Sunday, June 12, 2011

*That* Lady

I was laying in bed seething. Every trick my therapist had taught me to block out the world and go to sleep was failing horribly. It was 1:45 a.m. Saturday night/Sunday morning and my neighbors, old enough to know better, self-centered enough young enough not to care, had been partying around a campfire all.night.long (as they do almost every weekend during the summer). I decided I would wait until 2:00 am and calmly go to the fence and remind them of closing time, others who had to work all day Sunday, sleeping children. I didn't want to be a total jerk. I mean some of my favorite memories revolve around campfires and nights spent with friends. But, it was almost 2:00 a.m.!

Then it happened. The neighbors got exponentially louder and the Dancing Queen began to cry. They woke up my sick daughter who needs sleep more than anything. Angry bear mama roared her head and I ran downstairs, out to the back porch and yelled at them to quiet down. There was no banter about closing time, no understanding of "I remember those times". This was me unleashing my fury over loudness (and probably a little jealousy that those days are gone for me).

But, the partiers didn't hear me. They didn't freaking hear me yelling at the top of my lungs! And so I did it, I became that lady: I threatened to call the police if they woke my sick child again. Apparently, they could make out the word "police". The fire was immediately extinguished and they went indoors or elsewhere. All was quiet.

I might have laid back in bed, thinking about the incident and lamenting my fall into "that lady" status, but instead, I walked into one of the most horrific scenes of my life and quickly forgot the careless frivolity of youth.

Let me back up a little bit.

DQ had started getting sick Friday night/Saturday morning. So far, it was just a cough and runny nose, maybe a low grade fever. I say maybe because she was out of sorts all day Saturday, crying and screaming, so of course she felt warm. But was it from her anger or from fever? We weren't sure. We were sure that the attitude was because she wasn't feeling well. Her heart rate was up, she was swollen (sign of an over-worked heart), and she was complaining of stomach pain. She took a three hour nap Saturday afternoon and still needed to be woken up from it. We feel fairly certain it is just a summer cold, but with DQ, a summer cold can lead to the hospital. Her body was obviously trying to compensate yesterday and she needed rest. Hence my sheer anger when the neighbors woke her.

The thing is, when I went back inside to check on her again, I noticed something in the dark. I looked again. DQ was sound asleep, but she was covered in blood. My baby's entire face and hands were covered in blood! I couldn't tell the origin of the blood or whether it was dry or new, or even if she continued to bleed in the dark. It seemed to be everywhere.

I ran to the Mad Scientist, made him look to be sure my tired eyes weren't playing tricks on me. They weren't! She had blood everywhere. I had the Mad Scientist pick her up to bring her to the bathroom while I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off searching for wash cloths to clean her up. My heart was racing. I was shaking. And DQ was just sleeping in her daddy's arms, looking like an angel covered in dried blood.

Yes, all of the blood was dried. There was a lot of it. It must have come from her nose. It looks like she tried to stop the bleeding with her hands and smeared it everywhere. So, it was not that big of a deal, I don't think. She lost a lot of blood, but not enough to be dangerous, I hope. I have no idea how much she swallowed. She has been having nosebleeds more frequently these days. I understand this is fairly common with DiGeorge kids and the fact that she is on an aspirin regime makes it more difficult. But, this nosebleed was definitely worse. The amount of blood was scary. Seeing my baby that way . . . Gosh, I thought someone had punched her in the face or had dropped something on her. The scene was horrific.

And all I could think about after I cleaned her up and she was back in bed, was "why hadn't she called us?" Then I remembered my idiot neighbors. DQ had probably called, but we didn't hear her over the loud party. Suddenly, I didn't care about being that lady. The reason that lady exists is because I care about more than myself. And if I have to remind a bunch of late-20 somethings that having a good time at the expense of others is . . . immature, well then I guess I'll be the grown up. My shoulders are big enough to carry "that lady" baggage.


  1. Go you!! I am GLAD that you screamed at them.
    So sorry about the scare. I would've panicked in that situation, I am sure.
    By the way, the definition of "that" lady? Mom.

  2. We are all 'that' lady...we are now moms. We live in the country, so I don't have to be 'that' lady out only seems I get to be her with my in-laws (especially when they smoke in front of my kids).

  3. I am thankful for the fact that we too live in the country and all of our neighbors are much older than us so we don't have to worry about anything like that.

    How scary to find DQ like that. Saying many prayers for all of you dear friend!! {{{HUG}}}

  4. My God! What a scary and horrific thing to go through. I have been out of the loop a while, and actually have a few free moments to catch up with my bloggy friends and their stories. So sorry you had this experience! Yikes!! I think you deserve an extra "telling off" to those youngsters in the light of day, so they really think twice about their indulgent behavior at the expense of others. Time for them to learn about being neighborly.

  5. Are you kidding? I am *totally* that lady! I might put up with stuff for a little while (and if it only affects me) but if you cross the line... WATCH OUT!

    The Fruit Loop gets nose bleeds like that sometimes also, so I know how it feels to walk in and find your kid *abso-frickin-lutely covered* in blood. When it happens a few days in row, you start getting used to it, but when it hasn't happened in a long time, it always comes as a huge shock.


Having a child with a CHD is like being given an extra sense---the true ability to appreciate life. Each breath, each hug, each meal is a blessing when you've watched your child live off a ventilator, trapped in an ICU bed, being fed through a tube. Each minute is a miracle when you've watched your child almost die and come back to you.
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