Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A New Hate For Scorpions

I never blog anymore, but I figured I should record this story. I think everyone knows about what happened to Joshua, but here are more details for anyone interested. Here's how our day went yesterday...

Josh and Sam had gotten into the food storage cabinet and were climbing around inside, taking stuff out, playing, etc. I know I should have stopped them right there, but they weren't hurting anything and I was busy (how many time do we think that as moms?). Then Sam had to go #2, so I went with him into the bathroom and before I could wipe him, Josh let out a cry of pain from the kitchen--the kind where you KNOW something is wrong.

So I ran in there and he was bawling and flexing his fingers and holding his hand and I immediately thought he got bit by something, but I looked around and didn't see any bugs, so I held him and comforted him for a few minutes. But nothing I did was calming him down (actually, he was crying harder with each minute) and not only was he flexing his hand and rubbing it, but now he was rubbing at his upper arm. That was when I decided he HAD to have gotten bitten by something. So after I checked the rest of his body, I moved around the packets of evaporated milk on the floor and there it was, hiding beneath--a small brown/clear scorpian (the smaller they are, the more concentrated the poison).

I immediately started panicking inside because I know nothing about scorpian stings, so I called Dave and he came home, but he wasn't too worried as he checked Josh out because he'd heard that scorpian stings were on the same level of a wasp sting (Guess he didn't know much either). While I called the doctor and ER (no one knew anything, by the way), Dave tried comforting him, but Josh only wanted me, so he stood in the middle of the floor, crying his head off and holding his hand while I felt like inflicting pain on myself for not being able to comfort him.

Anyway, Dave called a friend at work who is also an EMT in Bagdad and he said the last 3 kids in town that have gotten stung have had to be life-flighted out of town...so by then we were a little more nervous (Okay, I was FREAKING out inside). Then to make it worse, he started shaking really bad and that was when we took him to the clinic.

Right as we walked into the clinic, Josh was now violently shaking (and still frantically crying). The life-line guys came in and while they called in the helicopter, they (along with the nurse and doctor at the clinic) put a line in him and gave him valume (spelling?) to calm him down (after taking FOREVER to get it in him). I sat there holding him, trying with everything in me not to cry, and failing miserably as my baby thrashed around in my arms. And nothing was working. On top of his convulsions, which they told us were normal and that he was just freaking out because of the pain, he was starting to have breathing problems--which they also told us was okay and normal. But how do I feel okay when he can hardly cry because he is wheezing and gasping for breath???

Anyway, way too long later, the helicopter arrived while I was at home with Sam gathering all our things so I could drive down to Phoenix (Dave flew in the helicopter with them; I couldn't because I am pregnant). Becuase of his small size and age (I think), they were directed to fly him to Phx Children's Hopital, rather than to the hospital in Prescott. During all this, I don't think I have ever been more scared for either of my children before. I was an absolute emotional mess, and no matter how many times I reitterated in my head their words that this was normal and that he'd be fine, I couldn't shake the doom inside and the fact that I wasn't with my baby during this time. So amidst my frantic packing and driving, I had uncontrolable tears and constant prayers that Heavenly Father wouldn't take my baby from me now. Usually I'm able to see the logic and convince myself of the reality that everything will be fine, even through my fear and love for my kids, but that was a foreign ability and I lacked whatever faith I needed that told me he was going to be fine.

Come to find out later, while I was prayng my guts out and freaking out on the drive, fruitlessly trying to convince myself that he was fine in the helicopter with Dave, he actually wasn't fine. They realized that the IV line they so messily "placed" in him at the clinic wasn't really in him at all (or in the right spot), so all the medication they gave him didn't even penetrate that whole time. ONE MORE reason I don't want to touch the clinic with a ten foot pole. So before they could take off, they had to properly place the line, which also took some time.

