Thursday, January 11, 2007

No Joy in This Almond

For each ecstatic instant
We must an anguish pay
In keen and quivering ratio
To the ecstasy.

For each beloved hour
Sharp pittances of years--
Bitter contested farthings--
And Coffers heaped with Tears!

On about our third hour sitting on the bed in a small partition in the Provo ER my mom pulled out a miniature book of Emily Dickinson's verse from her purse. I opened and appropriately found the above poem. I've always felt that life has dealt me far to many ecsatic instants. That sometime I'm going to have to pay in anguish to balance this "quivering ratio".

I stayed on with the 3 kids. Craig had flown home to work his shifts. I was sitting with Seth doing his preschool projects we had taken with us and choked on some almonds. He ended up aspirating some. When Craig asked him on the phone, after confirming he was sick, what he had...he said, "I have a nut!" 24 hours later he had a high fever and irregular breathing. We spent 5 hours that night in the ER. 24 more hours later I was on a plane back to Phoenix with Seth and Hazel, leaving Lucy to be picked up by Craig. We saw him for 5 minutes at the Phoenix airport and he was off to Provo. 24 more hours later we were at a hospital in Mesa where they had the tools to extract foreign objects from a lung. They did a Bronchoscopy and found 3 large peices lodged in Seth's right lung. It was highly traumatic for all involved, especially sweet Seth. While I held an oxygen mask up to Seth's slumbering mouth in the ICU, Hazel slept at my dear Aunt Lark's house in Mesa and Craig tried NOT to sleep driving our car and LUcy down from Provo.

Seth smiling in his pre-op bed.

They discharged him that evening just after Craig arrived at the hospital seeing Seth for the first time since he left us in Provo 2 weeks ago. Being all together that night in our own home was such a relief. Seth is only coughing now and looking much better. He is not quite himself which breaks my heart more than you would think. DIdn't even want his bath tonight, "I just want to get in bed". All three are asleep and I am only recently processing the last 48 hours. Long ones. Here's to many more beloved hours and strength to get through the bitter ones.

Fortunately, our holiday were filled with many beloved ones. Craig, with the help of two of my brothers, two of his brothers, and both our fathers, gave Hazel a name and a blessing. We did it in my parents home and were blessed to have many, if not all, of our family there.

We ordered lots of snow and they came through for us!

Hazel started smiling (Grandpa's method of calming her cries was to lend her his ipod)

Coming home from so many smiles and tears, I learned a hard lesson for a mother. I can give many gifts under the tree, I can give lots of hugs and kisses, I can give sweet treats, and time, and love, and so many things. But I can't give my kids health, and another "can't" even harder to swallow--I can't give them happiness. I can make the environment one conducive to smiles and laughter, but we all make our own happiness, even when we are 3 1/2. I can't think of anything harder, as a mother, to learn.

Tomorrow, my 100.


Anonymous said...

Oh Jordan, I am so glad everything turned out okay. And so sorry that it happened. I hope Seth is back to normal soon!

ingrid said...

Jordan, when I first started reading your post, I thought perhaps Seth had some allergies to nuts and was brought to the ER for help with breathing. (I've had many a trip myself to the ER due to allergies to nuts!) But, as I read on, tears started flowing. What an amazing miracle that you were able to decipher what was wrong and to get help for Seth right away! I know you mentioned as a mother that you cannot control their health or their happiness, but I think in this instance you DEFINITELY aided in helping dear sweet Seth regain his health back by taking appropriate measures in doing so. Really, sometimes things of that nature go unnoticed.

And don't worry, I am POSITIVE he will be back to his normal 3 1/2 year old self soon. I only wish I could hop on over to Phoenix and give a helping hand. Lots of love, Jordan! You are a strong lady and an even stronger mother.

Happy Birthday today! May this last year in your 20s be the best ever!!!

michelle said...

What a bittersweet post, Jordan! I can't believe the ordeal you all have been through. It must have been so frightening, and terrible to not be at home, to not have Craig with you...

Poor little Seth looks adorable and happy in his pre-op photo! I'm so glad you were able to figure out what was wrong with him. What a blessing to be in a time and place with good medical care.

As far as not being able to make our children happy -- I have had to learn that hard lesson as well. Heartbreaking, isn't it? As a mother, the hardest thing for me to bear is their free agency.

I hope all is back to normal soon and that you are able to enjoy your birthday!

Allison M. said...

I am glad that Seth is feeling better, and is on the road to recovery.

I agree it is the hardest lesson to learn as a mother. I am re-learning it with our transition.

It was great taling with you the other day. I hope the Mangum home will be back to normal soon.

kristin said...

Jordan, that is scary. So glad he is doing better. We've gone through scary health things with Meg. I think that is the worst feeling in the world wondering if your baby is going to be o.k. Good health for my kids is something I always pray for.

(I too, like J.Dahl, am trying to be a more regular blogger.)

rebecca said...

Jordan! I am so glad for the good news today, an update filled with recovery and lessons learned. Oh, I wish I could learn them faster, myself. It so touched me to read that poem today - I have been trying to describe the feeling it evokes to a friend, about motherhood and why the instants make the anguish worth it, but that there is certainly lots of anguish. Thanks for your ever-coherant and insightful words during such a tramatic time. I am happy that you are all together, you 5, and that there are smiles on that little boy's face.

Happy Happy Birthday, dear friend!

Kristi Brooke said...

happy happy birthday new friend

Kristi Brooke said...

jordan. I forgot to comment about your sad little Almond time. oh my. I always tell Jeff that when he removes something to give it to the parents to save, Pennies, dimes and such, but I am sure they didn't save the almond chunks for you adn they would not look that great in a frame.
i am glad all is well.

Jenny Dahl said...

Jordan, so sorry to hear of the unforunate events due to an almond. And to think Craig was absent to help a dear mom through it all is even worse. Your little guy will be back in no time at all and you'll still be worried about almonds for years to come. These little ones know how to put us through the ringer.
Its always a treat to read your blog and read your inspiring words!

Tasha said...

Oh Jordan! Sweet Owen B. had a similar experience with a peanut this year. Its so scary! I hope Craig is off this weekend, so you can all just be together.

You are so on the nose, we cannot create happiness for our children. It stresses me out quite a bit, because I want Evie to be a naturally happy person, rather than all cynical like me!

ShawnaB. said...

Oh Jordan - what a nightmare. SO glad it's over and that you are all home again, safe, sound, and nut free. Hugs to you! When Owen had his nut ordeal it about broke me heart. Seeing him so small, so vulnerable in his little blue hospital gown - I wanted to so much to trade places with him.

What a great poem. It will forever remind you of your ER visit, I'm sure.

On a happier note - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, my dear friend!!!! Can't wait to read your 100. Celebrate BIG! You deserve it! Love you, Jordan!

Jill said...

I can't even imagine how frightening that whole experience must have been for your sweet, little family. It's crazy how quickly things can change from normal life to crisis mode. I'm sure you and Craig both felt like full-fledged parents while in the middle of the crisis, which is kind of weird isn't it? Perhaps not for you but I still can't believe I'M the mom sometimes. I'm so glad all went well and that you're all home safe and sound.

Anonymous said...

I heard the story via Allison. I am so glad little Seth is okay. That must have been scary.