Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Premonition and Perturbation

It's easy to write a blog when you know that you are the only one reading it.  Saturday, April 23, 2011 Becky (my wife), Amy (my cousin) Seth, and I went to a funeral for my cousin's 3 year old daughter who drowned in their pool.  This was such a tragedy!  My heart was aching for my cousin Diane, Bill, and their family.  The image that sticks out in my my was their beautiful 5 year old daughter dressed in white looking into the casket at her sister.  Her face was sad.  You could see the pain in her eyes. 

This was not easy for me and Becky to attend knowing that our son Seth has a chronic incurable disease and that his life may end premature.  The ironic thing is, the night before she died, Seth almost died too.  Not from his disease, but from a freak accident.  Friday night at our home is family movie night.  Somone gets to choose the movie and we usually eat pizza.  We watched Apollo 13.  We all had a great time together.  Seth's attention span is a couple of minutes, so he had no interest in the movie and wanted to play with my phone.

Seth found a large coin from Guatamala about the size of a US .50 cent piece that he put in his pocket.  Becky was getting him ready for bed when he said: "hide from daddy".  Becky took all of his clothes off and left the room to get something and returned with a horrific scream:  "Newell, Seth is choking".  I ran into his room.  Becky told me she saw that Guatamalan coin in the back of his throat.  I grabbed Seth and help him partially upside down and gave him several thumps on his back.  Nothing happened.  I then did several abdominal thrusts.  Still nothing happened.  By now, he was turning blue and starting to go limp.  He was dying.  Becky was sobbing, Sydney, Spencer, and Sierra were in shock.  I amazingly remained calm.  From the moment I saw him choking, I had this image in my mind where the coin was in his throat and what I needed to do, but after it didn't come out after two rounds, I began to feel like helpless.  He was dying and there was nothing I could do about it.  I couldn't stop now.  There was no time for emotions.  I had to stay focussed.  I was his only hope of survival.

I held him partially upside down and again began to give him several open fist thrust on his back.  Finally, after what was the longest 2 minutes of my life, the coin came out with a large volume of vomit which consisted of M&Ms.  We all stood around in shock as to what had just happened and what could have happened.  We all held each other and wept.

When Seth started to turn blue and go limp, the feelings that I had are difficult to describe.  My son was dying.  It was such a beautiful evening and it turned terrible in an instant.  As I reminiscence about that evening, the overwhelming feeling is I wonder if this what it is going to feel like when he actually does die?

In the past when something really bad goes wrong with my children, I get emotionally involved and it's difficult to think objectively.  I remember when my daughter Sierra had a febrile seizure when she was about 18months old.  I was in a panic when she turned blue and stopped breathing.  Amazingly, throughout all of this, I was able to think clearly even when the strong emotions came.  I attribute this to God.  It's as though He gave us a glimpse of what is to come, but gave us more time to spend with him.

That night, Seth slept alongside me and Becky.  We held him, we kissed him, we held each other thanking God that things turned out the way they did that night.  When we got the phone call the following day that Diane's daughter had passed away, it was a somber moment.

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