Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Alex's Crazy Ride!

So I thought Alex was getting better on Sunday afternoon as Heather and Laura were leaving, but Sunday night he took a dive for the worse and Monday morning he awoke with no voice, crying, and drooling into a towel to avoid swallowing.  Even after a nebulizer treatment, he still looked blue and this momma was done!

We went to see his pediatrician...AWESOME DR. 1:20 that day.  She became concerned when a flu test and re-swab for strep were both negative.  She could hardly see the back of his throat so she called the Ear, Nose and Throat doctors.

We immediately drove to the ENT and there Alex was given a mist of numbing medication through his nostrils.  A scope was run through his nose and down his throat so the doctor could see if anything was blocking the airway and causing trouble.

The scope revealed that his trachea was severely inflamed and had some kind of spots all over it.  Whether these were scabs, pus pockets, or sores the doctor was not sure.

After some discussion, the doctor said basically Alex had some kind of virus that caused a lot of phlegm to build up in the trachea.  When the phlegm didn't move, it grew a nasty bacteria.  

He spoke of admitting Alex close to a local hospital for IV antibiotics, but then he came back and said he wanted us to go straight to the children's hospital and into the operating room to see what all is going on.

My dad drove us and when we were finally helped at the children's hospital, everything became quite crazy, quite quickly!  Tons of questions flying at me...teams of medical staff everywhere...words I didn't understand and my brain spinning trying to sort through each of my boys' medical histories!

By 5:30 I was calling Tom so Alex could hear his voice while he drove to get here from out of town.   

I honestly didn't feel scared, but I was unnerved when the surgeon talked to me about signing the waiver for a tracheotomy if it became necessary!  I think that was the moment the gravity of the situation hit me like a jolt.

But then somewhere, somehow, in the midst of the chaos...almost as suddenly, I thought this:  to be absent from me would only make my son present with His Savior, so what is there to be worried about?  Either way, we win!  

What a tremendous gift to have that absolute certainty of peace!

I recalled a bed-time conversation Alex and I had in the previous week...about a story we had read once:  

A boy was electrocuted and unresponsive to the medical team's efforts to revive him.  The father, who is a believer, lay over his son's lifeless body sobbing, when all of a sudden, he reports that a faith he had never felt before bubbled and rose up from inside him and he began to speak to his son and command him to return to his body and live!  The son's heart faintly started beating again!

The son would lay in a coma for months and when he awakened, he would begin to report to his father that he had spent time in Heaven!  He tells his dad that Jesus told him he must go back to his family on earth and cannot stay in Heaven.  The boy asks why and Jesus tells him that authority is given to earthly fathers and mothers...authority that God has given them...and since his father was calling him back, Jesus would honor that.

The boy later tells his father, "If I ever die again before you, don't call me back!"  The boy WANTED to be in Heaven and stay there.

As Alex and I were reading a book together called Heaven is for Real, about a little boy named Coleton who went into Heaven during an appendectomy, we stopped and spoke about the boy who had been electrocuted and Alex said, "Mom, if I die, don't call me back okay!"

These were the thoughts running through my mind right after I signed the waivers about what would be done with my boy in the event of something happening in the OR.  Can I just tell you that the peace that flooded me knowing that he YEARNS and is EXCITED to meet his Maker, brought me deep joy!

My body and my mind felt stressed because of the crazy ride of emotions that had occurred in the last five hours, but my spirit was at rest.  THAT is peace that passes all understanding my friends.  THAT is the gift of God to all who will receive it.  THAT is Emmanuel, God with us! 

Alex was only in the OR for under 20 minutes when the doctor came out with photos of his trachea and showed me how narrow his airway had become.  She said that if the junk that was stuck in there had hardened, he would've stopped breathing overnight that night.

No...I'm not exaggerating.  Within three days of symptoms, my son was close to serious trouble!


He led us to the right doctors and helped us just in time.

Tracheaitis is very rare and only happens 10-20 times at this hospital to kids in this area per year.

After the surgery, Alex was put on a ventilator to help him breathe.  He spent the entire night with that tube down his throat.  He tried to rip it out when he first awoke, but then was okay with it for the rest of the night!  (Another gift to this momma because that is HARD to watch!)

He is such a brave, with a high pain tolerance thankfully...because that day was full of scarey and uncomfortable things for a 10 year old to walk through!

