It’s an interesting shade of blue. Tinted, really. Kind of reminds of me of the blue hair old ladies often sport when following ill-advised coiffure advice, now that I think about it.
But it’s a shade of blue that haunts me.
Will’s lips were this shade of blue when we found him during the wee small hours of the morning in the throes of a seizure, which was compounded by respiratory distress.
Terrifying. A sight I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy nor on any parent.
Time blurs for me as I try to recall what happened. A 9-1-1 call. Firemen – one of whom has come to tend to Will before in such situations. I refer to him as our personal firefighter – he is impossibly kind and gentle with both parent and child and nobody else better claim him because he’s ours. Oxygen tanks and masks. IVs inserted into little boy arms. Paramedics arriving. Bodily fluids afoot. Torn paper and wrappers and caps strewn.
This is what a medical emergency looks like.
By the time Will was carried out to the ambulance in the tattooed arms of a paramedic, the Mister walking behind as the official oxygen tank carrier, I wasn’t sure what end was up. Our firefighter pulled me aside and gave me some words of encouragement – Will’s breathing was recovering and it sounded to him like an upper respiratory issue. Congestion that might have complicated the seizure.
Congestion that turned my world a horrifying shade of blue.
When I arrived at the hospital, armed with clothes, meds (since it’s a whole lot faster to bring your own anti-convulsants rather than wait for the hospital pharmacy) and other things needed for a day of emergency room hurry-up-and-wait, I found an understandably cranky Will being poked and prodded by the attending emergency room doc and the guys who tended to him at home waiting to see what she thought, along with the Mister, fresh from his ride in the ambulance, giving vital information to all who requested it. There was peace in that chaos, for I knew that Will was in good hands. And this latest problem was on its way to resolution.
After visits from hospital personnel both new and familiar, some tests and a cup of bad hospital coffee, Will was deemed ok to go home. That damned ear infection is still lingering, most likely the primary complicator in Will’s already complicated heath craziness. His ear tube surgery is two weeks away – and it cannot get here fast enough. We are armed with my favorite antibiotic (It doesn’t have to be refrigerated! Hooray!) and a slight increase in the dosage of one of his anti-convulsants and the comfort of good test results. Young William seems to have bounced back with the energy and zip that only an eight (almost nine!) year old has. For that, I am immensely humbled and grateful. The Mister and I are still pulling ourselves back together, as the residue of our personal post-traumatic stress lingers longer in our adult minds and emotions. We continue to watch him like the proverbial hawk, noting anything that could be a precursor or signal of something going awry. What is normal eight-year-old behavior and what is the sign of another crisis brewing -- questions we ask constantly as we test the limits of our parental instinct.
As I collect the laundry of the day and try to resume normalcy, I notice a large blood stain on Will’s sheets, most likely a by-product of the lightning fast IV insertion. Red. Bright red. A partner with the blue of distress. New colors for my emotional stains. And while I’m haunted by these images, I really wouldn’t be any kind of parent if things stayed clean and pristine on my soul. And so it goes...