Monday, June 21, 2010

Babies, Breathing, and Books

Everytime I think things are going to slow down for a bit, plans change and life goes crazy.  I guess I should just stop hoping for things to slow down.
We had our first baby on Wednesday (Duchess) who is doing well, followed by a big boy on Friday (Otatop).  Otto was so big that he got stuck on the way out and had to be manipulated, but he is doing well now. Hopefully there will be a few more little ones in the very near future.

Thursday was grocery day, so Mom and I were all over the place getting regular groceries, gifts for grade 8 Sunday school graduation, birthday presents for Ben, and Father's day presents...Then we picked Isaac up from school and he informed us that he had an open house/presentation at 7, back in the city, so it was quick home to eat and clean up and head back into the city.   Isaac did a great job presenting his Nobody project and then it was up to the classroom for a "tour" of the micronations that the class had created. And that is where plans changed. One of the micronations was serving coconut icecream.  Gluten free, dairy free, nut free, etc, etc, etc.  Mom and I both checked the ingredient label, twice and determined that it was safe. So I had some.  It wasn't so safe.  

If you want to skip the details, just know that it was very bad and go to the next paragraph.  If you want the medical details, keep reading...within five minutes of eating it my tongue was swelling and itchy so I took 50mg Benadryl and sat in a chair to try and breathe.  Benadryl takes about 15 minutes to kick in if it's going to work.  20 minutes later I knew I was in big trouble.  My chest was tight, my tongue and skin was itchy and I felt like I was going to puke.  We made a quick exit to the car where I proceeded to throw up in the parking lot.  That's when I told mom there was no way we were making it home.  The hospital was 5 minutes away.  I don't think it took mom that long to get there.  Mom says she stuck her head in the door and told the nurse I was having anaphylaxis.  The nurse asked if mom could get me into a wheelchair, mom said she'd try.  Somehow I got into the wheelchair, mom got me through the first set of doors and the nurses descended.  Mom said there were 6 nurses and a doctor by my side before we got to the treatment room.  She went to move the car from the ambulance lane and they started working.  I was hooked to every monitor possible.  My initial stats were: O2 = 70% and dropping, pulse = 120 and rising, BP = going crazy, but mostly low (top number was below 80).   They shot me full of epi, benadryl, steriods and who knows what else.  I wasn't asking questions, I was just trying to stay alive. 6 hours later they were convinced I was stable enough for the hour trip home (with no hospital between the city and home), so we got home shortly after 4 am.  My arms are purple from elbow to finger tip from where they tried to start IVs.  Every time they'd hit a vein it would collapse because of low blood pressure and they'd have to try again.  Lots of bruising, but I'm alive and that's what counts.

Enough of the medical details. The other part of Thursday was a stop at the Christian bookstore in a little town near a place (I was paying really close attention as mommy drove...can't you tell?).  Mom was looking for books and cards for her grads, so I took some time to browse.  I found some ASL and baby ASL books and was browsing through them, when I found a book called: "On the Fence:  The Hidden World of the Hard of Hearing."  I started paging through it and realized it was a collection of short stories and poetry by people who are Hard of Hearing (HOH), about their experiences, their struggles, their joys.  I found it delightful.  When you are HOH you find that you don't fit in either aren't deaf enough to be Deaf, but not hearing enough to be hearing.  You kind of get lost in between.  It can be a very lonely place, especially when you are my age and don't know very many HOH people your own age.  I eventually decided to buy the book and I devoured it. It was so great to read about people who understand what is like to go through life only hearing parts of it, to be the only one in class with hearing aids, to be lost anytime more than one person starts talking, to not remember what it's like to actually hear... If you want a better picture of what it's like to live in my world, I highly recommend it.  These people have a way with words and took time to tell the stories that I've never taken time to tell, but can relate to.  It's called: "On the Fence: The Hidden World of the Hard of Hearing" and the author/editor is Mark Drolsbaugh.  If you want to borrow my copy, let me know and I'll get it to you.

Otatop glaring at me cuz I woke him up from his nap to take his 3 hour old pictures.   He is white with brown markings, and yes, his mother is black.  His father was brown.  go figure.

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