Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Part 5: The night we could've lost Brody

Click here to read parts 1, 2, 3 and 4.

When we got home things stayed pretty calm. We were all tired and in desperate need of a shower or two, but we tried to keep things as relaxed as possible. I fielded some phone calls from family to assure everyone that things were alright. We didn't make it home till about 5 or 6 that evening.

Moo Moo and Papa!
Primarily I needed to talk to my grandma, Moo Moo, because we were supposed to go to her house the next day. This woman is a top-notch cook, so every year we look forward to eating her homemade (all from scratch, ya'll) dressing.

Delicious is an understatement when it comes to her food, especially her Thanksgiving spread. It's the hovering-around-the-kitchen-waiting-for-her-to-give-us-the-green-light-so-we-can-pounce-on-it-like-a-bunch-of-hyenas kind of good. Needless to say, it takes a lot of preparation.

I helped her make the dressing about eight years ago and then made it in Alaska a few times too (or attempted to). Every year I tried, it seemed to get better and better. I even made it the year before last for Klay. Making it at home helps Klay and I not get into a pushing match with my cousins and the rest of the fam who are literally fighting for leftovers. OK, we don't literally fight, but we joke about it. When we are waiting for the "green light", we have our elbows out attempting to block others from the yummy spread that lays before us and our utensils and plates in-hand ready to chow down like crazed animals.

Anyway, no one else in my family knows how to make it or has attempted to, so I know how tough it really is. She makes like 12-15 pans of homemade cornbread for the dressing to feed our whole family, and of course, she makes a few extra for my grandpa, Papa, who likes to eat some plain with some good ole buttermilk. YUCK! I'll never understand the strange combinations of things that man eats. 

The reason I'm telling you this is because I talked her into passing a few things on me this year--which she's never done before--so it was a really big deal. She normally cooks two turkeys. I offered to cook one to try to take some of the stress off her.

Well, the day all of this went down I made a turkey (meant to be for Klay and I). It was my practice turkey; I planned to cook another turkey early Sunday morning or Saturday night to take to Moo Moo's.

I didn't want to send a few days old turkey to our family Thanksgiving. We weren't too sure if we'd go or not, but the doctors said it would be fine. So I stayed up late Saturday to cook a second turkey hopeful this one would be fresh and juicy for the trip! The turkey turned out incredible. YAY ME! But I was exhausted.

After all of that, Klay and I decided Brody was going to sleep in our bed--we didn't have a talk but it was obvious he wasn't going to leave our sight anytime soon.

Let me take you back to Part 1 for a sec...

In it, I talked about how I contemplated putting Brody in his bed that night. It runs through my mind all of the time... and haunts me. What the HELL was I thinking? He was running fever for a few hours, but it hadn't really went much higher than 100, so I'd hoped this sickness would be a fluke thing. I just can't imagine how things may have turned out had we put Brody in his bed. I know we probably would have let him sleep with us (had the seizure not happened yet) anyway, but it's hard for me to think about how I contemplated the other option. If he'd have seized in his bed, we may not have heard him... and he choked and stopped breathing when he had the seizure. Thinking about him in his bed seizing is unbearable... That's something that will stay with me forever and therefore change my decisions from here on out when it comes to him having a fever and how I will handle it.

I know allowing him to sleep with us is an overall bad parenting choice. Trust me, we faced the consequences the weeks after (and it wasn't pretty). But we'd had the most traumatic experience of OUR lives and Brody wasn't completely over his illness. 

He didn't run a high fever since we'd been home from the hospital, but it did go up to 99.8 or so an hour or two after we were home. We gave him Motrin/Tylenol and it stayed down the rest of the night.

Klay and I woke periodically through the night feeling Brody's head and checking his temperature with the thermometer. Brody stayed asleep, his body finally at rest from this crazy, emotional weekend. His poor, little body had been through so much.

The next day I called Moo Moo again and told her I was sending the turkey and juice from the turkey (used for the dressing) with my sister. They were bummed because they thought we weren't coming; at that point we were still deciding. 

After some talking with Klay, rehashing what the doctors said, we decided we couldn't be afraid to go beyond our house in fear of something happening again. We could tell Brody was feeling better and he hadn't run fever since the day before. So we had to move forward with our lives and try not to live life around these possible seizures.

My grandparents live about an hour away from us--in the country--(don't worry they have a nearby hospital or as Brody would say "HA-STI-PULL") so it was a little bit of a drive.

We made it there, all in tact, with no car-seizures. I was really happy we decided to go. I started helping Moo with the rest of the food. Everyone started to eat, but I continued making the second batch of dressing (which required the turkey juice I sent). I let Moo Moo eat, asking her questions along the way, making sure I was doing everything right.

