The medical trug

There are so many aspects to eating, swallowing and breathing that those born with esophaguses don't even notice. One of the skills Eloise has not perfected is managing her secretions (ie, her saliva, mucus, normal body fluids). So if she is in a deep sleep and her secretions are allowed to pool, or say after she has been extubated (which is every 10 days), Eloise's airways can clamp down to protect from aspiration. But that also means she stops breathing, and she requires intervention to start breathing again.
Last week a few hours after returning from the hospital for her routine dilation, she had one. A bad one. Amelia was playing peekaboo, and all the sudden Eloise had a spasm. She turned purple, then blue. She stopped breathing. She closed her eyes and went rag doll on me. I asked Amelia to quickly (!) fetch Eloise's medicine trug a few feet away. With a hearty thwack to her chest while administering a dose of albuterol, I brought Eloise back from the edge. 

If it was scary for me, it was terrifying to Millie who witnessed it all. About half an hour later, Millie approached me and said, "I'm sorry I made Eloise turn purple mom..." I was quick to dispel any such notions from her compassionate little heart, but it was proof she was more than a little traumatized. 

That happened a week ago, and Eloise has done really well, except when her morning nap was interrupted. To compensate, she took a deep, long nap this afternoon, which allowed for those evil secretions to pool. She woke up in a panic, I ran upstairs to walk in on the purple stage of the bronchospasm. I picked her up to run downstairs to where I left the medical trug, flung open the door, and took a fleeting glance at Amelia who was waiting outside the door. I cried,  "Look out, Millie! Look out!" It was then I noticed she had the medical trug in her hands, ready for me. 

There are many remarkable parts of this story - first, that trug is pretty heavy, but she hauled it up the stairs anyway.  Secondly, she was anticipating me outside the door. Thirdly, she had exactly what I needed the exact moment I needed it. Eloise is fine. 

I have never been prouder, more impressed, or more grateful for one of my children than I was today. 


  1. Oh they are such sweet sisters.

  2. I heard about this and it is possibly the sweetest story ever! Sweet little Millie :)

  3. Your mom called to tell me that story.....what a brave, smart girl!!!