Goldie is seldom is sick, so it is easy for me to slip into a mindset that we have beat the "low immunity" aspect of Down syndrome. And maybe she has, but what has yet to be conquered is the darn dysphagia. So, on Mother's day, I sung my baby girl through IV sticks (3) and breathing treatments while my would be dinner of pasture raised filet mignon and NY strip, still wrapped in white butcher paper, lay in a pool of red juice.
While Goldie may catch less than half of the bugs I do, her low fluid intake makes fighting what she does come down with very difficult. This is compounded by the increased difficulty in swallowing when her sinuses are draining. A cold was making its way through our house and I had been worried that she wasn't coughing as much as her siblings and that mucous was, instead, settling in her chest. Mother's intuition, trust it. When I got her to the ER Sunday morning her oxygen levels were in the low 80's! A chest x-ray showed that Goldie had pneumonia. The rest of the day included IVs, oxygen, breathing treatments, antibiotics, and an ambulance ride. Listening to some folksy kid's music on Pandora, we rounded out the afternoon snuggled up in the hospital bed for a nap.
Hank still needs me at night, so I left Goldie in the capable arms of her Daddy. Then, I drove home, crying and feeling torn between my children. Repeat all of this for night two and add in a couple middle of the night phone calls with Goldie SCREAMING in the background. While all of this really stunk, my husband mentioned how much closer he feels to his little girl and I have found even more trust in him as her father, advocate, and protector.
She is home. She is tired. A trip to the post office yesterday, yielded a three hour nap! As for the rest of us, Hank has a double ear infection, the nine year old woke up with the stomach flu, and my hubby worked over fourteen hours yesterday. (I'm thankful for that because it means he has a job and we need the money to cover visits to the hospital). My promise to him when he left earlier: I will not crack up, today.