I was still cooking about 45 minutes or so after everyone had made it back for round 2, piling their plates again.

Klay checked on me several times, trying to make me a plate, but I had to keep moving to get my mind off of all that happened. It was replaying over and over in my head and I was still on edge afraid Brody would run more fever. My heart just wouldn't relax. I was still so tense from it all. I needed to get those images out of my mind, so I cooked and cleaned, cooked and cleaned.

I answered questions from family members about how he was doing and how it all went down. I could talk about it, I just couldn't let my brain visualize what he looked like during and post-seizure. But if I sat there thinking, not doing anything, those images would flash in my head like it was happening again before my eyes.

I was the last one to eat that day, which has never happened on Thanksgiving--ever! This fatty fat likes her food mmmkay. The hubs made me sit down and finally eat. The food was incredible but I just wasn't hungry.

Afterward, I sat for a bit and watched my son play and act his normal self. I was happy to be watching him do the simple things. Whether it was eat, cry, talk, walk, or point, I was admiring the little things he did and had some hope we were finally getting back to normal.

The roads were supposed to get pretty slick that evening so a few people left early. I stayed and helped clean the kitchen and made my grandparents leftovers, shoving them in the fridge, before all of the food was gone. They won't do it till everyone has leftovers, letting everyone take all the food and THEN save any that may be left for themselves. But the past few years, the leftovers have dwindled down to almost nothing. Maybe the older everyone gets, the more we want to pack on the pounds so we take as much as we can! LOL. Or maybe it's because our family is growing, adding more kids every few years and then they get older and want to pack on the pounds too!

After cooking for four days, we all knew Moo Moo deserved to kick her feet up, relax and enjoy her hard labor. So along with a few others, we cleaned the kitchen so there wasn't anything left for Moo Moo and Papa to do. (Yes, Papa helps. He's her dishwasher, seriously. They don't have one of the "fancy" machines at their house. Papa does it all the old fashioned way! But his hands are as soft as a baby's bottom y'all!)

It was after 7 or so when we finally left and past 8 when we got home.

We gave Brody a bath and Klay put his--Brody's--diaper and PJ's on.

Because of this life-changing weekend we had, we thought we'd give Brody an early Christmas present. I'd been shopping for presents already for the 349839 kids I have on my list for Christmas. It's not that many, but it's around 20, which is still a lot.

I'd been buying them at Walgreens (cheap, ya'll!). While I'd peruse the aisles, Brody would carry on about this $20 dinosaur that roared and walked (though you couldn't see it walk, cause it was in a box... DUH!).

"DIN-A-TOR" he'd say and laugh. He loved that thing. After the third trip to Walgreens scoping out the toys, I finally caved and bought it for him.

I handed the box to Klay and asked him to open it.

While I'm in the office doing something I hear "SHIT!" Yes, we cuss a lot. We're not proud.

"Oh My God, WHAT!?" I said to Klay walking back to the living room.

MY HUSBAND was hunched over (head to the floor) holding the towel Brody had just been dried off with. He sat there for several seconds, not saying anything.

"What happened?" I asked again, knowing he'd hurt himself.

When he looked up, his face was white. It had lost all its color. 

I'd seen that face before. This can't be good. I knew he was hurt. I had a flashback to the time he came in from playing basketball with some buddies when we lived in Alaska; his face was ghost white. Immediately noticing his face when he walked in the house, I asked him what was wrong and he told me he thought he broke his wrist. He tripped over his own feet and landed on it wrong. Then we sat in an ER for four hours, and about three hours in, I was hoping it was broken. I didn't want to have wasted four hours in an ER for a sprained wrist. It was broken, but don't feel sorry for him, he used it to his advantage later. Then another flash of the time he hit himself in the head with a 20 MIL can at work. How'd that happen? He bent down to pick something up while pulling the heavy metal box off the table, not thinking about physics and the pull of gravity aka how the box would swing and hit him the head as he PULLED it off the table. He had a golf ball-looking lump on his forehead for a while. Good times. Or the time a garbage disposal fell on his head when he was installing my new sink. I saw the same ghost white face every time. He's sort of like the real-life version of Tim Taylor from "Home Improvement." He's not that bad, but I wasn't surprised when I saw that same colorless face again.

"Oh My God, what happened!?" I yelled.

"I cut myself," he moaned. "It's deep. I need to go the hospital."

