Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My First Call to 911, Christmas, Etc.

What a difference a day makes. Billie Holiday taught me that one. The truth of the matter is that a second can make a difference. A breath can make a difference. Boy, can it make a difference.

On the 17th, we got a call to pick Cullen up from school a little early. Since I had the following week off, I was completely fine with starting my break a little early. Cullen didn't really have a fever, but he wasn't acting like himself. We got home, and James headed back out to pick up some to-go dinner from Chili's.

I put Cullen in his high chair to get started on his dinner and walked across the kitchen to cut up some grilled chicken. As any mom knows, silence isn't that golden. It's usually a sign that something is very wrong. Cullen went completely silent and started shaking. Three seizures later, I had James headed back home with no dinner to take us to the hospital.

I was proud of myself for keeping it together while grabbing clothes for Cullen and his favorite toy to toss in the car. My hope was to have Cullen in the car seat and be waiting in the driveway when James pulled up. During my moment of togetherness, Cullen stopped breathing. His little face turned blue and his eyes rolled back in his head. And then I lost it.

I called 911. They put me on hold. On. Hold. Are you kidding me? When they finally answered the phone, they told me that it would be better if I just brought him to the hospital rather than sending an ambulance. Seriously? Why did I even call them? If I ever get shot, I'm skipping the phone call and getting in the car.

Luckily, James had the forethought to call the hospital and let them know we were on our way. After an excess of projectile vomit and more tests than I could count, they told us that Cullen had the flu. His fever got too high, too fast. No big deal. The doctor told me it was no big deal. Clearly, that guy doesn't have kids.

After a follow-up appointment with Cullen's pediatrician, we are looking at putting tubes into his tiny little ears. Cullen and I have a mother/son appointment with the ENT on New Year's Eve. Lucky us. We're hoping that stopping the ear infections will decrease the fevers and decrease the likelihood of repeat seizures. The nurse at the hospital asked if Cullen was our only child. She made me realize that I'm not strong enough to go through this again and again. Only time will tell.

We recovered from the drama of the seizures and packed our bags for South Carolina. Christmas was still coming, and we had plans. Cullen was a great sport about the long drive, and we made great progress. The trip there was split into two days so that we could stop to visit my grandmother. She had been in the hospital since October, and this was our first chance to actually visit since she was three states away.

The visit was incredibly tough, but I had no idea I would be so glad to have made it just two days later. Late on Christmas Eve, my grandmother passed away. Mammom was 87 years old and beautiful inside and out. She was tough and cheeky. She told it like it was. She made me cry. She taught me how to cook and how to knit. She taught me to value the priceless things in life. She taught me to be honest. She taught me the value of a hand-written note. Up until the very end, we exchanged snail mail letters every single week. I saved so many of them, and now I wish I had saved so many more. My life was blessed by her presence.

Christmas day was tough, because the adults in the house knew the sad news. Christmas day was beautiful, because the kids did not. There were toys everywhere and lots of laughter. Christmas is magical with children. My baby is a blessing. Truth be told, my life is full of blessings. Too many to count. I am one lucky girl. Below I have a picture of Cullen enjoying his Christmas lunch of ribs while still in his pajamas. That kid makes me laugh so much. And sometimes, I make him laugh.


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