Wednesday, March 10, 2010

of life, death, illness and passion.

As I sit here typing at almost-midnight, my youngest is in my lap. I don't necessarily want him here. I'd rather he be in his own bed, quietly sleeping, but that isn't going to happen. He's been sick almost a week now with some silly cold, and it's threatening to drag me down too. Not with sickness in health, just with weariness. I don't like not sleeping, and I don't like snot runs on my pant legs or my shirt, and I don't like constant whining; I'm not a very good nursemaid! But what I do like is snuggling. So I am sitting here, snuggling my son while he attempts to relax and rest. (since sleep isn't likely going to happen) And I am attempting to be okay with that.

As I snuggled with him earlier today, my thoughts ran wild. They do that often. They are so untame like that. I was thinking about how my own Dad is sick too with pneumonia (you know, old people get sick with stuff like that often. Just sayin'. I'm also just joking, Dad! Who loves ya, baby? teehee) And it got me thinking about Rhys and his illness. What if I'm wrong and it's not just a cold? What if his congestion is worse? What if his wheeziness is more and needs actual medical intervention, not just Vaporub on his feet? What if it turns into pneumonia and he is hospitalized again? What if? What if? It took me back a whole two summers ago, when he was just a newborn, and very ill, and I didn't understand the gravity of the situation. Well, not at first.

Rhys was just a month old and only home from the hospital for maybe a week, if even. We were starting to get into a routine and things were well. Except they weren't. He was sleeping an awful lot that day. I was concerned, but shrugged it off as a newborn thing. But that afternoon, I noticed he looked really pale. Now, my kids are like me and we're white. Not caucasian, white. White, as in pale. As in kleenex. As in untannable. Well, he looked more white than that. And his skin felt rubbery. I remember that and thinking it was the weirdest feeling ever. I just couldn't shake this bad feeling either, so as soon as Hunny returned from work, I took Baby Honey to the hospital. By then he looked just grey and lifeless. When the nurse got him out of his carseat (she was in a rush, I guess, and didn't wait for me to do it!) she was telling the admitting doctor that she wasn't even sure he was breathing when she first picked him up! (which shocked me) Turns out he did have moments of Apnea! The nurses started to poke and pinch him to get him to take another breath as he would stop every few inhalations, while the pediatrician was called in (who also happened to be the same doctor who saw my other boys!) and a series of tests were done.

In the end, it was determined that Rhys had aspirate pneumonia and was in the PICU for a bit, starting off on a ventilator. My life altered dramatically so quickly.

As I hold him now and the tears come to my eyes and the fear of the situation settles into my brain, I can see it as it truely was. I can let out the emotions that I held back then because I needed to be strong for him, for me, for the kids, for the family, for my own Hunny. And I can't believe how close we came to losing this Baby Honey.

Now, I know that all the What If's can kill you, and I'm not trying to get my mind going off in that direction, but I can't help but think, Wow. What if I hadn't taken him to the hospital when I did? What if he had stopped breathing while in the triage? What if it was all too late? After all, I had no idea that he was even sick. Sure, he choked on a bottle the day before, but since a whole day passed and he was breathing fine then and took bottles with no issue, I had nothing to make me think his lungs were harboring such illness. And that shocks me. To not know someone is close to death....

It makes you question your abilities to determine the severity of something. And it makes you think of how you use the time allotted to you, and the knowledge you have. For over a year I hadn't thought of Rhys' recovery as a Miracle. Should I be? Should I see this as a Second Chance? I suppose one could view it that way. There's the saying about how you should live each day as if it were your last, but to be honest, I don't know how to do that. I don't know how to live abundantly, joyously and with adandon. I don't know how to cherish each moment I have with my children, while they are still young. I don't even know how to live with such passion for myself, much less know how to teach someone else not to cling to things!

How do you change your life? That is the question that has been plaguing me all week. How do I life differently? Sure, my life has been good and fine and everyone says I have good kids, and I'm a nice person, so why do I need to change? Because I do. I can not keep living the way I do. For many reasons which I can not specify all here, the list is that long! But at the top of the list is Passion. I need to change something b/c I've lost my passion. For life. For people. Oh, the emotions are still there, but the embers need to be stoked again. I NEED to live like each day matters, like today could be the one where I say goodbye to someone I love. As much as the idea terrifies me.

So I sit here, in the dark, straining at the screen (since I took my glasses off earlier and now can't get up to retrieve them), snuggling my Baby Honey and thinking about life. And living. Really living.


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