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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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Driving In The Dark.: Special Needs Parenting 101. (Part One)
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Thursday, October 11, 2012

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A father is forced to take his handicapped young son to the emergency room in the middle of the night.

Damn, damn, it's happened again.

Nothing more frightening than being ripped from a sound, serene sleep by the sound of a child gasping for air; yet that is exactly what has happened.

My wife is on the phone now with the hospital, letting them know that I am bringing Dylan in because he is having yet another asthma attack.  From the sounds of it, it sounds like a really bad one; Dylan is really struggling to breathe!

I grab Dylan from his crib; at the age of 12, he is tall for his age and stocky; yet he's more like an overgrown infant: unable to feed, suck, eat on his own (tube fed), and not toilet-trained; he wears adult sized diapers.

Dylan was born with severe brain damage and Down syndrome.  Bad enough he is mentally disabled; does he have to be physically disabled on top of it??

I would call for the ambulance, but Dylan is struggling too hard; the hospital is over 10 minutes away.  Time is of the essence; I must find a hospital that is closer and a hospital that is willing to take in a child like Dylan.

Darlene has just informed me that Nashville Children's is less than five minutes away.  Cool.  Now that I will get directions, I should be there in no time.  I wrap a blanket around Dylan, tell him what a good boy he is being and that I am taking him to see the doctor's, and hastily kiss Darlene as I pass on the way out the front door.  Dylan doesn't move: all he does is continue to struggle for air.

As I near the hospital, I suddenly think of Dylan's oxygen unit (the portable one).  Cursing, I chide myself for not bringing it.  Too late now; it's time to get him help as soon as possible. 

I squeal into the ER parking lot, right in front of the door, grab my son, and rush into the ER.  A nurse hears and sees my son struggling to breathe; she immediately motions me to go back to a table.  As the nursing staff takes over, I look at the nurse gratefully as she hands me a pen and a form to fill out.  We've been through this routine before; this is nothing new.  That is how it is with asthma.

I then go to a chair in the waiting room and wait.  No telling how long it will be; I just hope and pray that they can eradicate Dylan's asthma attack and give him some blessed relief.

I look at the clock.  It is nearly 12:30 in the morning.  Guess I won't be working today (I am supposed to go in at 9 and work to 5:30).  I leave a message for my boss and tell him what is going on with Dylan and that I am in the ER with him.

~To be continued.~

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Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen 10/28/2012
Well done Karen, keep these coming
In Christs Love
Reviewed by Paul Berube 10/12/2012
Well done, Karen.
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 10/11/2012
Very sad, Karen, one feels the fear and uncertainty. Well done.

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.

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