Every time I see an ambulance’s lights ablaze and barreling towards the nearest hospital, I think to myself and often say aloud, “I hope whoever is in there is ok.” Today I sat helpless and watched an ambulance do just that. Although this time it was not an anonymous member of my community but my son. My child. My little boy. He was in that ambulance racing towards help, and all I could do was say, “Please let my child be ok.”
This morning I lifted weights at the gym. That’s my happy place. I don’t think of what needs to be done at home, what challenges we are facing, or anything other than the next rep or minute. I leave the world behind for an hour. After my workout, I wiped the sweat from my brow and opened my locker. The first thing I always do is check my phone. I had two voicemails and three text messages. This is NOT a good sign in my world. Prioritizing, I called the school nurse back first. I heard, “Not good,” “oxygen,” “heart rate,” “ambulance.” My heart began racing at that moment too. Tears fell involuntarily, fear creeped in, and frustration that my sweet boy has to work so hard to simply live. Both of my parents happened to be at the gym as well, and so we all packed up and sped towards our boy.
I walked out the front door of the gym, the brisk air instantly sobering and strengthening me. Now isn’t the time to be afraid or tearful. It was a time to get to the business of taking care of my child. We raced towards the hospital as if our van had wings. I was immediately ushered back to see my sweet boy looking so pale and limp. I immediately started rambling off the pertinent medical information that parents of special needs children commit to memory for just such instances. Doctors’ first and last names emblazened in my memory, medicines and their doses, last procedures where, when, and why. Like a fluid river of information as doctors look at you wide eyed with all that you are saying. Yes, it is too much
for a little boy for any child for anybody to have to cope with.
An IV, an x-ray, fluids, temps, blood pressure, bloodwork, and conferencing with doctors. It was determined that Braden has mucous in his lungs that was coughed upwards. Meanwhile his esophogus was not open properly, due to malacia, and flopped over trapping the mucous in his airway. This is one of our “worst case” scenarios. His amazing aide noticed that something was wrong. It was slight, but seeing as she in Braden are in perfect rhythm, she knew that something was off. They immediately went to the school nurse, whom I would trust with my son’s life any day, who performed chest physical therapy to remove the mucuous from his airway. Then she administered his rescue inhaler. This is all per his doctor’s instructions and the Individualized Health Care Plan we have in place with the school. Today, they saved my son’s life. I will always be grateful to them for that. I am so thankful that he is in capable hands.
We left today learning that my phone shall never be left in my locker again.Braden needs a USB medical bracelet so that no matter who brings him to the hospital his medical information is accessible to all. That we need to share some phone numbers that some of us didn’t have. We learned that we will also be needing a hospital type bed that can incline for our little guy, and that’s a tough pill to swallow as a parent. Most importantly though, we learned that we are surrounded by the most amazing friends and family that we could EVER ask for. Today reminded me that everything can change in a heartbeat or rather a breath. Never take life for granted my friends.