As some of you know, our vacation to Colorado did not end as planned. Our sweet boy, Bub, ended up really sick and in the hospital in Denver. But let me start at the beginning...
We left Kansas on Saturday morning and made it to Denver that evening. We stayed a night in Denver (to help us flat landers get acclimated to the altitude) and then went on the next day to ride the Georgetown Loop train...
and then on to Breckenridge, Colorado where we had rented a cabin. It was a beautiful place to stay with rocks for climbing, paths for hiking down to a creek. It was close to town but felt secluded. We couldn't have asked for more.
Monday, during the morning, I went for a LONG run. Hoping to relax and let go of some of the tension that comes with a 12 hour car ride with 4 kids. Doc graciously took care of the kids!
Then, that afternoon, we went hiking. We intended to go to Boreas Pass but missed the turn and ended up hiking at the Hoosier Pass at the Continental Divide.
Bub was in his element. He ran ahead, never getting out of breath.
The next morning we got up and headed here...
We climbed this mountain. See the tallest rock peak...
this would be Bub on the top of that rock peak. He was a wild man! Just completely in his element!
Here he is resting on a rock waiting for the rest of us to catch up!
We were so proud of him! High fives flew and it felt good to reach a goal of making it to the top of the mountain as a family!
The next morning, on Wednesday, we went horseback riding. It was Lou's dream come true!
It was Bub's first time riding and spent half the trail ride being led. Then he told the wrangler that he wanted to do it himself. He could not have been happier!
When we got finished with the trail ride, we went home, changed into some shorts as the day had gotten warmer and I made some lunch. We ate and Bub begged his Dad to go to Wal-Mart and buy some camping equipment so they could spend, "just one night camping and hiking". We laughed and told him not right now and marveled at his stamina. The rest of us were exhausted! He sat down on the couch and played Sonic Rush on his Nintendo DS for a few minutes until I told him it was time to go upstairs and take a nap.
Doc asked me if I wanted to go get a massage in Breckenridge. Now normally, I would have jumped at that opportunity! But for some reason, I told him, "I think I want to take a nap. That sounds more decadent to me today!" I gathered the kids and ushered them upstairs. The boys had gone through their clothes and made a huge mess. I picked up and folded all the clothes and put them back in their suitcases and only left out their pj's for that night. Then I tucked them in and decided that I would lay down and nap in the boys' room which is totally out of character for me. If I'm going to take a nap, I'm going to go AWAY from the kids! But for whatever reason, I felt kind of compelled to lay down in there and make sure they took a good nap! Doc even came up and offered to rest in there and I told him that I would stay in there and I sent him downstairs.
The boys and I drifted off and a while later, Bub stirred on the top bunk and woke me up. He said, "Mom, I need to go to the bathroom." I said, "Ok, Bub" and he came towards me at the end of the bed. He said, "Get out of the way, SG." Who was soundly sleeping in bed and I said, "Bub, come here. SG's not in your way." Then he kind of leaned off the end of the bed and into my arms not even attempting to climb down the stairs. I stood him up and got him headed down the hall towards the bathroom. He saw the plant in the hall and jumped up against the wall like he saw a ghost. Then his eyes diverted to the right and I thought to myself, "He's sleepwalking!" So I helped him move into the bathroom and his eyes stayed focused out of the right corner of his eye. He started to kind of choke and gag a little and I said, "Bub, are you going to throw up?" He told me, "Just a minute, Mom, the bugs, the bugs are coming." I thought he meant he was having tickles in his throat, so I sat him down on the bathroom floor and called up Doc who was at the bottom of the stairs on the couch. When Doc made it up the stairs, we turned our attention back to Bub whose tongue was going wildly around his mouth.
Doc tried to talk to him and he didn't respond. So we (still thinking he was asleep) brought him back into the bedroom and Doc tried to rouse him awake. At this point we knew something was wrong. Doc picked him up and brought him downstairs and I started to look for the address of an acute care center. Then Doc said, "Go load up the other kids, we've got to get him seen." So I ran upstairs and got Lou and told her to get Ladybug up and ready to go. Then I heard Doc yell that Bub was throwing up. So I ran downstairs and Doc said, "He's seizing and he's not breathing well. We need to call 911." His breathing was irratic and I watched my husband check my son's pulse and try to rouse him by rubbing his knuckles on his breast bone. There was no response.
I had 911 on the phone and sat down and put Bub's head in my lap. Doc thought maybe he was hypoglycemic and put some sugar in the side of his mouth. For just a moment, he came to, looked at me in the eyes and I asked him if he saw me. He said, "uh huh". Then his eyes rolled back to the side and he was gone again.
