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.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Self Managing an Asthma Crisis

A message from Joyce: For the past several days, Sarah and I have been taking turns writing about this beautiful blanket from Lacey. The perfect fabric selection, the incredible crochet edging, the adorable picture of Jaxson, and the special place it holds in my heart.

The truth is though, Sarah found the box on December 11. That's right. Not last week, but one month ago. So why did we wait so long to write about it? Because she wanted to take it to show Ridge, her horse, first. But the next Saturday it was too cold for horse riding. Then the following Wednesday, TJ called me at the office to inform me he helped Sarah with a breathing treatment when she got off the bus. She was struggling, but not so bad that I needed to come home immediately. Both my boys are well conditioned to the difference between when Sarah needs a little help and an emergency.

By the time I got home, the fever had started and the gray tinge to the eyeballs. Clear signs an asthma episode is brewing. So we begin to follow the yellow zone plan on the asthma protocol sheet. I dig a little deeper into the medication drawer, double up the Albuterol, and line the bucket in her room. And then we wait.

That's when I feel like I start to play the game of Roulette with Sarah's life. Just when do you hit the emergency room? Do you go immediately? Wait until after midnight when the waiting room is quieter? Wait a day or two to see if it will pass. Knowing if I wait too long, I risk the airway closing. I'd prefer to not repeat our incident a year ago February when I needed to perform rescue breathing in the back seat of my car. But we also hate the hospital and this year we have to worry about contracting N1H1 while in there. It could be deadly for Sarah.

Still, I thought for sure this blanket would be going to the hospital in December. I had it ready along with the camera. But something amazing happened. Sarah managed her asthma episode like a pro. She coughed when she needed to. She spit out that thick mucus before it was aspirated into her lungs, thus likely preventing the usual pneumonia. She told us when she felt like she needed another treatment. She continued to drink fluids to prevent becoming dehydrated and she ate, not much, but enough. Christmas came and went. So did New Year's and the Rose Bowl. On the 4th, she went back to work.

Twenty Years. That's how long we've waited for this. Or maybe I should say we have been practicing for twenty years and the real game has just begun. One thing's for sure, we are getting closer and closer to that finish line every day.

13 comments:

Mel said...

I am sorry to hear that Sarah has been sick, but I am glad to hear that she's becoming so independent when she is. Here's hoping her health continues to improve :)

Junior said...

Way to go Sarah, wonderful that you were able to stay out of the hospital.

Adelaide Dupont said...

"Bring me liberty or bring me death".

That was the line which I had in mind when I read this.

ABandCsMom said...

Sorry she was not well. I can imagine the fear within you Joyce. Scary times. Both of our older two have dealt with asthma. I pray every day that Carly will NOT follow in their footsteps.

Sarah. Good job! You continue to amaze me daily. You are such an inspiration. Even when you're not feeling up to par. You make that light at the end of this very long tunnel, very much visible. I'm so glad I found your blog!

Praying Miss Sarah stays healthy throughout the rest of the winter.

jjpsmommy07 said...

Very happy to hear that Sarah was able to stay out of the hospital and not contract pneumonia! Jonathon has asthma too and I worry this time of year. So far So good!!!!

Karen said...

Sarah, you're amazing. Look at you just growing up more every day! I'm so proud of you, and so glad that you're feeling better.

stephanie said...

Good job Sarah!!!! So glad you didn't end up in the hospital.How super that you knew just what to do to help yourself.

Lacey said...

I find that a really hard decision. I feel like I have everything at home to keep him and stay away from the yucky hospital. but if I wait to long, the hospital is a good 45 minutes away, and that scares me!

Rochelle said...

Great job Sarah at managing your own health. You are so getting so independent. Keep up the great work.

Lianna said...

Sarah, you must feel so empowered! Go girl! Take good care! xoxo

AZ Chapman said...

wtg sarah you are defently growing up

Tsquared417 said...

I'm so glad she handled it so well. And I hope I'm still reveling in Olivia's accomplishments after 20 years. Way to go Joyce and Sarah!!

starrlife said...

Just catching up but happy to hear that it all went as well as could be! It is an amazing feeling when our children "get" something so important to their survival.