Thank you so much for your comments and emails from my last post. Your prayers and encouragement mean so much. It’s a strange thing – to receive that kind of news about your child. It gives us a better understanding of what’s going on with her, but it doesn’t really change anything. Rhema’s still Rhema, filling our days with challenges, joys, lessons in love… so it’s hard to know how to “mourn” it. Here, on this blog, I find a place to process it, and here I find so much support and love. I can’t say thank you enough.
The trouble started when I decided to act on my need to go potty. It had already been a DAY, with an early morning meeting at Rhema’s school, then off to the hospital where we met with her neurologist for hours. I’d rushed back to her school in the pouring rain, dropped off a newly signed seizure care plan and scooped up the kids.
As we stumbled into the door, Rhema charged into the playroom downstairs. I should have followed her, but I’d been holding it in all day. Literally. My bladder was begging me for mercy, and I headed upstairs. Just as I entered the bathroom, I stopped. Better check on her first.
I hear shrieking before I get to the door. Rhema has managed to put her head through the bottom rungs of a children’s folding chair. Only now the folding chair has closed up and the rungs are clamped around her neck. Her face is flushed, and she’s starting to gag. And Hope is oh-so-casually playing with her dollhouse.
I’m screaming. Rhema’s freaking out. And Hope is playing with her dollhouse. Try as I might I cannot get the chair off Rhema’s head, and she’s not making it easy by flailing and fighting me. I get worried that she’s going to stop breathing. I call Brandon. Then I call 911.
Less than ten minutes later (which seemed like hours to me), four firemen and two EMTs arrive. They try in vain to get Rhema un-stuck. They finally grab wire-cutters and cut off the rungs.
Rhema, relieved, drops like a sack of potatoes.
I’m a babbling fool. Ohmygosh, ohmygosh. Oh. My. Gosh.
Hope steps in and asks the paramedics what their names are. She then informs the crew that her name is Hope, and that’s Rhema her sister. “Thank you for saving her. Can you fix my doll?”
She goes on to tell them that how Rhema lost both her front teeth and the toothfairy came and left her a princess puzzle (!!!) but the toothfairy also decided to leave something for her, the little sister who has not lost any teeth yet, but the toothfairy left her bunny bubbles (!!!), in fact, because she’s been so good at school and has not gotten any strikes in a week!
I thank the firemen profusely, and the paramedics stay behind to examine Rhema. She has broken blood vessels and brusies on her neck and shoulder, but she’s ok.
The EMT tries to ask her some questions, “Rhema, how are you? Are you feeling better now?”
She does not seem to hear them. She does not look at them.
They try to take her blood pressure. They try to check her ears for bleeding.
“Is this her normal?” one EMT asks.
Rhema is sitting on my lap, staring off into the distance, humming. It’s a peaceful hum.
“Yes, this is her normal.”
“So you don’t think she needs to go to the hospital. You think she’s ok?” His voice is kind.
“She’s just fine. Thank you. Thank God. She’s just fine.”
Mama, however? Needs a few drinks.
But even before that?
She needs to go potty.
Thank you to Babble for putting this blog on their Top 25 Autism Blogs List! And thanks to RNCentral.com for adding us to their list of 50 Blogs You Should Bookmark for Autism Awareness Month!