Saturday, July 23, 2011
Saturday, July 16, 2011
What happens when you call 911 in Costa Rica? In our case, nothing. In response to my husbands plea, "We need an ambulance, my daughter isn't breathing," was, "The road to Surf Side is closed, so we'll have a dr. call you back in a few minutes." Lesson learned - We are our best emergency response. My friend and I are going to be hosting a First-Aid class at Country Day School in the fall so that I can be better prepared, with knowledge and resources.
"Yesterday Elle got a little congested and she seemed to be developing a cough. We thought we would watch it for one day before taking her to the dr., as they seem to be even less informative here than they are in the states...i.e., "it's a virus so we can't give you an antibiotic. You can give her some cough medicine to ease it and run a vaporizer in her room, etc., etc." We also got 8inches of rain in less than 8 hours, bringing the total to 47 inches in 3 days!!!. It seemed as if the sky was a faucet running on full blast. Mudslides, falling trees, and bridges were giving way because the earth was so wet and heavy.
We had some friends over for dinner. They are moving soon, and at 5pm without ANY dinner planned, I just called her and said, "you have to come over and have dinner with us before you move!" We discussed Elli's cough during dinner and how it seemed to be getting worse. She went home to look for a nebulizer and steroids, but could only find the medicine. I thought we could make it through the night, no problem, until the road cleared and we could go to the dr. in the morning. When they left at 8:45pm we had a tree down in our driveway and a friend called to say the only road out of our town had a mudslide across it. I was thinking the rain was so beautiful, and all the while it was wreaking havoc. We got our kids to bed and settled in for some grown up time with a movie.
At 9:30pm I heard Elle wheezing. I ran into her room to see she had panic stricken across her face. She was kneeling up and flailing with her arms out in front of her as if she was actually trying to grab the air with her fists. She could get out a short wail of "owee" as she grabbed her throat. That was the last sound I heard from her for a few minutes. Between her bedroom and the living room, which is only a few short steps, she had turned ghostly white and her ribs and throat were laboring for breathe with no success at all. I yelled at Tom that she wasn't breathing. He said we needed to put her in the bathroom and steam it up - 911 would have been my first reaction had we been in the States, but here the turn around is so long we just had to get her some air first. By the time the shower was running her body was all white and starting to turn a shade of white I can't describe, her lips were purple, her head was thrown back, and her eyes were rolling into the back of her head. Sheer panic at that point for both Tom and I.
Not sure what happened for the next few seconds, but somehow, she was in the shower with Tom fully clothed and I had rushed out the door to call my neighbor. I know that sounds so weird not to call emergency, but I knew the road was out and I had to get her to breathe. I called my friend that had been visiting that night, and she came straight over with some nebulizer steroids, even though she had no nebulizer. While I waited for her to arrive I went back to the shower to see the purple had faded back to white and she was able to cry again. I wrapped her in a towel and went into the living room to call a local dr. and let in my neighbor who had by then arrived.
I can't even recall the conversation with the dr. because Elliot stopped breathing again. We got the stove running with boiling water to which we added the steroids. We stood in the cold of the freezer (because we were told it shocks the airways to breathing.) We had about 5 cycles of this (stop breathing - stand over boiling water - stand in freezer - start breathing again - back to sleep.) In the meantime, Tom DID call 911. Of course, as we anticipated, there was nothing they could do because the road was out.
In the morning when the road was clear, we took her to a highly recommended dr. When she tested her oxygen levels, even at that point when we thought we were out of the dark, they were still only at 92 (in a hospital 90 on a child will trigger an alarm) 98 is normal. The dr. administered a shot and two 20 minute doses of steroid through a nebulizer (mask over the face,) in addition to an oral steroid. By the end of a 2 hour session (with no waiting time as we were her only patients in the office) her oxygen levels were back up to 98 and she could breathe again. She is fine now and going strong, normal Elle!
I believe that the steroid my friend brought over saved Elli's little life! Had she not come over for dinner, I don't think I would have ever thought to call her for help. I don't think she could have made it all the way through the night struggling for breathe like she had been with all her might. It was as tender as a tender mercy from the Lord ever is. He is so good. She is with us. We are grateful! What a happy, strong little girl.
Monday, July 11, 2011
Sunday, July 10, 2011
The Oslo Pass – So You Can See it…all? 24 hours of museums, forts, parks, castles, gondolas and tricks. If you don’t eat, sleep, and definitely don’t sit down, you might just see 1/10th of what Oslo has to offer. Good thing it doesn't get dark.
Frogner Park - 80 acres of splendid park adorned with 212 bronze and granite sculptures created by Gustav Vigeland (1869 - 1943), and thereby also known as Vigeland Sculpture Park. The artists messages are simple and beautiful, as he demonstrates the human condition from birth to death in its many forms. STUNNING.
This famous statue, The Angry Boy (Sinnataggen), has become a representation of the city of Oslo. Look familiar to any of you mamas out there?
There are hundreds of statues lining the walkways of the park, but this one was a particular favorite of mine, it's just so close to home. In the background you can see the mama holding her child in the air. Breathtaking, happy reminders of our purpose here all over the park.
The Viking Museum - An unexpected treat. A culture where women were practically worshiped? Now who's not lovin' that!
2 Great Things About Norway:
1 – The major source of nutrition on our trip: Chocolate.
2 – Most common form of transportation: Our feet (which thankfully counters the effects of the chocolate.)
The breathtaking landscape of central and southern Norway is covered in cliffs, fijords, forests, waterfalls, and quaint countryside. Connecting the sleepy little fairy tale villages nestled in the mountains surrounded by clear lakes and streams, are roads dotted with tunnels carved strait through the mountain side. On such a journey, driving between the towering cliffs and the blue fijords, one will find colorful Norweigan homes and old Stave churches as picturesque as a postcard. With the sun shining brilliantly over the grassy, lush meadows or with a cool low mist draped over the water like a blanket, in all it’s forms Norway conjures in me a feeling of reverence and intrigue.
Land of the Troll
With Norway's diverse landscape, it is no wonder that story tellers of old have had fantastical visions and spread tall tales of a mysterious creature who lives at the top of the tallest mountains, resides behind a great waterfall, or lurks in the deepest, darkest of forests. He is a troll, and depictions of him can be found everywhere in Norway. Photo opportunity statues can be found around nearly every corner, and calendars, mini statues, postcards, and posters can be purchased for tourists to take home and remember the landscape of Norway that lends itself so well to such a tall tale.
Getting dressed up was half the fun of Norway. In Costa Rica, the second I put on clothes I'm glistening with sweat...it's not attractive. Lindsay loaned me all her clothes so I could be 'in style', still didn't come close to the high fashion streets of Oslo. It's no joke.
Just had to grab a shot of one of the many darling homes. They all have the most fabulous variety of trinkets lining their windowsills. I think they must offer a mandatory course for all home owners....decorating your windowsill 101.