We Made it 3 and a Half Years Without Ending Up Here…
The Emergency Room. We’ve had our fair share of hospital visits. Emergency rooms weren’t an uncommon sight for me. I’ve sat next to almost every family member in the ER, but for the very first time, we found ourselves there with Mark- in the middle of the night- and full of fear.
When Mark was in the NICU, we were told many things that brought on a lot of fear. Some people thought he would never go home, others thought he would be on machines his entire life. There were a few who were pretty confident that Mark would go home but on oxygen.
His lungs were damaged and underdeveloped. My body wasn’t able to give him an environment that thrived and allowed him to grow in a healthy manner. He spent so much time on the oscillator, that his tiny lungs became scarred.
Getting discharged meant we had to be careful with viruses like the Flu, RSV, and more recently Covid-19. RSV was the most common virus we would come in contact, with prior to the pandemic. We were told that his little lungs had enough damage and were so underdeveloped that RSV would land us back in the hospital, and he would be sedated and on a ventilator once again. Now, the thing about a ventilator most people don’t tell you is that the longer you are on it, the more dependent you become on it. So we were trying to avoid that at all costs.
Since Mark started school, we knew it was inevitable. He was going to come home with some respiratory virus and he did, many times. We were prepared for what was to come. We stocked up on cough medicines, both natural and name brand. We were prepared with the nebulizer, albuterol, and saline on hand. But when he woke up at 11:20 at night, crying, coughing, and gasping for air- everything we knew, went right out the door. The nebulizer did nothing. The medicine didn’t stop it. So we loaded Mark up into the truck and drove like crazy to get to the ER.
RSV. It was RSV and Croup. But RSV is what was dealing the damage and pulling at us in fear. The thing that struck fear in us 3 years ago was in front of us and we were having to deal with it as best as we could. For most parents and children, this virus is nothing. A simple common cold. But for us, it’s been an uphill battle. Thanos to our team of Avengers. With the snap of a finger, in a moment’s notice, what started off as sniffles turned us into a frenzy. We were frantic and unsure of what to do. But luckily, we found ourselves in the ER. After a number of tests and steroids and medicines, we were sent home.
We went home to rest, relax, and recover. The doctor said getting him outside for a little bit would do his lungs some good. So we went outside to paint everything we could. Mark painted his truck and his excavator. Then he wanted to wash them off with a bucket of soapy water and the hose… and do it all again. It threw a monkey wrench in our schedule, but as usual, we adjusted and took care of Mark. I mean, that is the definition of being a parent. The sacrifices. You sacrifice yourself, your sleep, your schedule, your plans… even your snacks and sanity. All of these sacrifices are worth it. Every single one. And even though I am no longer my child’s favorite person these days, he made time for Mommy when he wasn’t feeling well and I finally got my baby snugs. I just wish I had those without experiencing the fear of Mark gasping for air- and I am pretty sure he feels the same way.