Sunday morning: I have an orchestra rehearsal at the school for most of the day. My headache and achy throat are making this not fun, but oh well, we got through it. Lisa was going to take the kids to church, but decided against it due to Kellons' bad cold. It's really taken a hold of him at this point and he's now needing the nebulizer to help control the coughing.
Sunday evening: Lisa and I are both exhausted - her from having all three kids (one of them with a bad cold) for the entire day, and myself from struggling through that orchestra rehearsal. I had planned to meet Gabe Laramay to work on assembling and purchasing parts for a new computer I was planning to build. He texted. I texted. Meet in a few. No problem, except that when he arrives, he sits down at my computer and begins looking for parts...then Ryan Brink walks in the door with a new computer and monitor! Ryan and Gabe had organized donations from a bunch of people and together put together an incredible system for me to record this new album on. Unbelievable high. Full of gratitude.
As they were leaving, Gerald Ware pulls in our driveway to look at our car that would not start. Not sure why, so he was coming over to have a look. I went out with him and he asked me to jump in and try to start it. I sat in the car and put the key in the ignition. He stands ready at the gas cap to listen for the fuel pump...I turn the key....vroom!! The old girl fires up like a formula1 race car! I look at Gerald in disbelief, almost embarrased that I had interrupted his evening. Feeling the need to justify myself, I reassure him that this car did NOT start on Thursday, or Friday, or Saturday....to make sure we turned it off and started it again. We've been driving it ever since...which is good, because....
Sunday evening we are all exhausted and it seemed all five of us where fighting off some sort of sickness. Kellon was by far the worst among us. His cough was so gripping and violent it was painful to watch and listen. Lisa tried everything except voodoo to help him. Finally he's asleep and we begin to discuss the possibility of taking him to the doctor's the next day. "Let's wait and see in the morning" we say....little did we know.
Lisa and I left for work in the morning. Usually she gets a ride, but her "mother-spidey" senses are ultra-sensitive and she decided to drive herself "just in case" she needed to come home. I received a text mid-morning from Lisa stating that Kellon was in rough shape, and she was on her way back to Massena to take him to the doctor. Ok...good. He'll go to the doctor, they'll tell us to continue the nebulizer, give him some steroids and problem solved. Not exactly.
Lisa arrived at the doctor's office and Kellon was in tears because the poor kid couldn't breathe. I have never personally felt that feeling, but how scary it must be! The nurse urged Dr. Gupta to see him immediately. Dr. Gupta came into the office, took one look at Kellon and told Lisa to take him straight to the ER! Good thing it was across the street! Kellon is now in full tears, lacking oxygen (literally) and in distress.
I had just finished the second of four performances that day. Our select groups were "on tour" throughout the elementary schools, performing for them. I happened to check my phone out of boredom and noticed that I had not recognized the vibration when Lisa's text came in. I check it. "Dr. Gupta is sending us to the ER immediately. K is in rough shape." What?
I immediately dial Lisa and she is in the ER. She literally carried Kellon into the ER and walked right into the triage (past the front desk) and the look on her face must have been enough - the nurses jumped into action and immediately began to attend to Kellon. It was about this time that my phone call was going through to Lisa. "They're about to put an IV in Kellon, they're going to draw blood, they've already given him a nebulizer treatment, his oxygen is down to 93 and they're talking about keeping him overnight!" Things are serious now. I look around where I'm standing - there's 48 high schoolers in my care and they are currently at Trinity elementary school dancing around the room with 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders to the music of the Jazz Band playing on the stage. They had no idea that leaving them had just become my number one priority. I arrange with Jon to leave immediately and off I go. I have 1hr and 40 minutes until the next performance. I need to go be with Kellon and Lisa!
