An Unexpected Trip

My Tuesday hasn’t gone exactly as planned. Late last night, Becky began struggling to breath.

Josephine was heading to bed when she heard the commotion. She started the Keurig and then attended to Becky. As I rushed to collect a few things, Josephine wrapped Becky in a blanket and strapped her into the car seat. We debated which hospital was the best choice, weighing the longer drive to Christ against Becky’s labored breathing. I thought I could make it safely to the children’s hospital. Thankfully, that was the case.

I parked the car, grabbed Becky, and ran into the ER. By now, I know the magic words which command instantaneous service: Becky is a 16 month old in respiratory distress with a complex cardiac history. Sam’s cousin Theresa calls it my elevator pitch. I have a short version and an extended version. I only needed the former this morning to jolt the front desk nursing staff into immediate action. As we were whisked to the elevators, I felt bad for all the people slumped in waiting room purgatory. I imagine they wanted a bit of my mom magic.

When I walked into the room, there was a team of six blue-scrubbed heroes waiting for us. I launched into my extended pitch: Becky has Trisomy 21, malrotation, and hypothyroidism. She underwent surgeries for a complete AV canal and residual VSD. Three weeks ago she had a laryngeal cleft repair. She has feeding intolerance and dysphagia, receiving feeds and medications through a G-tube. And then I paused, smiled behind the mask, and added: But she isn’t allergic to anything.


The team quickly administered a breathing treatment and some longer-acting steroids. After a couple hours, Becky began struggling again and another treatment was administered. Her breathing never returned to normal and the decision was made to admit Becky to the floor.

As the wee hours dragged on, I added to the picture collection of Becky in a hospital bed. A wrestling match commenced until this fitful baby finally drifted off to sleep. I grabbed my phone and decided to check out the Olympics. For some reason I was logged into the Peacock streaming service. Under my sister’s account. So I freeloaded some digital content knowing that she was busy preparing for a trial and not watching figure skating at 5:00am.

After an extended time in the ER, it was time to move to the floor. As always, Becky enjoyed the ride and waved to people in the halls.

I recently spoke with Dr. Sherman. They will do a full respiratory panel in hopes of identifying the infectious agent. At this point, her Covid, flu, and RSV panels are negative. They will also take some additional x-rays of her neck and begin another course of steroids. Hopefully, they can identify a virus and have confidence that the croup is the result of that infection. If not, Dr. Sherman will need to scope her airway to identify what is contributing to these breathing issues.

Becky is resting comfortably but snoring like an old man. It’s hot enough in here to grow vegetables so I took off my bubble gum pink fleece as Dr. Sherman spoke. When he left, I was horrified to discover that I had forgotten to change out of my pajama shirt. Thankfully, most people will agree with the graphic message printed on front: Vote No on Mondays.

But I would like to amend that sentiment. Because a Tuesday like this is a no-vote as well.

9 thoughts on “An Unexpected Trip

  1. Thank God the Rauches are well oiled machine. As the reporter, Linda Ellerbe, said-“and so it goes”. As, always, with love and prayers, Aunt Cynthia❤☘

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  2. 🙏🙏 Prayers for finding a non worrisome cause for this infection, improved breathing, and that everything from the recent surgery is intact and doing well! Glad Josephine had the night shift as oldest sibling, and sprang into competent action! 👏🏻❤️
    And the pajama situation? Well, it could’ve been worse! 😉

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  3. Praying that they find the reason for Becky’s breathing struggle and it’s an easy fix and she doesn’t have to have surgery again.
    You have spectacular kids! Glad Josephine was there to help.

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  4. I am laughing like crazy at the thought of you galavanting in Chicago in your PJ top, albeit hidden under some fleece!! That made my day!
    Bravo to Josephine for recognizing that something wasn’t right and springing into action!! Way to go Josephine!!

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