By this time, Joshua was convulsing pretty horribly, making even my calm-mannered, logical husband freak out. But a few minutes later, once in the air, he calmed down a little bit. He still convulsed though, even with the meds, becuase they explained that on someone as small as him, the scorpian poison attacks the muscular system, causing involuntary muscle spasms and making his eyes dart around. So even though he was calmer, his limbs were still in a spasm and his eyes all crazy.

They then got him to the hospital, where shortly after, the toxicologist told Dave they just so happen to have some new scorpian anti-venum that is still in testing stages and not approved by the FDA yet, but that if we don't give it to him, he could still be convulsing 24 hours from now, where as with the anti-venum, he could stop within 2 hours. So of course Dave signed off on it. And it just so happens they only had four vials of the anti-venum remaining--all of which Josh used, and it was JUST enough.

So by the time Josh had calmed down and the medication started to make a difference, he'd been having this reaction for over two hours (during which his heartrate was over 200). So he'd basically been having a siezure for two hours strait. The doctors were very concerned and classified his case as a class 4, which is the highest it can be. So needless to say, I wasn't worried for nothing. The bad feelings I was having the whole time were in fact legitimate, along with the horrible feeling Dave had the night before that something was going to happen.

I'm just glad I didn't know how bad it really was during this time becuase if I did, I'm sure I would have been so beside myself that I wouldn't have been able to drive. I was already enough of a mess as it was...just for the fact that I couldn't be with my baby.

So anyway, by the time I got there, he had JUST started to relax, but he was sooo tired and out of it and lethargic from all the medication, that he was just laying in Dave's arms. But regardless, as soon as he saw me he started crying and trying to reach for me, which made my heart lurch outside of my chest.

So after a long day of holding him (I didn't get to go pee for about five hours becuase he wouldn't let me put him down and I didn't want to leave him), they admitted us becuase even though the anti-venum removed all the poison from his system, they wanted to watch us over night to see if he got any residual side effects. Plus, his breathing wasn't at the levels they wanted it to be at, which they say was just from the congestion/cold he'd had all week, but they still had to make sure.

So after a long day and night of getting moved three times (and many ups and downs), they finally removed his oxygen tubes and we got to settle...and finally saw little bits of Joshua slowly return. Especially when he ate a whole crustables sandwhich from the cafeteria and drank a bunch of water and juice (he was STARVING). When we finally got him to sleep that night, he was so tuckered out and drugged up that he slept like a rock all through the night and never even flinched when the monitors kept beeping or when all the nurses came in to check him and the kid next to him.

Different story for me though. Unfortunately Dave couldn't stay with me, so he stayed at Brand and Tiffany Stewart's house (where Sam was). I tried sleeping on that fold-out chair next to Josh's crib, but couldn't get a single wink in all night. So instead I watched my angel of a baby sleeping soundly and pondered everything. This was such a wake-up call to me and I couldn't stop thanking Heavenly Father over and over again for His intervention and that we were so blessed.

The doctors told us that if it wasn't for the anti-venum, he would have been intibated (spelling again?) in the ICU that night, without a doubt. So that just makes me even more grateful. It makes me overwhelmed with gratitude that we have such a loving Heavenly Father who answers our prayers and who sent us to the right hospital, with just enough anti-venum left for Josh (it doesn't hurt that because it was a trial, the drug that will someday be $1000 per vial was free). I can't even think of where he would be right now had he not had it, or had we been flown to Prescott instead...where they didn't have it.

How grateful I am for the power of prayer and that the Lord so obviously does love us and provides a way! I am SO grateful for all the prayers we recieved and for everyone who kept their prayers and thoughts on my baby Josh! This was one of the scariest things that's happened in my life and I'm sure anyone who's had to see their child in that kind of state can agree with me. But we have been blessed and I felt the power of all the prayers!

Anyway, it was a long, grueling day and night, but this morning he was even more himself and doing great. Other than droopy eyes and still being pretty lethargic, he was normal again. So after a less grueling, but still annoying, morning/day, he was finally discharged.

