Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Life has been going along so well lately.
We've been living life.
Big kids are in school.
Lukey and I spend our days reading books, doing laundry, racing matchbox cars, and flying like superheroes around the house.
We have stress in our life, but nothing out of the ordinary, and considering all that we have been through over the past 3 years, our grief is livable and my anxiety is less and less with each day.
But, today is a day that I haven't had in a long time.
Around 3pm, I received a phone call from the school nurse. Caleb had been to her office twice today, both times for headaches. He woke up this morning with a headache. I gave him some tylenol, made him drink a bunch of water, and made sure he had a good breakfast and then sent him to school. The nurse called me to come pick him up after his second visit to her. Our conversation went something like this:
"Is this Mrs. Haskins?"
"Yes, this is."
"This is Mrs. _________, the nurse from _______ Elementary School. I have Caleb in my office. He has been down twice today complaining of a headache. I took his temperature and he is within normal range and I asked him to lay down, but he didn't want to because his head was hurting him more when he laid down. When he came in the second time, he was extremely pale and his lips were blue. I know school is over in 1/2, but I think you should come pick him up."
"I will be there in 5 minutes."
My heart was in my stomach. I literally felt sick. I couldn't breathe. All I could think was, "Not caleb too. Please, don't let Caleb die."
I grabbed my keys, drove down the street, and realized that in a panic, I left Lukey in his crib sleeping. I turned around, drove home, grabbed Lukey out of his crib, strapped him in his carseat, and drove as fast as I could to the school, all the while convinced that Caleb was dead or dying.
I took some deep breaths as I pulled into the school parking lot and carried shoeless and half sleeping Lukey into the school with me. I ran to the nurses office and Caleb did not look good, but his lips were a light shade of pink. I asked him a few questions and then asked the nurse if she would take his blood pressure and listen to his heart before I left. (She knew nothing of our history with Joshua.) She gladly took his blood pressure and listened to his heart- both of which were normal.
I brought him home, trying not to show my anxiety in an effort to not scare him. I got him comfortable on the couch with a movie. I gave him a dose of tylenol and a water bottle and some crackers. I called the nurse on call at our doctor's office and she reassured me that he was likely fighting a virus and that it would be safe to watch him and see what he does.
As soon as he was settled, I went out on the front porch where he couldn't see or hear me, and I LOST it. I fell to the ground, hyperventilating, shaking, crying. It was awful. I called my friend and cried to her as I explained what happened. When I hung up the phone, I took some deep breaths and headed back inside. I stopped in the bathroom and washed my face in an effort to hide my tears, and went right back in to care for Caleb.
Tonight, I'm emotionally spent. I'm not sure what to think. I'm remembering the days when this anxiety was a normal, every day thing. I'm not sure how I survived those days. I'm so thankful those days are presently almost nonexistent.
Today is yet another example of how Joshua's life and death have changed me. I still struggle. Maybe not as much, or as frequent, but the anxiety is still there, threatening to suffocate me.