Last night I woke in the wee hours with a great startle. Jackson suddenly out of a dead sleep sounded as if he were choking. Nathan and I both ran into his room and he was making the most terrible, awful sounds as he gasped for air. My first thought was “This came out of nowhere! Is he sick? Does he have croup?” I quickly brought him to the bathroom and Nathan turned the hot shower on to try to calm him down and grabbed a flashlight to be sure there was nothing restricting his airway. Jackson was beside himself and not one of us was really awake. He kept reaching for mama…then daddy…then mama…then daddy in a desperate plea for relief and it just wouldn’t come. With every breath came a deep, rattled rumble and thereafter horrible barking, horse coughs. Our poor sweet little boy!
After a while we brought him into our room and tried to calm him but he just couldn’t seem to breathe well. Nathan sat him on his lap and began to pray. We laid our hands upon him and asked God to please help him to be able to breathe. After a few more minutes…which seemed like hours…he calmed and we were able to get him to sleep though the wheezing continued. While I thought he was coming down with illness Nathan wasn’t so sure.
Nathan completely understands what it means not to be able to breathe. When he was younger he had severe allergies and asthma and had his tonsils and adenoids removed when he was just 2 years old! Breathing treatments, allergy shots and rescue inhalers have been a part of his life for as long as he can remember. It makes him just sick to think our boys may be headed down the same path. Me on the other hand…the one time I couldn’t breathe I panicked! It was during labor with Emalynn and the contractions were coming so fast and so hard I couldn’t catch my breath. Much to my doctor’s recommendation my relief was in the form of an epidural. This asthma/allergy thing is all new to me…I just don’t understand.
In recent weeks we have been carefully watching Maxwell for what could seemingly be exercise-induced asthma as well as allergies. There have been many times…too many to even count…where after he has exerted himself Max has a terrible time breathing and coughs uncontrollably and cannot speak. He also has trouble when coming indoors from the cold and has always coughed when drinking ice water. We have just begun with his doctor looking at treatment and trying to sort out his symptoms and now…could we have another one on our hands? This coming from us who have…certainly not of our own merit but only because of God’s amazing grace and countless answered prayers…managed to be parents for nearly 6 years without any major…even hardly any minor illnesses to speak of with extremely healthy children and now we seem to be entering unchartered territory with new and sometimes alarming symptoms.
Last night I wanted to just cough for Jackson. I wanted to be able to help him breathe…to clear his airways…but I couldn’t. I felt so helpless and all I could do was pray. The Lord overwhelmingly answered. This morning Jackson woke up with little to no wheezing and the coughing was much better and lasted only a few minutes. He has been completely fine and totally his little sweet…and sometimes a bit of a stinker-pants toilet paper un-rolling…self today. Praise God for hearing and answering our prayers! Jack’s doctor took the time to see him today and instructed us to monitor him and pay close attention…just as we are to Max…and we are praying God will show us what to do should this…though it hopefully won’t…happen again.
Someone once described air to me as something you don’t realize you need until you don’t have it. We all need to breathe in order to live and sometimes we forget that God, the great Creator and Sustainer of all life is the one who orchestrates each and every breath we take. It’s when you…or someone you love deeply…can’t breathe that you really realize how much you take it for granted. Today I am praising God for the incredible blessing it is to just breathe.