And Dave and I both felt it was best in many ways if I stay here in the valley with Josh so that we are close by just in case we see any other strange side effects or something else happens and we have to bring him back--rather than being in the middle of nowhere again. Plus, that way Dave can go home and thuroughly clean the whole house and spray (he wouldn't be able to with the kids there) before we come home. We are going to make damn sure (excuse my language) that we don't see anymore scorpians in our home.

So Josh, Sam, and I are at the Stewarts' tonight and will be until this weekend when Dave can come get us again. It sucks being stranded and not being able to go home (especially when I feel so awful from pregnancy/lack of sleep), but there is nowhere I feel more at home besides my own house than at the Stewarts, and this is definitely the best choice--regardless of how badly I miss my husband and wish he was here. It is so hard for us to be apart right now, especially because we all need/want each other. I am so grateful for the Stewarts and their hospitality throughout all of this. Sam has been in heaven becuase Brand is his idol and he is just excited that we will be staying the whole week with them.

Josh was so cute when we first got here, too. He was so excited just to be out of the hospital so as soon as we walked in and he saw his brother playing with the keyboard and dancing, he jumped down and tried dancing with him. He looked like a drunk baby and fell a few times because of the drugs still in his system, but it made me soooo happy to see him happy.

I am just SO grateful for my children and this experience made me realize how deeply I would do ANYTHING for them. I am going to do everything in my power to make sure this never happens again and I know I can't always protect them every second of every day, but I can't help but want to wrap them up and never let go of them.

Anyway, it's been a long day and a half, and I need to go to bed. But through it all, I am overwhelmed with just how blessed we've been! Goodnight all!

Oh, and along with all our thanks, thank you to Bishop Johnson for stopping by the hospital and helping Dave give Josh a blessing. We are so grateful for your willingness to help...and for the fact that you just so happened to be so close! Another answer to our prayers!


Christa Johnson said...

You silly girl, we would have helped you even if Morgan hadn't been so close!!! We love you guys! We are sooooo glad that Josh is doing much better. Morgan said it was a bit scary to see him in that disoriented state...poor guy!!
I can't even imagine how much your heart has ached over the past day and a half!!
Hey guess what? we are at an appartment just down Power from you...so maybe we will have to stop by and see ya! I will call you first and not try to surprize you..he he. I think you have had enough surprizes for a time.
Love ya,

Jessica M said...

wow Jen this brought tears to my eyes! Im glad Josh is doing well. I was so worried about him. You are such a wonderful caring mother! I love you tons!

janine said...

wow! what an ordeal! i am really glad that everything is okay! can't imagine going through that! you'll be in our prayers!

Skylette said...

Oh my gosh, that is so scary - and I'm sorry you had to go through that, especially being pregnant and hormonal as it is. I'm so thankful that Heavenly Father has His hand in all things and sent you to the right place. We will keep your family in our prayers and pray for a speedy recovery for little Joshua.
All the best,

2busy said...

A mother's worst nightmare for sure! You were certainly blessed. The Lord made sure all the ducks were in a row for Josh with the antivenom and the Bishop being so close.

I bet it really creeps you out thinking of how that thing got in your house.

Thanks for sharing your story. I kept a prayer in my heart all day for Josh when I heard on facebook about what was happening. Glad ALL of you are doing better.

Kadie said...

Oh my goodness, I almost cried too! I am so glad he's okay Jennie! That is so scary. The whole time I was picturing that it was Kaleb and it just broke my heart to think what you guys were going through! I'm so grateful that everything is okay now!

Steven and Rylie said...

Wow, congrads on baby #3, I also have a tremoundous fear of scorpians. I was bit by one when I just a baby in California. I also let out a blood curdling scream, and my mom rushed me to the ER, but to her relief she found out black scorpians are not poisinous but that it is the clear ones that you have to watch out for. I don't remember the experience, but I have always been afraid of the creepy things. I'm glad he is OK, what a faith building experience and ultimate scarry mom experience.