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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Is Your Child Breathing?

The only answer any of us ever wants to use in the event of being asked that question is:

"Yes, of course my child is breathing."

It's when you can't say that...when all you can say is:

"I don't know."

or 

"I'm not sure."

or

"His lips are turning blue."

It's at that moment when all you want to see is your sweet little child back to normal.

Yesterday afternoon, Matt had a febrile seizure.  Both Crazies had been fighting something all weekend while we were at Sister's house in Boston.  They had fevers, coughs, and runny noses, but nothing too out of control.  We were doling out Tylenol like champs...every six hours like clockwork.

The Crazies were fine on the plane and whined a little bit about not being able to take two school buses to the parking garage, but were happy to get back into their nice squishy car seats.

When we got home, we unpacked the car, sorted through some of the mail (for the good stuff...like Easter cards), and started to settle back in.  The Crazies had drinks and snacks and wanted to open their cards.  Hailey had no problem with that, but Matt couldn't get his started.

I sat down with him and got it started.  He couldn't really get a grip on it and suddenly fell backwards.  I thought he was kidding.  Husband came right in and said, "oh no...he's having a seizure."

Husband called 911.

I whispered soothing words into his ears, but it was horrible.  He was stiff.  His eyes were rolling back.  His arms and legs were shaking like crazy.  His teeth were clenched.  He was not responding to my voice.  He was breathing sporadically...when he could...when the seizure would relent for a second.  His lips were turning blue.

There was nothing I could do and my words sounded so trite.  But they were all I had.
The 911 operator was great...his temperature got too high too fast, do not put him in the tub...it could trigger another seizure, make sure he can't hurt himself or hit his head, when the seizing stops put him on his side, keep him calm, he will be very tired, he will be upset when he wakes up, keep him calm, keep your voices quiet, EMTs are on their way, make sure your pets are away and your doors are unlocked.

The EMTs got here and came into the bathroom.  He was the same EMT who helped me with Knee when it dislocated.  He instructed me to remove Matt's diaper...apparently diapers can hold in heat...who knew?  We wrapped him in a towel.  He picked up my baby.  He carried him out of the house.  

I grabbed everything as it was already packed from our trip and headed out with him.  Husband was going to grab Hailey and meet us there (poor Hailey who had somehow pooped in the middle of all of this and kept whining about going to dinner at "Parerra"...she was a trooper though).  I followed the man carrying my child to the waiting ambulance.

That was the only time all day that I almost cried.  I never wanted to see my child's unconscious body being carried across my lawn...never.  

The neighbors came over to see what was happening.  The EMT proceeded to get vitals on Matt.  He was out...sleeping it off.

When we got to the hospital, he was awake, but not talking or really making eye contact.  He had to get a mucous test (up his nose) twice because it was too mucous-y the first time, blood drawn, two sets of chest x-rays to make sure they were seeing all that they needed (it was in the x-ray room that he started talking...finally...he could tell me the color of the butterflies that were on my iron clad gown), and some IV fluids.  They also gave him ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and amoxicillan.  It was determined that his white blood cell count was a little high and he may have had an ear infection that was aggravated by the plane ride earlier that day.  Once the antibiotic kicked in, he started talking, wanting to eat/drink, and being more aware of his surroundings.

We were discharged around 7:00 and sent on our way with the warning that we need to be aggressive with his fevers since this is a risk and could happen again..

We were up a lot last night...gave medicine like clockwork, Hailey's fever came back too...not to be outdone.  He's playing today...happy...okay, grumpy, but whatever...he's breathing.

I don't mean to share our story because I want sympathy...we all have stuff that happens to our babies.  It's how prevalent these seizures are that surprised me...1 in every 25 children suffers from this type of seizure.  I seriously had no idea.

Thanks to those of you who contacted me on FB yesterday...it was hard to answer back or write updates, but we're doing well.  Thanks...