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, October 25, 2010

Another 10 Years Off my Life

by Joyce...Darn you mother nature. Another cruel twist of barometric pressure and outside temperatures going from 60 to 30 to 75, has us at crisis point again.

Sarah was having a great day. She went to work, came home, made herself a snack, got ready for music therapy and rocked out with Bonnie. But when she got in the car after music therapy she doubled herself in half at the waist. My first subtle clue. Bonnie and I said goodbye and off we went. It was going to be girls night out. First dinner, then Target, then a visit to a new venue, a Temple in Kirtland. Soon after calling the order into the speaker, Sarah said she didn't want to eat. Uh oh, clue number two. So I started to head for home which is a good 30 minutes away.

Shortly after getting on the freeway, I look over my shoulder and I know we are in trouble. "Sarah, Sarah, Sarah," I repeat. Each time getting louder. No response. I tilt my review mirror so I can half she her and half the road. I start to see her eyes roll. Damn it. Why does this have to happen on the highway when traffic is moving 70 mph. My adrenaline is pumping. My mind goes into what I call lock down. It automatically and very quickly runs through the scenarios.

Pull over in case I need to perform rescue breathing. But doing so puts both our lives in jeopardy. So many people are getting killed on the side of the road by erratic drivers. Not a good option.

Get off at the next exit where there is a hospital a bit down the street. But it's not on our insurance plan so we will have to go through the horrendous transfer process once they get her stable. Not a good option. So I keep driving.

"Sarah," I scream. "Talk to me Sarah." "Saaaarrrraaahhhhhh" I turn to look at her. Her eyes are gray, she is listless. Trucks are flying by me. On both sides. There is no where to pull off, so I press on. My little car is shaking. I am shaking.

I get closer to the van in front of me. It is from an oxygen supply company. Great. I think about honking my horn to get his attention. He has oxygen, that's what we need. But just up ahead is where four lanes of I-90 traffic come into three. One of the places where accidents frequently happen. Overturned trucks even. Not a good place to make a scene. So I keep driving. FAST. Faster than the speed limit. My heart is pounding. My palms are sweaty. Sarah is not responding to any command.

I get off at the first exit and pull into the first drive...

This is what she looks like. Never before have I had a camera to take a picture in this situation. I jump out of the car. Go over to open her door. I cup her face in my hands, "Sarah," noticing her eyes are so gray as she looks up at me. "Honey are you ok?" "Mommy, I don't feel so good," she barely whispers.

I grab the abuterol inhaler out of the glove box. I go to shake it, realizing that I am already shaking enough that I don't need to put much effort into it. Two puffs in. She takes a deep breath. She grabs for my hand. We sit for a moment. Should I call 911. I count her respirations. I slowing breath some shallow breaths toward her face to share my oxygen. Her color starts to look a little better. We sit for another few moments. I give her one more puff of Albuterol. Her breathing becomes a bit more stable. Her eyes are now responding to my finger. I think we can make it home where we have more medications to give her...

and

then

I

do

what

any

self respecting

mother

who

has

just

lost

ten

more

years

off

her

life

would

do...

... I walked into the store in front of us and bought two pounds of milk chocolate.
It is now three plus hours after our ordeal. Sarah is resting in bed. Her breathing is somewhat labored. She has a slight fever. I will be up checking every hour or so. After twenty one years, we seem to know just how far to push it before hitting the emergency room. But even after all these years, it still sends me into a tizzy when these episodes occur.

38 comments:

Kristin said...

Oh Joyce - how scary. I think I just lost at least a few days just reading your post! Praying all is well.

RK said...

Oh I do hope you can avoid the ER... prayers that she continues to improve quickly. I'd be a mess, and yes, chocolate would be on the docket for me too.

Jaimie said...

I'm glad you're OK Sarah!! Get some rest and feel better soon.

Scarehaircare said...

Oh, my heavens, Joyce! That just made my heart beat fast reading it. Poor Sarah, I hope she is feeling better. Sending up prayers.

Simply, Sarah said...

I'm so glad that Sarah and you are both ok, besides the shaking up you had. You are both (your whole family actually) an inspiration to me and everyone I tell about you all.
I hope the rest of the week gets better for you.

Junior said...

So scary, glad Sarah is okay.

Shawndi84 said...

Oh my goodness! I think I was holding my breath the whole time I was reading that! Whew, glad everything was okay! :)

Zoey's mom said...

Oh my gosh.!10 years off your life ... it took 20 off me just reading it!!!


Praying for a restful night and that Sarah can fight this without going to the hospital.And Joyce,for me,chocolate,always makes everything better.Can I send you a box of our local best?Seriously,you so deserve more!!!Not to mention your sweet Sarah.

Christy said...

Fantastic, quick thinking... I so thought you were going to pull in front of that oxygen truck ;)

Glad you didn't need to go to a hospital and stupid American system where you have to consider such a thing.

stephanie said...

i think i need oxygen. I wasn't breathing through this whole post!
God Bless you Joyce!!!!

Lacia said...

Oh how terribly frightening! I hope she had a good night and is feeling better.

Leah said...

