Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Angels in the Outfield of life...

I love the movie, "Angels in the Outfield".  I have always found comfort in the knowledge that Angels abide beside us in our daily lives.  I had my own real life "Angels" appear seemingly out of thin air this past weekend.  We made a trip to Atlanta this past weekend with Tutu Nani as she was attending a conference.  We took the opportunity to take a few days to visit Legoland Discovery Center, Georgia Aquarium and well...Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Scottish Rite Hospital.

We had an amazing time at Legoland.  I understand the Discovery Center is a postage stamp in comparison to the theme park versions in Florida and California, however, it was the perfect afternoon. The Brownies had the most amazing time and I seriously would drive another 5 hours at this very moment to take them again.  It will be one of those magical memories for me to see the excitement in their eyes.  On day 2, we made plans to visit the Georgia Aquarium.  This place was awesome.  The animals were huge and so close that the boys eyes wondered from one to another area to another area with anxious anticipation of what can they see next.  They would say, "Look mom, a whale shark...oh oh oh, look there is a manta ray."  There were so many people though that I was a bit claustrophobic.  My mom was with us and my sister was back at the hotel sick, and we had her 3 kids with us.  Saying the place was packed, would be an understatement.  I was constantly counting heads and looking for my mom.  It was a bit unnerving for me.  

As we found a spot to rest for a minute, the kids climbed onto a rock.  Little Brownie bumped his head as he was climbing.  I picked him up off the floor and held him to comfort his boo-boo.  As I was doing so, I heard a huge thump behind me.  As I turned around, Big Brownie was flat on his back, legs in the air and he was screaming.  He had fallen about 3 feet backward off the rock and hit the floor like a ton of bricks.  I tossed Little Brownie to my mom and grabbed Big Brownie into my arms.  I consoled him and tried to comfort him.  He finally stopped crying long enough for me to get some tylenol out of my first aid kit and give him some juice.  Once he calmed, I carried him through the aquarium.  Not allowing him to fall asleep, I tried my best to peak his interest back into the wildlife around us.  However, he seemed disoriented.  All at once, he began to cry...the "I'm about the blow chunks" kind of cry.  I get him to a trash can and he begins to vomit.  Although I tried my best to remain calm, this made me worry even more.  

As I continued to carry him, I went to get him a new shirt and drink from the gift shop.  I put his new shirt on and I checked his pupils with my keychain mag light and they responded as they should.  I gave him a drink and asked him to walk for me.  After a few steps, he began to vomit again.  I became more and more worried with each passing minute.  As we sat on the steps of the cafe, I called our pediatrician back home.  After speaking to the nurse, I put Big Brownie through a series questions looking for basic responses.  "How many fingers am I holding up?  Follow my finger with your eyes.  When you look at that chair is it clear or fuzzy?"  When I asked him to walk a short distance, he stumbled 3 times.  That was it, I decided we were going to the hospital.  I called my insurance to find out what hospitals were in our network and I began to lose it.  My voice began to crack as I nervously wrote down the name, address and number of hospitals, all the while, I'm holding Big Brownie and trying to keep him awake.  Thankfully, my mom had Little Brownie and my sisters kids as she is following me out of the venue. 

As we reached the van, Big Brownie begins to vomit again and I'm on the verge of panic mode.  We get everybody in the van, start the van and I ask my mom to pull up the hospitals on her GPS....and then the van dies.  As I'm trying to keep it together, I turn the key over again and the van will not start.  I take a deep breath and look up.  As I look over the steering wheel of the van a sense of desperation comes over me and I see a gentleman walking by himself in the parking lot.  I open the door and as I'm about to call out to him, my mom yells, "Sir, we need help!  Can you please help us?"  He approaches our van and asks how he can help.  My mom explains that our van died and we need to get to the hospital.  

Without a shred of fear, I begin unhooking Big Brownie from his seat and I begin to cry.  I hand him my slip of paper listing the hospitals that I had collected from my insurance and ask, "Can you please take me and my son to the hospital...he fell and hit his head, he is vomiting and I need help?"  This sweet kind individual that I did not know, agreed and drove me and Big Brownie to the hospital.  I left my mom with the van and the kids and put Big Brownie in this strangers car.  As it turns out, even though he currently lives in Georgia, he went to school just 40 minutes from our little town back home.  His name was Cameron and he did his best to keep me calm and distracted as I cried in his passenger seat.  Big Brownie vomited in his very nice, very new, top of the line Lexus and it didn't bother him a bit.  He had a few napkins and some water so I could try and clean Big Brownie up.  He drove us 20 minutes to the hospital.  He was on his way back to work, which happened to be in the hospital right across the street from the Children's Hospital we were going.  As he dropped us off, I gave him the biggest hug and thanked him.  What do you say to someone that has helped you so unconditionally?  He is an angel in my outfield.  

Big Brownie and I got the Emergency Room and a nurse named Lidia saw me enter.  She saw how distraught I was and that I was alone.  She decided she would intake us, triage us and treat us from the moment we arrived to the moment we left.  She is an angel in my outfield.  Big Brownie had a CT Scan and they gave him an anti-nausea medication.  He was officially diagnosed with a concussion.  After being there for 5 hours, my mom picked us up from the hospital and we headed back to the hotel, Big Brownie was back to his old self again.  We decided to stay another night in Atlanta because I was too exhausted and mentally drained to drive home.  I have been on my hands and knees thanking Jesus for allowing believers to step in to help me and my Big Brownie in our time of need.  It was not lost on me that they both referenced God and his healing powers for my Big Brownie.  Even in my time of despair, God was with me and Big Brownie.  It was the most comforting feeling and I will be forever grateful for the genuine kindness of these angels in the outfield of our life.