I think the last 24 hours have been the longest of my life. And I’m certain I’m more gray because of it all…
It all started about 8:30 last night (Saturday). A member from our church called the church phone (which rings in our living room) and Chip answered. She said she had misdialed – she meant to call the fire department but instead called the church. I was finishing up stuff from the church so I was sitting on the computer. He called out, “Get Seth out of the bathtub. I have to go __________’s has a fire in her kitchen.” He grabbed the fire extinguisher from our kitchen and was out the door before I could even get out of my chair.
10 minutes later, I heard the sirens. I knew his thinking was he could get there faster than the fire department (they are all volunteer). I got the kids bathed and in bed with a movie. I cleaned the living room. I cleaned the dining room. I sat down and looked at the clock and he’d been gone more than an hour, so I sent a text message to make sure he was ok.
A couple minutes later, my phone rang. He wasn’t getting a signal, so we hung up and I sent him another text. A minute later my phone rang and this is what I heard:
“This is _____ _____________ with the Bethany Fire Department. Chip wanted me to call and let you know that we are taking him and (owner of the house) to St. Mary’s hospital for treatment. He said to make sure you know he’s fine. He breathed in some smoke and it was a chemical fire so we want to take him in for a blood gas and make sure everything is ok before we let him come home.”
OH MY!!!! Thankfully, when stuff like that happens, I can deal well under pressure. While I was on the phone, he sent me another text and said he was fine and asked me to call a friend to come pick him up. He told me I didn’t need to worry and I only had to come up to the hospital if I wanted to. Did I want to go up to the hospital? Um? YA THINK!
So, I made a phone call to a friend to take me up there. Then I tried calling his mom – the woman who ALWAYS has her phone handy – so she could come up and sit with the kids. NO ANSWER!!! It kept going right to voice mail. So, I got on the computer to turn on my instant messenger and it wouldn’t work! AHHHHHH!!! Thankfully, we have these handy new phones that have our IM’s built right in, so I logged in on my phone and got her that way. She finally called me back (her phone was dead) and said she was on her way. When I saw headlights in the driveway, I went out to see who it was. It was some wonderful people from our church who were coming to watch the kids and take me up there if I needed. So, I left my kids in their care because right after them, our friend pulled up to take me to the hospital.
We got up there and if I can get the picture off his phone (not likely he’ll let me – maybe his sister can txt it to me? Carina?) I’ll post it. I walked in and they had him on an oxygen mask and were putting leads on his chest and getting ready to draw blood. I’m not sure I even stopped to take a breath from the time I got the call from the ambulance until the time I walked into the room. The did the blood work, took a chest x-ray and gave him some oxygen. At about 11:45, they let him come home. He had instructions to rest, drink lots of fluids and return if anything changed. (The owner of the home also was released with no problems).
It was a spontaneous combustion fire. Not the fault of the homeowner (it was repair work on her house that involved chemicals), not the fault of anyone really. Just one of those things that happens. Apparently, he got there and went in to try and put the fire out. The extinguisher wouldn’t work, so they got out of the house. Then he went back in for her cat and couldn’t find it. He said he was in the house less than 30 seconds the second time. Less than 2 minutes total. I say when I do the fire safety class for the kids this year, I’m going to make him watch too! The moral of the story – don’t go into a burning house! EVER!
We came home and at about 1:30, we finally got to bed. At about 4am, he woke up and started flipping and flopping. Then his sister sent a text message. Yes, at 4am! At about 6am, we were both still awake and trying to sleep and he finally said, “I don’t want to bother you, but I’ve been having chest pains for the past 2 hours.” He said it felt like someone was stabbing him in the side every 10-15 seconds. By 7:30, his parents were back and we were heading back up to the hospital.
Turned out everything was ok. His heart was fine (he said his hand was going numb – the main reason we went in) and the doctor said he most likely overexerted himself the night before. His sister seems to think that it is probably related to the chemicals he inhaled. They gave him a shot in the hip with anti-inflammatories (toradol for those who care) and sent us home with instructions for him to rest and not lift anything heavy for a week. *sigh* Just as we were getting ready to come home, a little boy from our church was coming in. He had hives all over his body (he’s home and fine now – he got a shot in the hip too). We got home at 10:15 this morning. Church starts at 10:30!
So, he stayed home and went to bed and his dad preached for him. After church, we sent Noah home with PawPaw, I got the kids lunch and put Seth down for his nap and then I laid down myself. 2.5 hours is *not* enough sleep for me! Chip got up about 3ish with Seth and I slept until almost 4:30. He is still having some pain in his chest from time to time (he’s got an Rx, we’ll get it filled tomorrow) and has a blazing headache. He stayed home from church tonight.
While we were at church tonight (are you thinking this is never going to end yet?), a friend came in and said they were taking their 10month old daughter to the ER because she was having problems breathing. She was just diagnosed with allergies last Friday and they painted her bedroom today so it could have been from that, but they called the doctor and he said to bring her into the ER. We are still waiting on word from them. We sent another couple from the church (their neighbors and friends) up to find them and call us and let us know. It’s possible that we could end up at the ER again tonight. 3 times, 4 different people (5 if you count Chip twice) in less than 24 hours. That has got to be some kind of record for a church of only 30 people!
So, now it’s almost 8:30 and I’m holding my breath for another 17 minutes and hoping that the past day is almost behind us. And thanking God that tomorrow is another day!