Chapter Twenty-Four: An Unexpected Rescue

Now July 2010, I am in Pensacola Sacred Heart Pediatric ICU for my son, who had apparently suffered a severe bout of croup in my absence.

He had woken up in the middle of the night, about 1:00 a.m., unable to breathe, and unable to communicate because of an autistic language barrier. Gypsy was at work, so my son had woken his grandparents. They first tried to give him milk, thinking perhaps his pointing to his throat was a request for a drink. When he couldn’t drink it and started to cry, they took him to the ER – but Gypsy had taken the car seats and stroller to work with him out of habit that night, as he often did to prevent my leaving with the children, so his parents were forced to take the children to the hospital in their laps.

Upon being admitted to the ICU, my son was airlifted to the specialist hospital 2 hours away. My daughter – who had just passed her 1st birthday just 5 days prior – was also admitted for minor croup, treated, and released.

While in Pensacola, I learned that Gypsy did not inform the doctors of my son’s genetic mutation. The second I informed them, all of his medications were changed to prevent any risk of clotting. My son was on the maxed sedatives for an adult because he kept waking up and trying to remove the machines and tubes from his throat and face. Because of this, Gypsy and his mother would team up to watch him during the day while I slept, and I would take nights while they slept – but I couldn’t sleep the entire time I was there. At one point, when I was nearing rest, I woke up because I heard my 2 year old son crying – when he should have been sedated.

I discovered that Gypsy and his mother both fell asleep during their shift, and my son woke up and pulled the main oxygen tube from his throat. he ripped the medical tape from his face and his cheeks were swollen and bruised. He was scared. I immediately ran into the room and began to hold his hands, trying to calm him, the nurses came in and took over so he wouldn’t tear out his IV – and they sent Gypsy away, glaring at him angrily. For the next few hours, Gypsy slept while I watched over my son. He had an IV nourishing him, a drainage tube removing the hardened mucous plug from his airway, and an oxygen tube keeping him breathing.

Eventually, they let my son wake up, and I was the first to hold him the moment they removed him from the bed – Gypsy took a photo, as he was still quite enamored with me at the time (and wanted to make up and get back together) and all I could do was hum sweet songs softly into my son’s ears as I rocked him in the seat. He fell asleep on me quite a bit, but Gypsy did get his chances to hold him, as well.

A positive experience from this was actually caused by my son’s clotting mutation. I was worried about how long he had been in the hospital bed, and I worried about circulation in his legs, so I asked for a physical therapist to come and help him get his legs moving again. The man’s name was Buddy Bolter – not a fake name to protect his identity, this was really his name, and solely because he deserves full recognition for how absolutely wonderful this man was to my son.

He had tiny baby “slippy socks” – the kinds with rubber designs on the bottom to keep you from slipping on hard floors, and he put them onto my son’s feet, joking that it was like “putting on a little foot condom” and he was still being completely professional. My son smiled up at him and all his positive energy as we tried together to stand him up on his feet. My son was, at the time, still under some effect from the sedatives and other medications, so he could not quite balance. Buddy joked that my son was like a little drunk baby. My son endured a little bit of standing therapy so that we could check his muscles, and then we moved to sitting and “bicycle” motions so we could increase circulation in his legs. Once Buddy was certain that my son would be okay, he approved us to take my son to the play room. My poor baby was so tired and so sore…he only wanted to play with the dinosaurs. Still my sweet little boy.

While at the hospital, a nurse noticed my leg was really swollen and discolored, and recommended that I go to the ER to make sure that I did not have a DVT – considering that my son’s clotting mutation came from me – and so I did. I know that Gypsy was worried about me, too, but I think it was mostly stress for lack of sleep. I initially refused to leave my son’s side, so the nurse reassured me that she would keep an eye out on my son just in case Gypsy fell asleep again, so I went downstairs to the ER. I was fine, it was Greater Trochanteric Bursitis of the left leg, and Sciatica. I got an injection of steroids and a cane – and was told to stop walking so much (like that could happen – I have no car and live halfway across the county from my children.) I immediately returned to my son to discover that he was being discharged.

On the way back from Pensacola, having been relieved of all the stress, knowing that my boy was going to be okay, I noticed something strange: I was getting carsick. I only ever get carsick when I get pregnant. We stopped and got a 2-in-1 test kit, and I took both of them 8-12 hours apart. They were negative, but I was certain they were wrong. I could feel it. Gypsy brushed it off, but believed that any child I might be carrying – even now – was his. I made sure to tell him that there was no chance it could be his. But we let it go, and returned to Panama City without issue – stopping by my mother’s job along the way so she could see my son.

Gypsy permitted me to stay at his house during the recovery process. I set up my son’s crib mattress on the floor, surrounded by pillows, and I slept in his room on the floor beside him. At every sound, I awoke and cared for my babies – both of them. My daughter, upon seeing me walk into the house, ran straight through the kitchen with a full-on war cry and a huge, happy grin across her face, straight into my arms. I felt so happy to be back with my babies again, and although I knew it was best not to think this way, a part of me did not want to leave again. Gypsy tried on more than one occasion to convince me to move back in with him.

After the children were better, a lot of what transpired is now foggy to my memory. I do recall explaining to Gypsy that I was in a position in which I did not want to be, but could not get out because I did not have a car of my own. He then helped me to get all of my things out of that woman’s apartment – convincing her that I was going back to him – and into a storage unit. The end result was me residing with Curt at a friend’s trailer a slight bit closer to the children.

For now, everything was okay – except that, for some reason, I was angry with Grim. He continued to try to see me even after I had left that situation, and I got upset with him for following me to my home from the laundromat. My roommate sent him off (take note: I did not have a car at the time, but my roommate let me take his for my laundry) and Grim believed that my roommate – who was actually a very distant cousin from our centuries-old ancestors being brothers – was my new boyfriend (*cringe*) But this was enough to tell me that not only were things not over yet – but something was not right about me. I have NEVER gotten angry at Grim for ANYTHING. I am simply not capable of it, my love for him is far too deep.

Time to take another test.

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