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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Visit to the ER

Both little boys have been battling colds this week but Alec's turned into a nasty wheezing late yesterday afternoon. We watched it until bedtime and later when I checked him before turning in his shortness and quickness of breath concerned me. Since experiencing two breathing-related hospitalizations for our older son Owen at this same age, I tend to prefer being safe than sorry and so we decided that I would take Alec into the ER to be checked out. It was close to 1 a.m. by the time I arrived but thankfully our wait was short.

Unfortunately, Alec put up a fight the minute I tried to undress him for the doctor to take a look. He is incredibly strong and aggressive when he gets angry. Screaming, making himself stiff as a board, kicking, grabbing hold of his clothes so I had to peel his hands off finger by finger, even smacking me across the face ... it was quite the show. The doctor's diagnosis was "acute sinusitis" with observations of nasal congestion, slight fever, and respiratory difficulties. She ordered two nebulizer treatments while we were there.

Of course, nebulizing a violently irate two-year old was no easy task. The first time, I sat with Alec on the hospital bed and tried my best to control his flailing arms and legs while trying to keep the mask in place so it would do its job. Alec fought and screamed at the top of his lungs during the entire treatment, relaxing only once the mask was removed and we were given a few minutes' break before the next round.

I took off my shoes and sat cross-legged on the bed with my legs circling Alec and his legs under one of mine for the second treatment. With one arm I restrained both of his and with the other I held his mask. It was still an effort but not such a battle as the first time, and finally during the last 5-10 minutes of the treatment he settled down and rested against me. I think we each breathed a sigh of relief at that point!

Nothing about this ER visit had to be painful (meaning no pricks or pokes this time) but Alec's stubborn resistance made it a bit traumatic for both of us. I think I was sincerely empathetic to the fact that all of this was frightening and new to him, yet I would be less than honest if I didn't admit that I was also frustrated and even embarrassed by my own child hitting me in front of the nurses (more than once, and even the nurses were trying to tell him, "No, no, you shouldn't hit mommy like that!") But I am grateful for God's presence with us enabling me to stay calm and Alec to eventually reach that point of trusting me again.

If anything, I was reminded that our relationship as mother and son is still a fragile one. Whereas Owen knew that he could trust me even in a scary situation because of the bond we had nurtured since he was five days old, Alec has only five months of trust built with me. (That's not to say that Owen didn't put up a fight - as this account of his first hospital experience reminded me - but his fight was with the nurses and procedures, not with Mommy.) In the end, I am thankful for the experience as difficult as it was because this morning Alec seemed to look at me with different eyes and seek me for greater comfort than he has in recent days. I am hopeful that this is one more circumstance where we will look back and see that God uses "all things for good."


Anonymous said...

Oh gosh! That made me cry! Not to much the ER experience itself but the interplay of emotions happening between you & Alec and you & Ian. Hugs!

Terri Fisher said...

Never a dull moment! Hope he's feeling better today!

alejandra said...

I know what you are talking about, and Christ is VERY strong!