When I arrive I heard Kellon scream - they were still finishing up drawing blood and taping down the IV that was already administered. Lisa appeared calm, in control. Not a surprise to me. It was at that moment as I looked in Lisa's motherly eyes and then into Kellon's gentle yet red and tear-filled eyes that I realized I had been so wrong and Lisa was so right. In our discussion the night before we weighed whether or not we should take him to the doctor’s. “He needs to fight through this and win. Steroids and antibiotics don’t make his body any stronger” I said, feeling manly and wanting to see him do just that. “Chris, he’s in pretty rough shape”, Lisa responded with a measured amount of Mama Bear ferocity. “Ok. Let’s’ see what tomorrow brings.” Now, as I’m standing there looking at my son in the ER, crying in pain, and Lisa’s gentle, non-condemning eyes, I’m very grateful that she followed her gut, drove herself and made the appointment.
After the IV was in and the blood was drawn things started to calm down. His blood-oxygen levels were still not where we all wanted them to be, but they seemed to be improving to some degree. Neither Lisa or I wanted them to keep him overnight, and we actually began planning little subtle ways of reassuring the doctor that we would take good care of him and that he would sleep so much better in his own bed.
Concert time was approaching and Lisa had everything under control. Allie and Tayte were with Grandma Carol, so I went to Nightengale elementary – in the car that just came back to life just the night before. Lisa and I were still in constant contact via cell phone. After the concert I had a huge musical meeting, a trip to the Massena Police department to meet with the Chief of Police to outfit two of the cast members with police uniforms, then back for rehearsals and production meetings. Looming in the back of my mind was how we were going to handle the evening – Kellon was still in the hospital, the babysitter’s planned leaving time is coming up soon, and I still have a concert that evening.
It’s decided. They’re going to keep Kellon overnight. Ok. Lisa and I begin to fashion a plan of how we’re going to do this. “So, are you going to be the ‘stay-at-the-hospital’ person and I’m going to be the ‘stay-with-the-other-two’ person?” I ask Lisa. Yes. So, my Mom goes to the hospital to stay with Kellon so Lisa can come home and gather a few things. She and I are home for less than 30 minutes as she grabs things for her and Kellon and we prepare the two little ones for the trip to Daddy’s concert! I decided that even if I have to take Allie and Tayte on stage with me they will be with me that evening.
Lisa travels back to the hospital and off I go to fetch some nuggets for the munchkins and then to the school. The concert went extremely well, and my high-school kids were SO eager to help with Allie and Tayte. They did fine sitting on the side of the stage watching Daddy play and conduct his portion of the concert. As long as Tayte could see me, he was fine. They ended up being out way too late, but they had a fun experience and it was a viable solution to the troubling logistics.
Meanwhile, Lisa sends me a text and tells me that they’ve transferred Kellon to a room where he will stay for the night. My anxiety was running high as I realized that the most stressful part of the evening was thinking that Kellon was not going to be happy about not being allowed to go home. I call them to find out that Kellon is dazzling the nurses with his cuteness and his wit (“Do you have Italian food here?”!!) and the nurses are all to eager to reciprocate the exchanges. “He’s doing fine” Lisa tells me. Really?! Yup, that boy can be handed a lemon and make some delicious lemonade….
The difficult part for Kellon was that they decided to give him nebulizer albuterol treatments every two hours – even through the night. He was comfortable enough, however, that he didn’t really wake up too much in the night during the treatments. He was, not surprisingly, up at his usual 6:30 biological rooster time and ready for the day!
I was still not feeling well and my voice took a real beating the day prior. So, I decided to stay home with Allie and Tayte. It was an exciting moment when Lisa called mid-morning to say that they had begun the discharge process! They’d be home in an hour or two.
Things are not back up to full health here yet, but it’s definitely looking much better now! Kellon has some good meds, some extra health stuff from the Natural Way and we are thankful for health and strength.
Now for the rest of the week…(2-3 hour musical rehearsals, a late evening orchestra rehearsal Wednesday night, singing for the Massena Chamber of Commerce annual dinner on Thursday evening, a TV interview Thursday night and an all-day rehearsal on Saturday. Lisa, meanwhile, will have to work each day and then be at home with the kids by herself in the evenings- if you think it’s easy being at home with three kids by yourself, you should try it sometime!
I’m going to go look at my new computer. Lisa….she’s going to do whatever she wants!
We’ll see y’all in April.