My Name is Sarah

MY NAME IS SARAH. I am a quilt designer and the sewcial director of Sarah's Sewcial Lounge. I also have a business called Down Right Charming. I sell my quilts mostly on etsy and I make pillowcases to donate to patients in the hospital in memory of my friend Kristen Kirton. I am a young adult living with Down syndrome. I hope you enjoy reading about my life journey.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Stop this Ambulance

(previously posted - this is where it fits into our story of the construction project)

A MESSAGE FROM MOM:

"Hi John. I just want you to know that I am driving Sarah to the emergency room. She is going down hill. I think she just needs some oxygen. I'll call you once I know what's going on."

911: 911. What's your emergency?

Mom: I have a code blue, I need oxygen immediately, 18 year old female, Trisomy 21, history of subglotic stenosis resulting in placement of permanent trach, VSD repair, medically fragile, severe asthma, it appears the patient's airway has collapsed (can you tell I've done this before).

911: Is she breathing?

Mom: We have a pulse, no air movement. Stay with my Sarah. Sarah, Sarah, I shout. I begin blowing air into her mouth as I look into her eyes. They are void of movement and the white has turned an ashen gray. Sarah honey, hang in there babe. I gently blow a few more times. She makes a tiny gurgle sound. That a girl, Sarah.

911: Was that her? Is she making noise? You're doing good mom, I can hear the operator talking but it seems in slow motion, like I'm watching it happen in a movie . I just keep gently blowing into Sarah's mouth while tilting her head back just so slightly.

I hear the ambulance gunning down the main road toward our house. The squad arrives in seconds with four paramedics. The first two pull her from the car we were traveling in when I looked back and realized she wasn't breathing. They place her on the stretcher, while the guy carrying the clipboard starts to ask me some questions. The fourth man checks her pulse ox. Leaning over the gurney, I continue breathing into her nose and mouth until the pulse ox guy shouts out "63". Now they kick into extra fast action. If you are not familiar with the pulse ox test, it basically measures the amount of oxygen flowing through the body, anything below about 85 sends medical professionals into a tizzy. We have battled this issue for years with Sarah, but I don't recall it ever being this low, and recognize it could be dangerous.

This crew really seems to know what they are doing, and they are working as a great team. So I stand back and let them do their thing just glancing in from time to time to make sure they are not thinking of using an intubation tube. We know that could put her at risk for the possibility of having to insert a permanent trach again. After they have worked on her for about 20 minutes, the lead man tells me they are ready to transport to the ER. He instructs me where to meet them, but emphasizes to not follow closely as they will be using lights and siren. I blow Sarah a kiss and then head into the house to grab a change of clothes, a toothbrush and a book to read. I suspect we will be staying a few nights at the hospital, and having been down this road before I know the few necessities that make for a more comfortable stay. I also realize all the workman in the house are standing at windows looking out to see what the h*** is going on. I quickly tell them just another typical day in the Ely household, all should be well and please get back to work. We need our house back.
I climb into the car and as I begin to pull away, I see the ambulance stopped at the end of our street. That's odd I say to myself, I thought they were rushing off. I get a small lump in my throat and begin to feel sick to my stomach as I run toward the ambulance to see what the problem is.

Are you ready for this? Sarah was frantically trying to tell them something but they could not understand her. So finally she yelled clear as can be in her deep raspy oxygen voice "Stop this Ambulance." They slide the side window open to see if I can make out what she is trying to tell them. I recognized immediatley she was asking for her "Buckeye bear." She just wanted her little white bear. The one she got for her 18th birthday. Fortunately it was in the car. As I hand it through the window, the guy working on her I.V. line says, "So Sarah, You're a Buckeye fan?" And then I hear all of the paramedics give a deep exhale, in unison, as though it were planned. An emotional release of sorts. At that point I knew Sarah would be alright. I walked back to the car thinking, Is it possible this whole Buckeye Birthday Bash was about one tiny little OSU comfort bear? Is it possible the original idea of the scholarship was By Chance or was it By Design?


Hey, It's me Sarah. Want to see me in the hospital?

I don't like emergency rooms so much. They never have a TV in the room.

This new oxygen mask is sorta cool though.

And here he is, the famous Buckeye Bear.

21 comments:

RK said...

Oh my goodness! What a story! So glad you're feeling better, Sarah!

datri said...

Oh my, how frightening! But it sounds like you are doing much better Sarah!

Michelle said...

How scary! Hope you're recovering well and can go home soon!

Michelle said...

I just realized this happened last year right? The story said you were 18, and you just turned 19...so this was after your birthday last year? Either way, it sure must have been a scary experience!

Kacey Bode said...

Oh how very scary!! I'm glad you are so fiesty Sarah, and glad you are feeling better!!!

Cynthia said...

Very scary! Very glad things are better. I love that you felt better enough to ask for your bear and insist the ambulance stop!

Mary said...

Oh Sarah! I have no idea how you could go shopping for a dress the following day! I'm so glad you felt well enough to go!

WheresMyAngels said...

That is really scary, I don't think I have heard of this happening before. Glad she is better and able to get to the prom.

WheresMyAngels said...

Been thinking about this all day and I think my friends son might of had the same condition. He had DS, TOF and a trach.

Hidden Treasures said...

Sarah, You are absolutely beautiful! Mom, you are absolutely brave!! What a story. I cried reading it. I do hope you are better Sarah!

The Parker Family said...

I am so glad that you are ok and I love your bear!!!

Cammie Heflin said...

Wow Sarah and I thought our last few days was rough!

Laura said...

WOW, that was scary! Glad that's over, and you got a cool bear out of it!

Mary said...

Reading this story again made me so anxious! I would be such a nervous wreck! Joyce, how you manage to stay calm, blows my mind. I guess if you do it enough, it doesn't seem so awful?

Anne and Whitney: Up, Down and All Around said...

So scary! I am happy that a year later you are healthy and doing well!!! Being an IU fan, it is hard to say this, but I am happy your Buckeye Bear brought you some good luck :) The Hoosiers could use some good luck this year in Basketball... they are definitely tough to watch right now! I am enjoying your stories from a year ago :)

Tara Marie said...

My heart paused.......oh my! How scary and what a relief that your sweet Sarah is fine.

Mom, you sure did do good......I know that it would be no other way.

I believe in destiny and a divine plan, and I'm so thankful for that!

Jeanette said...

Wow, that was an amazing story. I was holding my breath reading it. Sarah, you look wonderful for being in a hospital and Mom, way to be calm and in charge!

JaybirdNWA said...

Hey Sarah, sounds like you gave them all a scare but you probably really freaked them out when you ordered them to stop that ambulance. Get well soon. Your a very popular lady here in blogville.

Melissa said...

OMGoodness Sarah! How scary...Get to feeling better soon;)

sheree said...

oh my goodness sarah...That was scary! I am glad you are resting comfortably now in the hospital and thank goodness you have your Buckeye bear! ;)

Lianna said...

Oh Sarah! Please take care! My heart raced away while reading the story.

Sarah, you're a strong, beautiful gal! And I think you're a lot like your mom.

Get well, sweets!♥