A few weeks ago I put Eleanor to bed around nine or ten and noticed she was snoring heavily. Lane and I laughed it off, thinking it was cute. A couple hours later she woke up with a horrible sounding hoarse cough and struggling to take breaths. She also spit up a bunch of mucous. I freaked out and we called the advice nurse.
The nurse had me hold the phone up to Elle's mouth so she could listen to the breathing. "She has croup cough" she told me, "It's a virus that closes up the airways in her throat and makes it difficult for her to breath. Take her in the bathroom with a hot shower running for ten minutes. No more than ten minutes, because you need to take her to the emergency room."
I immediately started shaking and praying, and we did just what the nurse told us.
As I drove to the hospital I recited Philippians 4: 6 and 7 over and over:
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
I got there at about one in the morning. They looked Eleanor over, listened to her horrendous barking cough, and told me to wait. And so I waited. For three hours.
I feel there are a few appropriate side-notes here, if I may. The first being this: What the heck is with the wait at the emergency room? Does not the very nature of an emergency mean it cannot wait? The nurse told me that my sweet baby's airways were closing up, and then they make me wait!? Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer...
The second side-note it this: The Gresham/Troutdale ER attracts some interesting customers between one and three am on a Saturday morning. From the lady playing a very loud game of Bingo on her phone to the girl who was continually sticking a toothbrush into a Sprite bottle and then chewing on it, it was a sociological experience for sure.
Finally, after three hours of praying, we were admitted into the actual hospital. After another hour of waiting and praying, the doctor came in. He looked Eleanor over. He listened to her lungs and her heart. He checked her ears and her mouth. He looked perplexed.
He explained to me that she sounded great. No cough. No obstruction of the airways. He told me it must have just sounded like a really bad cough, but it couldn't have been croup. Then he left the room.
I sat there a little confused. She had definitely been struggling to breath. The advice nurse was sure of it. The triage nurse was sure of it. Suddenly, the doctor came back in. "I just spoke with the triage nurse, and she said that your baby had the croup cough when you came in" he explained. So he reexamined her. He checked her breathing, her chest, her back, her heart, her mouth, her ears. He looked perplexed again. "It's like she cured herself" he mumbled. I smiled and tried to think of something less corny than "Well, that's the power of prayer."
I left the ER at five in the morning, praising the God of miracles who listens to our prayers and who heals.