"You have to take your baby to the hospital right now," the doctor told me over the phone that Friday afternoon.
Right now? Today?
"Yes, right now. As soon as you can. He has pneumonia."
After finding someone to care for the other 4 children, I headed to the hospital with my one-year-old son.
I had known something was wrong with him for 3 – 4 months. After giving up his morning nap, he suddenly wanted one again; he seemed fatigued. He would fall down and stop breathing for a little bit. Trips to the doctor didn't help. Asthma was suggested. We went to an ear/nose/throat specialist who put a scope down his throat with no results. As his mother, I KNEW something was wrong. My doctor didn't doubt me since I was certainly not a first time mom. Finally, on that Friday, the doctor decided to x-ray his lungs. That is how the pneumonia was discovered. He wanted us at the hospital and scheduled a bronchioscopy for the following Monday.
So, there we were at the hospital for the weekend. A pulse monitor was attached to my little guy's big toe. I was given the job of trying to keep him happy. He also received chest PTs twice a day to break up the 'stuff' in his lungs. Keeping a one year old content in a hospital isn't easy, but we managed.
|Wagon rides helped keep him entertained.|
Late Sunday night a child was admitted and put in the room next to our room. The child cried and screamed almost all night, it seemed. The parents were also loud. Truthfully, I was a little annoyed because we were being kept awake. Due to the 'stuff' in his lungs being loosened, my baby would cough during the night and then settle back down.
The next morning, the pediatrician came in for rounds, checked my boy and moved on to the next room. Shortly after he left, my baby started coughing, choking, and turning blue. He wasn't breathing. I don't respond well to medical emergencies. I panicked. Being right next to the nurse's station, I stepped out to get help but found that I could not talk. Words simply would not come.
|Nate and his doctor|
Due to my frantic arm waving, the nurse determined there was a problem and the doctor noticed as he was leaving the room next door. I pantomimed for them to come to my room. The doctor quickly noticed the terrible blue color (the nurse compared it to the color of my shorts in the photo below) of my son and administered the Heimlich maneuver. It seemed like it took a long time to clear his airway. Finally, a blue crayon was dislodged!
|Immediately after his choking episode.|
After everything settled down and my baby had his bronchioscopy later that day, I had time to reflect. Yes, everything had worked out in the end, but what if...
I realized that the family in the adjacent room that had previously been an annoyance were actually the reason the doctor was still at the hospital and not back in his office.
I realized that my son could have choked in the middle of the night and I would have thought he had just settled back to sleep when he wasn't breathing.
Things could have gone differently, but I was reminded of Romans 8:28: "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."
Even though that incident was more than 18 years ago, I am often reminded how it allowed me to see how things worked together for good. Even those annoying things that I complained about worked out to be good.
Often in our lives we don't get to see how the annoying things, the painful things, or the things we complain about are actually for our good. Sometimes it is a long time before we see the good in a situation. Just as Joseph was able to tell his brothers, "...you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good..."
However, there are times we may never see how things work together for good. How should we handle those situations? That is when I have to remind myself that God is in control and He is infinitely better at seeing than big picture than I am.