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...