"Well come over to the sink so I can look at it," I said helping him stand and move to the kitchen. I was worried, but I just told you this wasn't the first time this guy had been injured like this. I scurried to get him to the sink and off my pretty light gray and white rug--which already endured some throw up from Bro Friday. Thank God my Dad has a carpet cleaning biz! Shout out to the company Amazing Results, ya'll!

Leaning over the sink, he took the towel off, dark red blood seeped from the deep wound. It was bleeding quite a bit and he was definitely going to need stitches. We were both worried he may have hit a bone.

I quickly put Brody's jacket on, grabbed his diaper bag, my purse, a few blankets, Klay's jacket and opened the door to instructing the troops to the car. I got all the bags in, Brody in his carseat buckled, Klay in the front (buckling him too) myself in and buckled, and off we went to the ER--again. This time, we went to a nearby ER only ten minutes away.

It was starting to sleet some, so I had to drive slow. I called my mom and Klay's parents on the way, letting them know where we were in case I needed some help with Brody. Their reply? "Are you serious?"

So you thought this post was going to be about Brody going back to the ER? Nope, it's about this accident-prone husband of mine. I really can't talk much. I tend to have bad luck when it comes to medical stuff too. If the docs tell me there is a 5% chance, something will happen... I'll be in the 5%. All I can say about our countless trips to the ER... thankfully we have good insurance, other wise we'd be living in a box on the side of the road.

Klay was in a lot of pain so I knew it was going to be tough when getting stitched up.

Klay trying to be dramatic. Ha. My poor men.

I was afraid Brody would freak out immediately when we entered the hospital thinking we'd be there for him, but surprisingly he wasn't phased. Instead, he kept saying "Dada hurt. Dada boo boo. OUUUCH!" when he'd look at Klay's hand.

Brody kept us entertained and I filmed him talking, playing and straining to fart. I know, we're a classy bunch... (Update: as I reread this draft, I read this part and heard a loud poooooot, from my hubs. Ahhhh... Love my life!)

After being there for close to two hours, we finally got to go home. Since we really spent more than $20 bucks on this dinosaur (because of the recent added expense of an ER visit) we were going to play with Brody's toy, the "DIN-O-TOR" he loved so much.

We turned it on to walk, and guess what? That kid screamed and cried--he was terrified. AHHHHHH!!! Seriously kid? Your daddy just bled over this toy for you. But Brody could care less; we had to put it away.

We were just about to go to bed and were checking to make sure all of the doors were locked, when Klay spotted some blood on the walls. "Cass there's blood all over the walls!" he said.

I thought he was joking because this guy loves to cry wolf all of the time. "Whatever," I replied.

"Come look," he challenged.

I walked over and spotted the sprays of blood on my tan walls. I looked around the room and blood was everywhere. It was in places that were more than four or five feet away from where Klay sat on the floor. It was on my picture frames, my turquoise table, my candles, the TV, the walls behind my bookcases by the TV--it looked like a scene from CSI. It was about to be a scene from "Snapped," if it was on my gray and white rug. If you've never seen that show, it's about women kill their lovers. And I was about to "SNAP" if my pretty rug was ruined.

Klay was lucky. NOTHING on my rug--not one single drop. I don't know what he did to get it everywhere... Our theory: he swung his arm in the air after it happened slinging blood on the walls, and he covered it quick enough with the towel that it didn't land on MY carpet.

After our third trip to the ER in three days, I was just hoping it would be our last for a while. I'm glad all of my boys were OK, but it was too much for one weekend--and my poor rug had had enough! I'm kidding... kind of.

I look back now and think how lucky we are that nothing worse happened. How lucky we are that we didn't put Brody in his bed that night, that Klay was home with me when it happened, that Klay didn't cut a finger off or injure that pretty face of his again. I feel lucky to have these accident-prone men of mine.

So, what have I learned from all this? Hmmm.... to have 911 on speed-dial and a first-aid handy at all times. 

For real though, I learned just how deeply my love for my child goes. Sometimes I question my ability as a parent or how I'm doing as Brody's mother. I've even wondered if this should be the only kid we have. After this incident I was definitely wanting to put the idea of another kid on hold for a bit. I'm not sure I want to have that kind of scare with another child again... BUT the love I feel for Brody, makes me want to have another one--eventually (hold your horses, folks).

If my life is this crazy with one, can you imagine what a second would do? Scary thought...

At the end of the day, I am a mom. Therefore, I will always worry, my heart will not rest when Brody runs a fever, and I hope I will not panic should it happen again. All I can hope for is that it doesn't so I won't ever have to see him like that again. That was the absolute hardest, scariest moment of my life--well, that and skiing.

But that story is for another day...