Exactly one week ago, last Sunday. I called an ambulance for the first time in my 28 years on this planet. I can honestly say I had never before experienced anything as scary as watching my two year old child struggling to breathe. Things escalated quickly. One day she was healthy as a bean. The next she had some symptoms of a cold when she woke at 6am. By 8am she could not stop coughing, was wheezing and started to become short of breath. And at 9am when we made the decision to head to the ED and started walking to the car she started heaving and threw up all over the floor. That’s when we called the ambulance.
Iz had already been in hospital just two weeks earlier, after a similar situation occurred overnight at her grandparents (while Mummy was sleeping off the anaesthetic after having a wisdom tooth pulled!)
On her first admission there was talk of the ‘A’ word, but she is so young with no apparent history that she was discharged with ventolin to use in future cases of such an attack, but no official diagnosis. There was an assumption she had a nasty virus that had caused the respiratory distress.
On our second admission the results from her swab taken the first time had come back. Rhino virus (the common cold). Nothing super nasty.
So here we were again. A longer stay this time and a much scarier arrival to the hospital. Her heart rate up over 200, well over the normal range for a child her age. It took over 15 hours for it to come back down to a level that didn’t set an alarm off on the machine.
I felt so incredibly helpless, unable to take away my daughters suffering!
And then a day later and she is healthy as a bean again. What a scary 72 hours.
I’ll be honest there was a part of me that was like ‘oh my gosh we will never again go out in the cold or expose ourselves to germs or do anything that might make Iz sick’.
Well that’s ridiculous! We spend SO much time outside. Fresh air is natures medicine! We neeeed it! We want it. We will of course to continue to go outside. And if we get sick well we will conquer that! But I’m pretty sure we will get sick staying cooped up and inactive inside the house 24/7 without contact with the outside world!
And so it may seem like a topic change, but the stay in hospital.
I’m sure that no one thinks staying in hospital is amazing- but let me run you through some things.
When Isabella was admitted a few weeks ago (NOT overnight), I barely went there. I know I know horrible mother. Well I ask you to remember that the last time I walked through those doors to the ED I was miscarrying and when I left that hospital I was empty. Something significant had been taken from me, physically and metaphorically. So when I walked through those doors knowing my CHILD was in that hospital, I just wanted to run back out. But I stayed for some time. Then I left (and her father stayed) and then I returned to hear the important things from the doctors.
This time, I arrived in an ambulance with her, and did not leave for 36 hours. I slept in a hospital bed. And more significantly, I had to use the toilet.
Hospitals aren’t all thy unique from room to room- and the toilet was much the same. If you’ve read my earlier blogs you know what happened in that toilet. So the first time I went in there I cried. And then I washed my face, pulled my shit together, put a smile on my face and went back out into her room and tried to pretend that I was fine. She needed me to be strong.
And I slept, there in the hospital where one of my children had left me, and where one struggled to breathe properly on the bed beside me.
And it was horrible.
And I’m not trying to make this about me. I know how awful this would have been for Isabella, and she is my number one priority in this life. First and foremost, everything I do, I do for her and our family. Of course I was going to be strong and stand by her and support her.
But I needed to share how challenging it was to maintain that strength. Because I think that I behaved as though I was strong. But I didn’t feel strong.
I decided to write this today, because I have been so emotional this week. I’ve felt so detached and so overwhelmed and so lost. On Friday I walked into IKEA and saw the Christmas decorations and burst into tears because they were just so beautiful 😂. Emotions all over the place!
But this weekend has bought a lot of joy. Whilst not without its challenges, it has been wonderful. We witnessed the union of two young lovebirds! We sat near some incredibly inspiring and amazing people, who shared stories of their life that had me in total awe of their strength and commitment.
We spent today with beautiful friends, some who have travelled from interstate for the first time with their gorgeous son.
We are so lucky. Our daughter is healthy and home and we are safe, warm and fed and I am so grateful.
I love them all so much. All of you. My favourites. You know who you are. Don’t ever forget it. Thank you for always being there ❤️️