest hurdle to cross is NOT the technical challenge of our complex job, but being worthy of the ‘blind faith’ and trust given us by parents.

    I’m glad everything turned out to be for the best!

    All success

  6. Everyday Heartbeats | The Rising Blogger Says:

    […] her.” So I visited Everyday Heartbeats: Living each day one heartbeat at a time to peruse Some Things That I’ve Learned. A chill ran down my spine when I read those words. A moment no parent should ever have to witness: […]

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