Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Little Scary Moment

Last night was a little crazy. Just for a tiny bit, but crazy all the same.

I had a headache when we went to bed. I rarely have headaches and am always surprised by how they feel -- like a c-clamp is squeezing your head. Anyway, I decided there was no reason for me to lie in bed with this rare and interesting malady. I sent out some little thoughts of sadness for those of you who get headaches frequently and went to find some Tylenol.

I was scavenging around in our linen closet with just the light from our walk-in closet on next to me -- trying not to wake Mike. I found what I was after before too long and decided on one little smooth round pill as opposed to the two recommended. So, I tossed the pill in my mouth along with a mouth full of water and then . . . I must have made some very loud initial choking sound because Mike flew out of bed, hitting the bathroom light as he came and was right beside me asking if I was OK.

Unfortunately I was completely unable to respond. The pill was lodged in my throat and I could barely take in the tiniest fraction of air. It was actually quite terrifying. I was standing right at the bathroom mirror, so when I remember it, I have a perfect visual of my bulging wide eyes and strained neck as I made a gaspy high pitched effort -- with all the strength I had -- trying to pull air in through whatever minuscule space I could. Mike was looking at me and asking me, "Can you breathe? Can you breathe?" And I could sense that there was beginning to be the, "What on earth do I do?" panic in his voice.

It's strange how many thoughts I clearly had going through my head -- because there wasn't actually enough time for all of those thoughts to fit there, and my whole energy and focus was on trying to get some precious air in my lungs, but somehow all the thoughts were there as well. They went something like this:

-- I thought, "I'm not going to die probably because I can hear myself making some ounce of sound as I try to breathe and I think they say sound is good."

-- Then I thought, "I thought it was only supposed to be really blocking your ability to breathe if it was in your trachea, and I am quite positive this is in my esophagus. But somehow I am quite certain I am not getting any air." (I don't really know how that worked. Maybe it was putting to much pressure on my trachea and so closing it off as well even though the pill was in my esophagus?).

-- I was really consciously thinking hard about getting some air in my lungs. I kept thinking that I needed to stay calm and just keep sucking as hard as I could to try and fill them up. I kept picturing this tiny sliver of space around the pill and feeling like I must pull air through it. But I was also looking at my strained face in the mirror and feeling the panicky affects of feeling like I was trying to breathe through a pin hole, plus the complete -- what's the word -- pain? of no air.

-- I was also aware of Mike's panic and thinking what he might be considering to help me. All I could think of was the Heimlich Maneuver, but it suddenly seemed like such an impossible and ridiculous thing to me -- that somehow Mike squeezing and forcing my stomach up could actually save me. Plus, I once again thought about the food in your throat verses your windpipe and I was somehow thinking that it was only when it was truly choking you in your windpipe that the old Heimlich Maneuver even worked. Though I don't know that that's actually true.

-- As I stared wide eyed and continued my stifled high pitched sucking of air, I thought I better get Mike to call 911. But then I also had a swell of thoughts wondering what on earth they could do to help me -- how could they make it suddenly be gone, and certainly I couldn't continue this suffocating til they arrived anyway.

Luckily, the real panicky part was probably less than a minute (though it felt much longer). After that either the pill had slid a little further or had dissolved somewhat because I was able to breathe again though I was now gagging and sobbing -- more from maybe . . . I don't know . . . being so terrified and shaken. All I wanted was to sit on Mike's lap and have him hold me and rub my back and tell me it was all OK, but instead he had to just rub my shoulders as I couldn't leave the sink for another 15 minutes. It was still lodged in my throat. I couldn't get it down, and I couldn't get it up -- though every time I tried to drink, the water would stop midway down and then come retching back up -- no pill with it.

Even the next morning my throat still hurt from it. I've mentioned in the past that I have issues with getting food stuck in my throat, but it has never truly hampered my ability to breathe before. I think though, that that was what I needed to motivate me to get serious about seeing a doctor about it.

Anyway, other than the black hole I felt I was sinking into when Daisy was born, there has only been one other time quite so scary and panicky for me -- that was the time I fell off our raft while river rafting and was stuck under in crazy swirling water for long enough that I had thought over and over several times that I really would die if I didn't breathe that second -- and then not breathed again, and again. Both of these instances have really convinced me that I do not want to go by having my ability to breathe cut off.

I know I was fine last night and that I probably wasn't in any serious danger, but it still made me realize how quickly and unexpectedly something can go wrong. All morning I kept praying and thanking Heavenly Father that I was OK and reminding him how very much I want to be able to stick around here to raise my kids.


Before falling asleep I told Mike I'd probably just stick with the headache after all. Really though, I am quite terrified at the thought of swallowing a pill again. And, unfortunately, I seem to have developed quite a fear about one of my kids ever choking.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Dear Cousin Miles,

Thanks for visiting me yesterday.I can tell we are going to be best friends -- just like our moms have planned.

