Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Vacation Series - Part 2

What happened next in our series of unfortunate events is actually quite difficult for me to relive, but I've written about as many details as I could while I sobbed here at the computer and Annie stroked my arm and begged me not to cry.  Forgive the particularly sloppy writing.

"Your body temperature is 100.7 degrees fahrenheit," the thermometer said aloud when I scanned Annie's forehead. The slight fever didn't worry me very much, though I did wonder if Sam was ill not from his shots but from something contagious the few days before we left.  I had brought some ibuprofen with me as a precautionary measure but I couldn't give it to my little sicky until Paul came back with the car and the puke bowl inside.  Ibuprofen always makes Annie throw up.  I situated her in bed and put on cartoons while we waited.  I sat on the bed beside her and watched some YouTube videos with my headphones on.  About a minute into my video I saw movement out of the corner of my eye.  I turned to see Annie's hands flailing in the air while the rest of her body seized and shook. I ripped off my headphones and ran to her side, screaming her name and instantly sobbing.  As irrational as it may seem, that pessimistic voice in my head kept repeating, "You're going to lose her. You're going to lose her."  Her eyes starred up at the ceiling, devoid of the spark that usually fills them, and I held her and cried as I grasped for my phone with one hand.  Alone and with no car, I dialed 911 and begged the dispatcher for help.  She sent an ambulance and stayed with me on the line.

The seizure ended and left Annie's body absolutely lifeless.  Her eyes stayed opened, still dead and staring off at nothing. She didn't answer to her name or my insistent cries, nor did she respond to my touch as I stroked her sweaty hair and told her to stay with me.  The dispatcher reassured me that her body was behaving as she would expect after such an episode, but I still checked her breathing every few seconds.

When the paramedics arrived I felt relieved and safe as they carried her out tenderly and placed an IV. Pale and limp, she screamed out at the initial poke but didn't even twitch.  I laid her bear beside her and called Paul who was finally out of church, and shortly after we arrived Paul did too.  Annie began to respond to me again and I felt overwhelming love and relief when I noticed the light return to body. I held her and cried some more as they poked and pricked and examined her over the next nine and a half hours.  She bore it bravely, and milked as many popsicles out of the nurses she could.  Paul and my dad gave her a priesthood blessing then my parents took Sam so we could focus on Annie.  Later, Paul let me leave for dinner so I could regroup.  Late that evening they discharged her without any answers, and we took her back to the hotel to rest.  Sam spent the night at my grandmother's house so Annie didn't have to face another night of pretending to sleep through his cries.  It didn't take her long to pass out from exhaustion.  I, on the other hand, laid in bed, staring at her, terrified she'd disappear like a pixie if I closed my eyes.  But eventually, I fell asleep on my tear soaked pillow.

The next day was quiet and uneventful.  Annie seemed perfectly normal.  Her mood was cheery, her temperature was normal, and if it weren't for the bruises up her arms, you wouldn't have guessed she'd spent the day before in the hospital.  Part of me hoped the rest of the week would go smoothly now, but the other part knew it would not.

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