When Thank You Isn’t Enough

If you’ve been around here for a while, you probably know that my daughter has some significant allergies, gets croup regularly, and was recently diagnosed with asthma.  Some people find these things to be a burden, the things that make parenting hard.  I have never, not even for one second, felt that way.

But I have been scared.

Lately, we’ve been able to control the croup and asthma attacks at home with a nebulizer.  It seemed like the attacks were getting just a tiny bit better…more manageable for her.

But last night…something happened.

Last night, as my husband worked hard at a studio 45 minutes away (with his phone on silent), Riley started gasping for air.  Really gasping.  Like no longer able to communicate and skin turning a different color gasping.

I was up there in seconds.  I ran her out to the balcony.  I poured the medication into the nebulizer and started to pray.

But she couldn’t get the medicine in.  Her airways were blocked.  Her eyes were so full of fear that even her tears couldn’t escape.

911: My daughter can’t breathe.  Please send help.

Within minutes, six fire fighters from the El Segundo Fire Department were in my bedroom, putting a mask over her face and helping me get my son settled down…because that is a scary way to wake up for a three year old boy.  Thank you isn’t enough.

Within minutes, my amazing babysitter was here to hold Liam, get him some milk, and settle him in with Max and Ruby and markers and paper.  Thank you isn’t enough.

Within minutes, my neighbor was peering into the ambulance offering to help and agreeing to be on standby to pick us up at the hospital later…because they understand the hours Sean keeps.  Thank you isn’t enough.

Within minutes, we were in the ER at Torrance Memorial Medical Center where one of the nicest doctors I’ve ever encountered helped us through this ordeal.  Four breathing treatments and one steroid later, she was stable once again.  Thank you isn’t enough.

When your child can’t breathe, you depend on those around you to help.  We are very lucky to live in a tight knit community where the fire fighters feel like friends, your neighbors would drop everything for you, and the hospital staff truly cares about your little girl.

My little girl is back home, breathing once again.  Thank you isn’t enough.

I had big plans for another post, but this will have to suffice for today.  Thank you for your understanding and continued support of Practical Parenting.  You are all appreciated.

I am over at Mommy of a Monster today sharing a Mommy Moment, so I do hope you will come see me there.  Thanks, Natalie, I am honored to spend a little time at your place.

And I am rounding out National Infertility Awareness Week with a post about the importance of friendship and support over at Clomid and Cabernet.  Thank you for your support with the launch this week, this cause is near and dear to my heart.

With that, I am taking the weekend off to nurse my sweet girl back to health…


p.s.  Shout out to my dear friend Jenny, who was ready to hop in the car and care for my son…even though she has two little ones of her own.  Some friendships are meant to last a lifetime.  Thank you isn’t enough.

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About Katie

Katie Hurley is a Child, Adolescent, and Family Psychotherapist and Parenting Expert in Los Angeles, CA. She works in private practice in the South Bay area of Los Angeles, writes freelance for Everyday Family and allParenting, and blogs for The Huffington Post. She has a rock and roll husband and two kids. Katie believes in love, lattes, and the power of play.


  1. OH, sweetie! I am so sorry to read about this. It brings tears to my eyes. I know how scary that must have been. We were in the ER with SB last weekend after she suffered a grand mal seizure – her first. It was awful. I can’t be there in person to give you a hug, but I’m sending you a HUGE one virtually. I hope you never have to deal with anything like that again. Ever.

    Enjoy your weekend with your family. Hold them especially close. And know you are loved by many and we are all here to support you in any way we can.

    • I remember reading your story. These emergency situations are very difficult. Glad they are both ok :)
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  2. Oh, Katie, that sounds awful. My daughter’s asthma has improved to the point where it’s almost a non-issue, but I’ll never forget the day she was almost hospitalized because she couldn’t stop coughing. It was terrifying, but what you went through last night was worse. I do believe kids grow out of the worst of asthma, if that’s any consolation. And, yes, you are very forunate to have a wonderful support network and access to great medical care. So glad you’re all okay.

    • Thanks, Pauline. I have heard that they outgrow the worst of it. I was really feeling like we had it under control with the nebulizer, but clearly not. It’s hard to sleep at night knowing that this is a possibility. Thank you for this…
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  3. Beautiful post, Katie…and I’m just so relieved and happy to hear that she is going to be ok!! Can’t imagine how scary that must have been!!

  4. So glad she is better. I felt very similar when my daughter was cut badly a few weeks back and we headed to the ER.
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  5. So glad Riley is safe and that community was there to offer you suppor the moment you needed it. ER visits and allergy/asthma scares are so hard…I know…but thankfully our children are resilient people. I hope you and the kids get to enjoy a very long snuggle today.
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  6. So glad Riley is safe and that community was there to offer you suppor the moment you needed it. ER visits and allergy/asthma scares are so hard…I know…but thankfully our children are resilient people. I hope you and the kids get to enjoy a very long snuggle today.
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  7. Jennie Hefner Carbone says:

    Sorry to hear this – that is traumatic for everyone involved especially Riley and you and Liam. It also says a lot about you as a friend that people will be there for you at the drop of a hat, so kudos to you as a person, friend, neighbor, mom….

  8. I’m so glad Riley’s okay. I wonder about how we’d handle things like this–fortunately we live in a close-knit neighborhood, and I can think of several people on our block who I’d feel comfortable waking up in the middle of the night if I had to. I’m glad that you have that kind of community.
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  9. Katie, I’m SO happy she’s ok. What a scary ordeal.
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  10. I’m so happy you have people around to help and you are right. Thank you isn’t enough but it’s often the best we can do. Spend time with you little ones. Love them.
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  11. I’m so glad to hear your daughter is ok. Thank you never seems enough when people help out in theses situations. The thing is they do it because that’s who they are, not for recognition. I’m sure you’re the same way. You are blessed to be surrounded by these amazing people. Emergency situations are scary. I’ve been there. Hugs to you both.
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  12. Oh you, SCARY! I’m so sorry this happened, but am so glad that you were surrounded with friendship and help!

    I hope your sweet girl feels well this weekend!

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  13. Megan Tuohey says:

    Thinking of you guys, what a frightening experience, so glad it had a happy ending

  14. Oh, how scary! I am so sorry that you had to go through that and SO glad everything turned out ok!!
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  15. Wow! This was a very scary situation. I’m so sorry to hear that you, Riley and the kids had to go through it. I’ve been in similar situations with Ian and can relate. You are so correct that in those situations it’s amazing how your support network makes such an amazing impact. We are very fortunate with our network as well. Truly amazing to experience! I hope Riley is feeling better.

  16. Sarah Meech says:

    You are right, sometimes thnk you doesn’t feel like enough when you are holding your precious kids safe and sound in your arms. Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

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