Friday, May 21, 2010


A Few Other Shots

There is an empty lot full of weeds just down the street from me. It has an old broken down barn on it as well as some little abandoned brick building of unknown purpose. It doesn't necessarily look picturesque, but as I drove past it yesterday I thought, "I bet I could take some fun pictures of my kids there." So, a half hour before bed time, with Abe home early from scouts, and Jesse already down; I left Mike working in the yard, and, with out any thought for messy hair or what anyone was wearing, headed off down the street with my four awake kids.

Things didn't go quite as expected -- which really, should always be expected. Goldie had no interest in posing for photos, as she wanted to be taking photos herself (even though I told her repeatedly how I'd brought them to do this "fun" thing so that I could take pictures -- still, as evidenced in the above post, her non participation managed to provide some cute shots). Abe and Daisy were willing enough, but their Super Man and sun-glass-wearing-skull-head t-shirts didn't quite fit the rustic farm vibe I had envisioned. And, even the willing participants were mostly willing to do what they wanted to do as opposed to what I wanted them to do: "Mom! Take a picture of me lying in this tall grass!" "Mom! Take a picture of me touching my nose with this tickly weed!" (And, I did take those pictures). Penny, for some unknown reason, cried from the moment we got there -- the weeds were too tall, she couldn't climb the fence like the big kids, she's just a little girl and they sometimes cry a lot for no reason. Before long, Abe was complaining that his legs were, "killing him," from walking through all the weeds, so he walked grumpy little Penny home while I tried a few more shots of Goldie and Daisy before deciding it would be best to go put everyone straight away to bed.
Of course, when we got back, Mike had opened up his parents' tent trailer to see what shape it was in, and that was far too exciting to allow room for any bit of bed time thoughts. Anyway, here is a little of the madness.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Corn and Home Sick from School

Here is Penny.
Here is how she helps shuck corn.
And here she is practicing her letters with Daisy. Daisy said she maybe felt a little too sick to go to school today -- and it was questionable, really, if she was sick at all; but I am a pushover when it comes to having my kids stay home with me. I like having them around enough that even when Abe told me he couldn't go to school a week or so ago because he felt like he just "really needed a break," I let him stay. I put her to work doing letters with Penny while I cleaned up. Then she entertained my visiting teacher's little girl while she was here. Then we went and bought hamburgers and fries and a new little pool and water balloons (all things that very sick girls generally do when they are home), and it was all just lovely.

Jessy Cub

Jesse Jesse Jesse. He is such a fun and cute and trouble making kid. While some of my kids were quite precocious little talkers -- using small sentences by 16 and 17 months, Jesse prefers to mostly just say, "Hi Dad," to Mike a lot. Really, when Mike is here Jesse is always hi dadding him. Occasionally, when I yell for one of the kids he'll yell along with me, "DAISY!" And once in awhile he'll say a little something that I had no idea he could say, but when I ask him to repeat it he just looks at me like, "I don't know what you're talking about. I didn't say anything. You must have me confused with one of the other kids." And yet, there is something about his little personality that I can already gather and love. He just seems to want to be off and about his business running and exploring.On Mother's Day, the kids all came running into my room with "breakfast in bed." They were all surrounding me and making a big to-do. Jesse suddenly got very upset -- as if he didn't know what was going on with his mom or even if I was his mom at all. I kept calling to him and trying to get him to come join us on my bed, but he'd just run past my door, look in at me, and then cry and cry and run away. Mike took him outside to calm him down, and when I'd finished the kids' special breakfast, I went to him. He just let me hold him and sat on my lap for probably 30 mins. (unheard of with little man) letting me reassure him that I was his same old mom. I like him so much.With all his heart he loves the sock monkey that Mike gave him for Christmas. I try to keep it in his bed because he needs it to sleep, and I don't want it getting lost, but he often goes up and pulls it out of his crib through the slats and drags it about the house. I have been trying trying to find another one because I have a bad feeling that sock monkey won't last forever (I've already had to wash him twice and sew up his back), but they must be big Christmas sellers because the only other one like his that I have found is on Amazon for 30 bucks! He makes the cutest little lovey nice hugging sound when he sees his monkey and picks him up for a hug. He does the same thing anytime he sees a stuffed animal lying about the house. In fact, the other day, he picked up our little dust mop and gave it his sweet hug and, "Ohhhh," sound. Trying to take pictures of him still involves lots of running. Oh, and Penny is so good to him. She is only 19 months older, but she always gives him toys or treats of hers if he is crying for them, and she sometimes calls him, "Jessy Cub." Isn't that a cute name for a little girl to have made up for her brother? The other day the two of them were standing at the window looking out at something or other and it occurred to me that for years there were only little sisters. I liked seeing a little brother.
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