A few years ago, and apostle of the Lord gave this message in General Conference. Since then, the phrase "tender mercies" has become so commonly used (might I say overused) in our church that it is a running joke between Greg and I. However, yesterday I was the recipient of some very real and very needed tender mercies from a loving Father in Heaven.
We had just finished visiting the temple and had picked up the girls from the sitter (their sweet older cousin, Anna). We stopped to have lunch at a restaurant in Cary. We sat down to eat. I had taken one bite and then noticed Sarah Jane do a strange jerk. She didn't respond when I called her name or even when I touched her. We thought maybe she was choking, because she was struggling to breathe. We tried swiping out her mouth and doing the baby version of the Heimlich, but it wasn't helping. She was completely unresponsive and seemed to be having a seizure. We called 911. The paramedics were there in about 45 seconds. By the time they got there she was unconscious. They stripped her down and hooked her up to all kinds of monitoring equipment and gave her oxygen. At first they thought she was having an allergic reaction, but soon changed their diagnosis to a febrile seizure. Her fever was 101 degrees. We rode to the hospital in the ambulance. The seizure lasted about 5 minutes and then she was in a "post febrile state" (dilated pupils, unresponsive) for about an hour and a half. At the hospital, once she was responsive enough to take it, they gave her some Motrin to bring the fever down. They kept an eye on her and let her rest for a little while, but no other treatment was necessary and they classified her episode as a benign febrile seizure... something they see quite often. Very scary for the parents, but not harmful to the child.
So... about those tender mercies. Had the seizure happened 30 minutes earlier, SJ would have been with the babysitter. 30 minutes later, and we would have been on the highway in the middle of nowhere on our way home. We happened to be at a restaurant that was just seconds away from the fire/ambulance station. Although NOW I know that this was a condition that didn't require medical intervention, I certainly didn't know that while it was happening and was very reassured by the super fast response of the paramedics. Knowing she was getting help comforted me in this very scary situation. Not having medical help or not having been there when it happened would have been terrifying.
We live in a mortal world, where we must face health challenges and scary situations. I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who offers a helping hand when we most need it and Who was most certainly watching over our family, yesterday.