The ambulance and fire truck got there quickly. I happened to remember the address because there was a carved sign with the house number outside. 225. The street was "Protector Place." I don't have to point out the irony there.
We stripped his clothes off because they were covered in vomit. The paramedics and firemen came down the stairs and one of them said, "It looks like altitude sickness." They put oxygen on him and scooped him up and carried him up the stairs and put him in the ambulance. I handed Doc the pj's I had laid out for Bub before nap and he hopped into the front of the ambulance. There were 3 guys in the back working on Bub. He ended up seizing in the ambulance. Then they gave him some valium to stopped the seizing but it didn't work to bring him out of it.
Meanwhile, at the cabin, a fireman gave me a map to the hospital where Bub was headed. I called to Lou who had witnessed the whole thing from the top of the stairs. We started gathering things we needed and getting the littles dressed to go to the hospital in Frisco. I called my father in law and told him what was going on and asked him to pray. Then I called Pop. He was in Chicago getting ready to board a plane. I asked him to pray, too. We loaded the littles in the SUV and took off down the mountain towards the hospital.
I got a hold of my Mom and filled her in. She said that when they were on vacation the month before in Breckenridge, there was a pastor who lived in Frisco that they met. She asked if she could call him and see if he and his wife could help us at the hospital. I agreed. Then Doc called. He told me that they were going to fly Bub to Denver to the Children's Hospital there in a Life Flight Helicopter.
We rolled into the parking lot and I went into the ER area. The receptionists were amazing. They got my kids stickers and got them settled into the waiting room and found them some cartoons to watch. And then I saw Doc. He came out of the back and told me that they were getting ready to intubate Bub and he couldn't stand to be back there. Bub was sedated by this time, thank the Lord. I went and held his little hand and watched the ER doc put a tube down my little boy's throat and hook him up to a machine that breathed for him. Doc came back in. He had already arranged to rent a car to drive to Denver. We couldn't go with Bub in the helicopter. The staff at the Frisco Hospital was awesome. There was an employee who was going to Denver that offered to drive Doc all the way to the Children's Hospital but he asked her to drop him at the car rental place...I don't think she could have driven fast enough. The ER doc ordered a CT scan and doc left before the results came back because he knew it was an hour and a half drive. And only a 45 minute flight.
I stood in the hall waiting for the CT scan to get done. A chaplain came and asked me if we were people of faith. I nodded and she asked if she could pray with me. I nodded again. She was finishing up her prayer when my cell phone rang. I answered it and the sweet voice on the line said, "DW, this is Rebecca. Your mom called me and told me you were here in Frisco at the hospital. I have a word for you, I don't know why but I'm supposed to tell you that everything is going to be ok and our Father has walked this before you. I'm at work but I can leave. What do you need?" I asked her to meet me at the hospital and help me with the kids and then help me pack up the cabin so we could go to Denver. She said, "I'm your girl. I'll meet you there."
Bub came out of the CT scan and the scan was completely normal. I stood by his head and stroked his hair and prayed and prayed and prayed. The flight crew said it was time to go to Denver. I kissed his head and headed out to the waiting room to gather the kids. I came around the corner and saw Rebecca sitting with my kids. She met me with a big hug!
We jumped back in our cars and headed to the cabin. I was overwhelmed walking back into the cabin. Rebecca and Lou headed upstairs to pack the kids' stuff. (Remember, I had just packed up the boys' suitcases before all this happened so she literally had to zip up the suitcases in there and get their stuff that they sleep with off the beds. What a blessing!) I cleaned up the mess from earlier as best as I could and called the property manager to tell her what had happened. I told her to have the carpet cleaned and send us the bill. She was gracious and told me to do what I needed to do! So Rebecca, Lou, and I packed everything up and loaded the SUV.
Rebecca gave me a hug and encouraged me. She said, "Family is family." See, we were sisters even though we didn't know each other before that day. We have the same Father God. I told her, "Thank you for being my sister!" The thing is, I know that she was obedient to Him that day. My Mom called her and caught her off guard. She could have said, "Sorry, I'm working." She could have written it off and gone on about her day. But she didn't. She loved me with the love of Jesus. And allowed herself to be the tool that God used to provide me what I needed that day.
Let me tell you something... God loves me and he loves you. Not in that far off, impersonal way but in a VERY personal and relational way. He wants to hang with you, talk to you, provide you with what you need and most of all the God of the Universe wants to LOVE ON YOU and wants to be LOVED BY YOU. I have never been more convinced that he has a plan and a direction for my life than I am right now. And the same is true for you.
Because blogger doesn't like my huge post, I'm going to make this story into a couple posts. But trust me...you will see what I'm talking about. He walked before us in all of this and provided us exactly what we needed to get us through.