Oh wow! Glad to know Sarah is ok! Not sure I would have stopped to take a picture when an ambulance is in question though! But, in the heat of the moment, our thought processes go haywire. This I know! LOL Hope today is a much better day!

Becca said...

You are the epitome of grace under pressure, Joyce. I think I would have been the one needing the albuterol after that. I hope Sarah's feeling much better this morning!

starrlife said...

Phew- I was so worried!Glad it's stable for now and hope it just keeps getting better. Great job Mom ..and Sarah.

kate spain said...

Joyce what a scare. I sure hope Sarah is feeling better and that you've recovered from such a stressful event. You take care. Big hugs to you and Sarah. xxoo

JRS said...

Not a fan of this post! I can't imagine what it is like actually experiencing this. I'm going to get some chocolate and eat it in your honor. Rest up Sarah.
---Jen

Kristen's mom said...

you're my kind of girl. the chocolate and knowing just how far you can go before calling for help. Praying for you and Sarah that today will be a better day.

Lacey said...

Joyce, you are so amazing. Again, Sarah is so similar to Jax, it makes me see that even if Jax gets older and gets the trach out, he is still going to be super fragile with his lungs, just like Sarah!

jjpsmommy07 said...

Talk about getting goose bumps and tearing up! how scary, I am glad that Sarah is home resting and will keep her in my prayers. ((hugs to all of you))

Rochelle said...

I definitely need oxygen and a tissue, you made me tear up just experiencing this through your post, and thank you for ending on a chocolate note.
Hope Sarah is doing so much better today.

Bulldogma said...

Holy Cow! Best wishes to beautiful Sara for a speedy recovery from this nasty episode!

Catalina said...

Yikes, scary story. Glad to hear that Sarah is doing better now. We;'ll be praying for her.

Sabrina said...

I was on the edge of my seat just reading this! I don't think I could have handled the situation as well as you did, Joyce! Thanking God that Sarah is on the mend - please tell her I'm praying for her. =)

Talley Images said...

this left me breathless... you so deserved that chocolate after that ordeal... :)

Sarah, I would like to send you a card, can you email me at talleyimages (at) yahoo (dot) com and send me your address? Or is there another place on here to find it?

Thanks
-addie

Mary said...

Well, it would totally freak me out. I hope you feel much better soon, Sarah.

Amy Flege said...

oh my. i dont know how you do it. i would of be having a panic attack~~ you are so strong!
glad sarah is ok!

heather said...

Nothing is scarier! I had that happen with my son when he was 3 years old. Only we were an hour away from a hospital and didn't have his albuterol with us. We almost lost him that night. I'm glad she had her meds with her and was able to get some chocolate and go home. Hope she gets feeling better soon!

hollyctr said...

Joyce, I was so worried when you didn't make it to the temple, I was sooo worried that something had happened! What can I do for you? Can we bring you dinner? i would love to do that if you are up to it. Let me know!

~ Teresa ~ said...

Oh, my goodness! Sarah? I hope that you are feeling much better soon. Joyce I hope that you are ok..... So scary..... I is amazing that you could keep a "cool" demeaner through that! I have chills!

Cammie Heflin said...

Just read this!!! Oh my goodness! I'm glad to see that Sarah is doing better, scary is never fun!

Anonymous said...

Oh my...I just read yesterday's post on Sarah's blog. I am breathing a literal sigh of relief with you and Sarah. Wow. After reading, I rehearsed our session through my head and remembered that she was unusually calm throughout the session. She even asked if she could 'sit down' while she sang cause she felt very 'tired' as she put it. Well, all that to say, I'm glad that she is doing better and I'm glad I have your cell phone plugged into my phone for emergencies! If there is a 'plan' you would like to put in place just in case (and God forbid) this should ever happen during music, please advise. I'll climb aboard the 'having options' train with you anytime. Just let me know!
Give Sarah a hug and please eat some chocolate for me Joyce. Feel better Sarah!

Bonnie

Mommy to those Special Ks said...

How scary! I am SO glad she is ok! I don't know what I would have done either!!!

Looking Up said...

So sorry that you had to go through that! Beyond horrible! And this crazy Cleveland weather doesn't help. :( Hoping that you & Sarah are both feeling better tonight. After an ordeal like that, I would have had to wash that Malley's down with a glass of wine!

Karen said...

My word, I can't imagine living with that kind of scary. I'm so glad you were able to keep a cool head and that Sarah was alright.

patsy said...

oh joyce...i am so sorry, you are one strong woman! i was freaking out just reading it! hope that sarah is doing much better :) and the chocolate thing...my weakness also to always make everything better!

Shelly Turpin said...

I am so sorry. I am reading this out of order, so I know her fever broke. I just want to cry. Sorry for another scary episode.

Donna said...

Joyce, I felt like I was there with you screaming for Sarah to stay with you. So glad to hear that Sarah has improved. Of course that chocolate would have been inhaled before I had made it back into the car! How lucky for Sarah that she has you. Praying that Sarah continues to recover quickly.

Ruth E said...

I just found your blog...and I love it! Our little girl, Esther has DS and just started walking at 25 months - Sarah is an inspiration to me, and Joyce, I love you sense of humor!