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. LANE...at 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!
HOW THANKFUL AM I THAT THE LORD DIRECTS MY STEPS!
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 trooper...so 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 Savior...um yes, yes it is!
THANK YOU JESUS!
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.