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The Ramblings of a Redneck Diva
Monday, November 8, 2004
I'm baaaaaaaaaaack
If there were a mood description on here that said: "Calm, relaxed, noodle-legged, serene, happy, satisfied and totally at peace with one's self" then I would have had to have put it in the little mood space up above today. Alas...there wasn't such a mood. But that's how I feel.

I got back from Branson last night around 6pm. I made the absolute most of my time away and enjoyed every ever-lovin' second of it. I slept, I read, I shopped, I slept...Good Lord in heaven I SLEPT.

But first...if you know me at all, friends...you know there has to be drama in my life before anything grand can happen. You realize this, right?

Thursday night I had all 3 kids packed for their "YaYa's" (That would be my darling sister)house when they went to bed. I hadn't packed myself yet, but knew it wouldn't take long to throw everything in my suitcase in the morning. I gave Kady a breathing treatment before bed because she was a little rattly and I figured I'd just nip any asthma flare-up in the bud before I left. I was going to send inhalers, but not the nebulizer, figuring things wouldn't escalate to the point of needing the big-dog meds. When I have a mission in the works, when I have a lot on my mind and myself being a bit on the obsessive/compulsive side, I work myself into the ground fretting and fussing before something can take place. I had done that Thursday night - flown about the house packing bags, writing notes to Sis, Paul and the kids' teachers, writing myself notes to remind me of all the things I needed to get in Branson and the things Mom needed me to get, too. Finally I collapsed into bed around 11:30, knowing 5:30 was going to come durn early, but also knowing that once I got to the motel I could sleep to my heart's content.

At 1am I was awakened from a deep damn sleep to the sound of my youngest making some strange-ass noises. Initial thought: she's puking. That's always my initial thought when the kids make noise in the middle of the night. They always pick the wee hours of the morning to barf; it's a kid thing. The barf theory was quickly pushed aside when I heard her attempting to breathe but the only thing she could do was gasp and wheeze. I threw those covers off so hard I threw them off of Paul, too. Normally nothing wakes that man up, not even the sounds of kid barfing (selective hearing, methinks) but he woke up on this one. But he didn't get out of bed. Still wondering about that one... Anyway, I scooped her up and ran her to the living room, flipped on a lamp and checked her over. She was making a sound akin to that of a harp seal in between gasps and wheezes, but her lips were not blue, so I knew she was at least getting oxygen. I ran to the kitchen, grabbed the albuterol from the cabinet and proceded to try to fill the nebulizer cup with shaking hands and sleep-blurred eyes. I crammed the thing in her mouth and fired it up. She took as deep a breath as she could, coughed, took the mouthpiece out and said, "Me making some scawwwwy sounds, Momma." That was the understatment of the year. I kept trying to get her to take deep breaths, but she just couldn't so after 5 minutes (it seemed like so much longer) I yelled for Paul to get up and I ran to get the phone. I called the ER and got in touch with a nurse who after hearing Kady bark said to take her outside into the night air and if that didn't help then to get her in the car and get her to the hospital quick as I could. I appreciated the help, but it panicked me just a bit. I didn't even grab a blanket, I just ran out the front door. Imagine the scene of 3 year old with wildly curly hair gasping for air, shivering in her mother's arms and oh the mother, she's in her red nightgown, her own wildly curly hair all over the place and barefoot as the day she was born. It was a memory that should go on this year's Christmas card for sure. While I was outside breathing that wonderfully healing night air Paul was getting dressed. He relieved me of my night watch while I got dressed and called my mom, asking her to meet me at the hospital. Paul met me around the house, we got a blanket around her and I hit the flashers and off we sped. This was the second time I have had to make a 20 minute drive with my flashers on all the way to the hospital and frankly, I don't really enjoy it all that much. (The first time was when Paul had his car vs motorcycle wreck - shudder)

Mom met me in the parking lot, we ran her in and the check-in girl, who had a pretty low-key attitude when I walked in, immediately shifted into high gear when she the baby seal bark emitting from the child in my arms. She typed like crazy, getting only the most critical information, called the ER and told them they needed to get up front quickly. A paramedic breezed in, witnessed the barking and wheezing and sped us back to the trauma room. Trauma room? Oh the implications there...I was having to actually make my feet take steps by that point.

They went to work, getting her set up on an EKG, pulse ox and God knows what else. She was so brave and calm and I was so proud of her. Of course, she wanted her Grammy, which was fine - I'm glad Grammy was there, too. The doctor checked her out and asked me what I thought it was. Well, all this time I was convinced it was an asthma attack, plain and simple. Nope. Second guess anyone? The Croup. The CROUP. I thought the Croup was just a name people called a really bad cough, but actually it's what happens when one of 5 nasty viruses causes the back of the airway to shut off, causing the sharp baby seal bark that everyone calls the Croup. All this time I thought asthma attacks were instantaneous and immediate and the Croup was something you worked into, but in all actuality it was the opposite. He said in a child her age they rarely have a sudden onset asthma attack. Learn something new everyday. He said her asthma was definitely in play here, but that wasn't causing the distressing, yet impressive, moose impersonation she was showing off that night.

They gave her a breathing treatment with some racemic epi and gave her a shot of Dexamethasone and by the time we left she wasn't wheezing anymore. Still coughing but not wheezing. He assured me she was fine and in all likelihood would be right as rain within 24 hours, that kids heal fast, especially with steroids in 'em. I took her home and she and I slept in my bed the remaining 2 hours that were left of the night.

By the time we all got up and I got the big kids off the school, she was fine. Still coughing, but only minorly and seemed happy as a clam. You could tell she was tired, but hey so was I. I talked it over with Mom, Paul and Sis and they all felt like she was out of the woods and that all was well and that I should go on ahead with my trip.

That was a hard decision. But I went. Selfish me won again.

And man...whaddya know - she really was right as rain. And now so am I.

The Diva has spoken at 9:05 PM CST

Tuesday, November 9, 2004 - 11:23 AM CST

Name: Sychotic1

If you didn't have family there I would say stay, but when your children feel as comfortable with Grandma or Auntie when they don't feel well, then it isn't an crime to enjoy your vacation.

I can't tell you how many times I had to feel terrible, leaving my son when he was sick to go to work, but I was lucky in that he was watched by a close family friend who had taken him in since he was three months old and who was actually at the birth.

It really does take a village to raise a child.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - 3:06 PM CST

Name: redneck-diva

Boy, if that isn't the truth. That whole village idea makes sense, lemme tell ya.

If she had acted sick that morning there's no way I'd have left her, but my sister had an asthmatic kid, she knew what to do if something had gone awry and dammit, I needed the vacation.

I appreciate your vote of confidence, dear. So far no one has chided me for going, in fact everyone has been strangely congratulatory to me for going in the first place, but I guess the mommy in me has a hard time taking time for myself and justifying it completely!

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