The tube was taken out on Tuesday morning and he did great all day long.  He vomited just after it was removed but did fine thereafter.

As I type this in the wee hours of the morning at the hospital, my precious boy rests comfortably.

Is this the best Christmas present I have ever received?  Other than my yes, yes it is!


         For unto us a Child is born,
      Unto us a Son is given;

      And the government will be upon His shoulder.
      And His name will be called 

       Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
      Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

      Of the increase of His government and peace
      There will be no end,

       Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
      To order it and establish it with judgment and justice

       From that time forward, even forever.
      The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

                       ~Isaiah 9:6-7 

Sister/Brother Christmas 2011

Most of you know that we have been blessed to have some very special young people in our lives over the years.  These young women have impacted and loved our boys like they were their own little brothers.  The relationships that God formed in this thing called "family" has blown us away.  We have walked through hard times together, but thankfully we have shared uncountable precious moments.

The following pictures are from our recent celebration reunion together.  

(For those of you who don't know our history together, here is a quick recap:

Heather~the first young lady to live with us for a summer while she interned with our then pastor

Laura and Saunnie~moved in at the end of the year we had Tom's two nieces and nephew living with us in central Indiana...Heather also moved back in that summer and for a bit we had 11 of us...but it was good

Andrea~lived with us for a couple months before her first year of college

Amanda~still won't live with us (hee, hee...because she has an AWESOME family) but we have totally adopted her

Morgan~has not lived with us either, but found a special little spot in my heart, as I just see how much love she needs right now

*Special note~we allowed my nephew Andrew to crash our party because my boys adore him!)

I will start with the pics of me getting ready to go out shopping with my Mom, Heather, Alex, and Trey.  These photos are really just for Laura to always remember because she hardly believed that I will sport braids and a hat when I gotta run out quick and I promised her picks the next time I did it!  

You wanna know why this day required them???  Because we needed to get an early start and a certain "Cambodian" girl kept me up talking until 4:30 A.M.

There ya go Laurla May!!!! (wink) See I can do it!  (with earrings and make-up and a boy hat!)

So off to shop we went...and then a special treat...we got to meet Andrea for a quick lunch!  

Next, it was back home for our annual cookie baking with my momma.  It was especially comical this year.  There may or may not have been a small flour fight...
 Yes...this is really what was going on when I left them alone for a few minutes!  Rolling pin massages...are you kidding me people?  Get your butts baking!
 Can you believe my mother let this happen!  Well, believe it because I also caught her hiding in the bedroom playing Words with Friends on her cell phone!  Grow up Grandma!
Trying to look all innocent and cute...whatever!  Move it!  You're not fooling me!

 Heather was super excited about how many cookie cutters she fit on this dough.  She is such an overachiever!
 And she didn't like it that I wasn't as excited!
 She thought about hitting me with a rolling pin...
 but then had a flash back to tee ball???

 Apparently she felt a bit over worked.  (I couldn't help that I had to wrap presents before everyone arrived could I???)
I told her this wasn't proper cookie-baking attitude!
 So...she got mad and threw flour in my mom's eyes!  (Uh yeah, yeah...pretty sure that's how it all started...)
 Good thing for her my mom thought it was funny because sometimes she smacks people (right Vicky!).
 What is this???  Get back to work!
I made mom clean up that mess...
while Saunnie and Laura were arriving

 Heather still needed some loving...
So Laura and I worked our stuff and a little smile appeared!
 Sweet little innocent Trey even got caught in their evil crossfire!
 Alex enjoyed it!  (or was he the real instigator???)
 Grandpa Garrison said it shouldn't have happened and that was so immature!
 Papaw Tom was not amused either...and sat us all in time-out!
 Ethan caught wind of the fun and thought he would come join, but made the better choice of staying out of trouble with Laura-the-good-one!
 But eventually, we all pulled it together and the cookies got frosted!

We had a light dinner and watched Elf while we tested out my dad's tense unit.  Saunnie was clearly puzzled by how this worked and thought it was hilarious that it made her muscles jump.  We laughed a lot!

We slept in a bit Saturday, woke to Laura's nummy pancakes, hung out, played games and chatted.  

Tom got called out for work, so we were awesome and let him open his present before he left!
 Yes, that is a genuine smile on his face as he models his new coffee toy...which I was given the first cup of!  I KNOW!  See how spoiled he makes me! (You're the best hubsie!)

