Last Tuesday seemed like a normal day. Our daughter woke up with a fever and so we gave her some Tylenol and let her rest. One minute our little girl was quietly resting watching cartoons, then suddenly she was shaking uncontrollably, her eyes rolled back, and her face turned purple. My wife flew into action to see if she was breathing. Her jaw was clenched.
I immediately attempted to dial 911. The phone wasn’t working! I reached for my iPhone. The last time I used it, I was listening to a podcast…so the voice came on. In that moment I wanted a phone, not an iPod! I thought about the First Aid application on the phone…but there was no time to get to that. After a few seconds I was connected to 911. They got our address and sent an ambulance. In a few minutes we had three policemen and two paramedics at our home…administering oxygen and asking questions. Her little sister Brielle got a towel from the kitchen. She was all confused and wanted to help.
Arianna was rushed to the hospital with Brenda in the ambulance while I followed behind in the car. In the emergency room she looked so sad and hurt. After the initial monitoring we tried to get her to drink some fluids and keep her fever down. The doctor gave some little bear stickers to Arianna. She thought about her sister “I’ll get one for Brielle.” I wore one on my hand like she did. (My goodness it really hurts to take the sticker off when it pulls off most of my hair with it.)
After nearly 6 hours at the hospital we found she had a bad urinary tract infection. Evidently kids under the age of 6 can have “febrile seizures ” set on by high fever. She got dual shots of antibiotics in both legs. We told her “A shot hurts for a little bit but it helps you feel better for a long time”. Soon after we were on the way home with Arianna.
The whole experience reminded us again that life is so frail. Those minutes of not knowing what was happening were the longest minutes ever. We needed to know that she was safe and out of danger. Through that scary time you see what really matters. You gain perspective. At that moment money was not a concern. It didn’t matter how much the ambulance cost…if it could save our little girl. We’re thankful we have good medical care available.
That night we were back at home and Arianna was feeling better. She wanted some french fries at 10 pm. Normally, I wouldn’t go out just for the fries but that night I did. I made a late night run to the McDonald’s drive-through and then the video store to get a movie she’s been asking to see every time we passed by it. Upon seeing a 43 year old man renting “Barbie and the Diamond Castle”, the guy at the video store said “Going all out tonight, huh?” “Yes, I am.” I replied…and I was.
It’s amazing how quickly we fall back to “normal” patterns. I’m determined to appreciate life and remind myself every morning it is a new day. I agree that yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. It’s appropriately called the present.
After feeling that you’ve almost lost your little one, you want to make each moment count. What would you do differently if today was your last day together with the people you care about? Why not do it now?
I put together the following action plan that is a good idea for everyone:
* Know the way to the nearest hospital. Google maps can get the directions wrong.
* Know how to dial 911. I think it’s 9-1-1…right?
* Learn CPR and First Aid. You never know when you might need it.
* Appreciate every moment of time with your loved ones.