Sunday, June 14, 2009

Reminiscing and Counting Life's Blessings

I was weeding through some old e-mail and came across this letter I had sent to my family last year after Nathan's near drowning accident last August. Re-reading it, made my tears flow again but for gratitude and humility for the Power of the Priesthood and for our Heavenly Father's love for each one of us. I am forever indebted to the many friends and skilled professionals who quickly came to our aid and helped us through this very scary and challenging time.

Hi Family, I am sorry I haven't been online in awhile. Sooo many things happening to keep me busy elsewhere! First off, let me update you on little Nathan and Georgia, I didn't get you called so this will be new news for you! Last Monday Megan, Jesse and I decided to take the kids swimming in our neighborhood pool. They had so much fun. We were the only ones in the pool. They all had floaties on and after quite a while, Nathan decided he was cold and wanted to get out. I helped him get his floatie off and wrapped him in a towel and he sat on a chair. I got back in with the others and Megan and I were talking about wrapping it up and getting the others out when Nathan decided he wanted back in. Our pool is a gradual entry (no steps just gets deeper as you walk into it) anyway, we let him back in for a couple of minutes. Before we knew what was happening, he had gotten behind me (where the water is deeper) and started to sink down! Luckily Jesse was in the deep end when this happen and saw him. He quickly grabbed him and handed him to me. He was trying to catch a breath! He couldn't even gasp for air because he had swallowed and inhaled water when he had gone down. I quickly started patting his back and jumped out while Megan called 911. It was so scary. To see this little guy struggling for some air. He then began to cough and cry which was music to my ears. He was crying very loudly as you can imagine and I thought he was going to be OK. A Sheriff arrived shortly after that and Megan was still on the line with 911. (all the other kids had been herded out of the pool by now and strapped in a stroller) anyway, I told Meg I thought he was going to be OK now, but the operator on 911 told her the ambulance was almost here so they would take a look at him anyway. Well within a few minutes, Nathan suddenly became very lethargic. He kept rolling his eyes back and trying to sleep! I kept trying to keep him awake. I was so relieved to see the medical people arrive. They brought their portable oxygen to the pool and immediately got him hooked up to move to the ambulance where they would be able to monitor his vitals etc. I asked the gathering crowd for someone who could give Nathan a Priesthood blessing. Megan had called Wes to come home but I knew he needed one right away. I went into the ambulance with Nathan and they got him hooked up to the monitors and a more concentrated oxygen unit. They started an IV and all this time, Nathan is very lethargic and I am trying to talk to him to make sure he is hearing me. He responded to me. Two neighbors came into the ambulance and administered to him and gave him a blessing. I had the most reassuring feeling of peace at that very moment. The medical people began an IV and told me that they had contacted Life Flight and were going to have him transferred to Primary Children's Medical Center. (sitting here writing this brings tears to my eyes all over again. I just can't believe all this happened!) Anyway, his vitals were good and he was receiving the oxygen he needed but still he was so lethargic. Life Flight arrived and told me that had to strap him into a stretcher which most children hate but that it is protocol for them. Nathan did hate it and started to cry loudly which the medical people said was good to get his lungs functioning. Anyway, saying good bye to him as they put him into the helicopter was sooo hard! Megan drove me up the street to my car and I ran in and through on some clothes and headed to the hospital. Megan had called Bryce at work and he was going to meet me there. Well, that was a long drive in rush hour! It was about 5:30 pm when I left my house. I felt so panicky on the way up to the hospital. I prayed out loud all the way and had to keep reminding myself of the feeling in the ambulance when I knew all would be OK. Bryce arrived first and called me. Nathan had arrived and they had him hooked up to all the monitors there. When I got there, my little boy was laying in bed with an oxygen mask on, several monitors on his chest and finger, IV, and a tube down his throat to get the water out of his stomach. They had taken a chest x-ray and ran some tests. Poor little guy. Luckily Bryce was right there. I hated him being without someone he knew for very long. He was on 10 liters of oxygen which is a lot. They ran some tests on him and they came back OK. They got him all stabilized and down to 6 liters of oxygen and then moved him to PICU. (pediatric intensive care unit) He was there for about 6 hours and they were able to get him down to 1 liter. His body was amazing. He was pretty out of it in the PICU. Once in a while he would wake for a few seconds and reach for the tube in his nose or oxygen monitor on his toe! Then we would get him to settle and back to sleep he would go. By around 1 am or 1:30 am they moved him out of PICU. Of course, they continues to monitor him the rest of the night very closely. We had Dr.'s coming in to talk to us etc. We were up pretty much all night. By morning, they had gotten him down to 1/2 liter oxygen. Tuesday, he didn't eat or drink much and he slept quite a bit. They removed the stomach tube. We took him down to the playroom and walked around a bit because the Dr's had told us it was good for his lungs to get him moving about. He was delighted with the pinwheel and bubbles they gave him to play with because they wanted to get him blowing air out and taking deep breaths also, good for his lungs. By afternoon, Megan and Melinda brought the other little kids up to see him. They have a darling play room at Primary's so we took the kids all down there and let them play and paint etc. They all had so much fun. By the time they left, Nathan was tired! He was doing well without any oxygen on during the day but still needed it to sleep. You breath differently when you sleep so his level would quickly drop. Nathan had a few more visitors Tuesday night, Chad & Surang and Lori and Dave came up. He was so excited to see them. Tuesday night, they did another chest x-ray because Nathan was breathing a bit noisily. It showed a bit of white clouding which they still called opaque. (They are always concerned after an incident like this of the threat of pneumonia) Tuesday night they tried to take his oxygen off but his level fell. Bryce gave him another blessing. A couple of hours before morning, Nathan woke up and pulled the tube off his nose and the nurses decided to see how he did. He did OK but they were still a bit concerned about his sleeping breathing. Wednesday, the Nathan we know came back! He played outside on their terrace awhile and in the toy room etc. They Dr's wanted to see him get a good nap without any oxygen before they felt comfortable letting him go home. He did and by 5 pm they gave him the OK to leave! They sent him home on an antibiotic mostly as a precaution just in case there was any bacteria developing in his lungs and I was very in favor of that. On Friday I took him to his pediatrician for a follow up to all of this and he didn't hear anything at all in Nathan's lungs. He gave him a clean bill of health! Our little Nathan is back. The neurological tests they ran at Primary all came back OK and Nathan is just fine! (Can you believe he had the nerve to ask me if we could go swimming already????!!!!! Nathan told us about going under the water and Jesse getting him and he tells about the helicopter ride all so matter of fact! Kids are the way they can just move on to the next thing. What a week! Whew! I'm worn out again just writing to you guys about this. I realize more than ever what a gift life is and how quickly things can change. Let me take this opportunity to tell you all how much I love you. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. Sorry I didn't get a hold of everyone sooner. I just needed to focus and spend my time with Nathan. Megan and Melinda were amazing at home juggling the other kids and Jesse is a hero. I'm sure he saved Nathan's life.

We go together, like rama, lama, lama, kadingy, kading-a-dong!

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