Later, we had a delicious fried chicken dinner together.
Trey waited for present time...

 Heather comforted his impatience...
 Andrea tried to tell us about a movie...I'm still confused...

 Garrison handed out presents (but not so nicely to be honest!)
 Amanda and Morgan waited with anticipation!  And Alex...well, you can see here that this is where he is starting to go downhill in his health...sad, sad!  He was freezing with chills and burning with a fever within an hour of this photo.
 Oh my goodness...isn't she adorable?!!!
 Words can't express the joy in my heart to be able to cuddle with my girl!  sniff, sniff...I have tears in my eyes again right now!

 Is she getting mean again?  Mad at Laura for taking all those pics???
 Saunnie wasn't feeling so great either...

 "Dats right dawg!  I gots videos!"
 Is Andrea talking about another movie??????  Oh no! I remember...she had to tell a story of why she got each person what she did.  It was actually very sweet!
 Why yes!  I DID give Amanda that adorable Hello Kitty bag!
 G got a new IU hat! 

 Alex happy with his new UK shirt...yes rivals in da house!
 Trey got some Lego he wanted...happy
 Organized Laura had the trash receptacle all ready!  That's my girl!
 Trey got Peace Tea!  What the heck is Peace Tea? 
 Is Peace Tea legal at his age?
 I sure hope so because it didn't take him long to drink er down!
 Lotions and bracelets and journals and books...oh my! (And you know what those whiners said???  "Why didn't we get a ring like Heather?)
 Look at them crying!  Okay maybe they are laughing...  I sure hope Amanda didn't pee on my couch!
 This look must have been her faking it!
 Oh yeah...Andrea was pouty about no ring either!  Well, too bad...when you all go live in a third world country for years and can't take much back with you, THEN you will get a cutsie little ring from Momma Mindy!

 Some mean elves duct taped Laura's present!  I won't say who, but their names rhyme with Balex and Baunnie!

 Pink makes Morgan laugh every time!
 Yep...her is still workin on it...
 Trey found moola!  Sweet lil Alex trying to hang in there.  Garrison studying the foreign currency from Heather!
 Oh she did it!

 AND...she likes it...she likes it!
 Laura made these BEAUTIFUL scarves with quotes and verses on them...(not for me sadly, but I am believing that ONE day I will get one!)
 Saunnie jumped in there...

 We thought she looked a lot like the Virgin Alex came over to be her lil baby Jesus...ahhhh
 Andrea had no time for the Nativity...she knew she could watch it on the movie Saunnie gave her later so she relished in her bracelet...ya know because (sense the mean, whiney tone here) she didn't get a ring like Heather!

 Laura got breezy clothes (that were not duct taped)

 Saunnie got a Bohemian style bracelet...
 Laura opened a musical and was shocked that I remembered it was her fav (and let's just be honest...I was shocked I picked the right one too!)
 Saunnie got socks that she likes to kiss evidently
 and special elephant dung dried and painted from some place...according to Andrea, it was special...she probably saw that in a movie! ha!

 Laura got more cuteness!

 AND another!  Notice they are all grey and black please!
 And the Cosby Show!
 Is Heather opening the coveted ring????

 Garrison over the waiting for everyone else!
 Trey still kickin' it back!

 See, Laura was happy and pleasant about all her well-thought-out gifts!!!!

 Is she gloating that she got way cute clothes AND a handbag???

 Alex fading fast...
Oh and then Andrew finally showed up!  He got the Wii Jeopardy game (which my team kicked his butt in...just sayin')

The rest of Saturday night was weird.  Alex ended up in my bed burning up and in tears begging to go to the doctor.  Saunnie decided she felt too bad to stay so Laura and Heather took her to Indy and drove back.  Andrew, Amanda, and Andrea watched a movie and chatted it up until I got Alex comfortable and to sleep.  Then a pathetic game of Speed Scrabble happened at like midnight-ish!

Sunday morning landed Alex, and I at the urgent care while everyone else went to church.  Heather shared for a few minutes on her happenings in Cambodia, and I found out Alex was negative for strep.

Sunday afternoon we rested and attempted to watch some movies.  Alex perked up a bit and the fever seemed to go away.  Heather had to get ready to leave, and I tried to suck up the fact that I had no idea when I would be able to hug her again.  (Tissues please)

We love you sooooo much Heather!  Thank you for coming to visit! 

(The next post will chronicle Alex's crazy illness!)