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Thankful for so much this Thanksgiving

GAYS MILLS - I’ve officially been writing my column now for a whole year. I’ve even only missed one week, last week, which would have been my official anniversary I believe.

When we last were together, I shared with you readers that my little guy, Thatcher was diagnosed with reactive airway disease. We were sent to dusty clutter bug boot camp, but alas, it was all in vein. It wasn’t the dust after all but rather, viral pneumonia.

He has been through a host of doctors visits and received a few diagnosis before settling on this one, following two ambulance rides, a chest x-ray and an overnight hospitalization.

All of which brings me to write the necessary Thanksgiving column of what I am thankful for this year.

Earlier in the month, this might have been a different column-but the last two weeks have changed my perspective.

This year, I am thankful for our local first responders.

My poor sick little Thatcher had a fever spike too quickly at 4 a.m. on a Saturday morning. This led to a febrile seizure, a special kind of seizure that is specific to young children and is brought on by a quick change in fever temperature.

Thatcher still sleeps with us, and although sometimes when he is kicking me in the head at 4 a.m. I wish he was in his toddler racecar bed, but that night I was thankful he was next to me.  He woke up, fussing and began having his seizure. I knew immediately in the dim light of the nightlight what was happening and yelled for Chasca to call 911.

We reached the dispatch and it all seemed to happen so fast. In a flash, he was still once again, breathing peacefully as though nothing had even happened.

I scooped Thatcher up and walked into the kitchen and we could see the lights of the ambulance coming up the driveway.

Calm and familiar faces walked in our living room and a feeling like things would be ok after all washed over us.

I felt so lost and frazzled in that moment that I couldn’t focus on the fact I was about to hop in an ambulance with my toddler, so I apologized for the fact that our porch smelled like a skunk from our hound who had been sprayed and I nearly forgot to put on my coat.

Thatcher was discharged with some antibiotics and a dose of Tylenol. We got home and settled in, but it wasn’t long before his fever spiked once more resulting another seizure, and another call to 911.

Another group of first responders came to my home and were so kind, patient, helpful and sympathetic to me as tears welled in my eyes trying to prepare my frail sick little boy for another ride to the hospital.

Although I hope we never need their help again, I am so thankful for the first responders and EMTs in my community, who give up their precious time to help people during what is often a stressful, painful and scary time.

Thatcher stayed overnight in the hospital in Viroqua for observation. It was a long night for his dad and me, who took turns sleeping, so one of us could keep an eye on him. The nurses came in every half hour to take his temperature and occasionally T would pop up and offer up some of his signature charm.

He was discharged the next day with instructions to continue with Ibuprofen and to keep a watchful eye on him. The doctor we saw, since our normal doc is on maternity leave, gave us his cellphone and advised us to call anytime. We managed to limit it to two calls, but I am still thankful for the kindness and patience the staff at VHM showed us.

During all of this time of crisis, we’ve had so many people genuinely concerned for our little boy and us. Family and friends have all reached out and offered to help in anyway they can. I feel so comforted to know I have so many wonderful people that care about T and us and have reached out, showed up or any number of other things that have kept us going.

I am thankful for Chasca every day for one reason or another. Sometimes, it’s because he will always pick up the dead rodents the cat brings in and other times it’s because he goes above and beyond his call of duty as a partner and a dad.

Having him by my side during an incredibly scary time in my life cemented my feelings for him that he is a great father. I know not all families are as lucky as we are to be together and happy, so I am extra thankful for him.

And finally, little Mister Thatchy, my wonderful 18- month-old little baby—the thing I am most thankful of all for. I never thought much about being a mama, and then poof, here he is. The last 18 months have been a wild ride for our little family. He’s strong willed, joyous, wild and full of love. Although he’s been a sickly little thing as of late, I am still the most thankful to be his mama.