Saturday, January 21, 2012

My Child had a Febrile Seizure

I mentioned on Thursday that my son had a seizure.  A Febrile Seizure to be more specific.  It was a horrific experience, but I have a lot to be grateful for.  Evan had been sick last week and we stayed home together on Wednesday and Thursday.  We resumed normalcy on Friday, and things were going fine until this Thursday when I received a call from his daycare to come pick him up because he had a fever of 102.  I got there as soon as possible and loaded him into the car.  He didn't seem right but I just thought he was tired.  We live on the same road as the daycare a few miles down. About half way home I glanced into my rearview mirror where I can see the mirror in the backseat that points to Evan.  His eyes had rolled back and he was shivering.  I immediately pulled to the side of the road and jumped over the seat to make sure I wasn't hallucinating.  I was certain that he was having a seizure.

I righted myself in the front seat, and picked up my cell phone and dialed 911.  My hand was shaking so much that, at first I dialed 9-1.  I realized the mistake and tried again.  I also began driving again because I realized I didn't know exactly where I was to tell somebody how to locate us.  The 911 operator told me to pull over again though and to tell him the closest cross street or house address number.  I edged up further until I could see the number on the front of the house I was closest to.  The operator asked me to tell him when my son took a breath.  I can't explain to you the feeling of someone asking you if your child is breathing, and having to check, fearing that he may not be.

Evan was also sort of whimpering at this point, but luckily breathing at the same time. Of course my son was bundled in a winter coat and hat as it was probably 27* outside.  The operator told me he was going to call for an ambulance.  I asked if I could go to my son.  He was pale and his eyes were blank.  He told me to get off the road and into a place where it was safe.  I pulled into the driveway of the house I was in front of and took my son from his seat.  The operator told me to lay him on his side on the seat of the car.

Moments later a police officer arrived, he was incredibly kind and reassuring.  Shortly thereafter I saw the ambulance come.  I don't even know how many men came towards us, but they all introduced themselves or each other.  One of them instructed me to get into the ambulance and get us out of the cold.  In the ambulance I sat on the bed and held my son.  We took off my sons coat and hat, and his pants.  They needed to take his temperature which was now 103.8.  They checked the rest of his vitals and gave him some Tylenol.  They said that his eyes were even and responsive, a good sign.  In a few minutes we were en route to the hospital.

I tried to call my husband from the ambulance to let him know what was happening but couldn't get him on the line.  Throughout all of this my son was slowly gaining color and looking around a little.  The medic that was beside me was keeping him from falling asleep.  We arrived at the hospital, and were brought inside.  I am so grateful for the emergency response people, from the 911 operator to all the men that were in the ambulance.  Their training must be amazing, and they were just wonderful.

In the hospital I was finally able to get in touch with my husband who came immediately to the hospital from work.  The nurse gave my son some Motrin and took his temperature again in 20 minutes and it was down to 99*.  My son was now responsive and gained his color back, and was clearly exhausted.  They said he could sleep, and that he did.  He slept most of the time we were there, on me, in the hospital bed.  We waited for about 3 hours until the doctor came in.

The doctor said he had an ear infection which caused his fever.  A sudden spike in fever can cause a Febrile Seizure.  She said that 30% of children will experience another seizure in their lifetime, but that there was no other cause for concern.  He received Amoxicillin, and a prescription for 10 more days at home.  They instructed us to give him Tylenol and Motrin rotated every three hours for the rest of the night, and that Evan's doctor wanted to schedule a follow up in the morning.

When I called our doctors office I was informed that our Pediatrician does not work on Fridays, so the nurse would speak to one of the other doctors to see if they needed us to come in, as they sometimes don't need to follow up with Febrile Seizures, if they know the cause.  I didn't get a call back for more than two hours, and we didn't need to go in.  They want to see Evan in three weeks to follow up.

Evan has been a complete champ.  He takes his medicine without fussing for the most part.  He has been a bit off, but I wouldn't expect anything different.  This morning I woke up to him screaming.  I brought him downstairs, and he had a temperature of 105*.  Before I even took his temperature I knew he was too hot, I brought him right into the kitchen and sat him on the counter and gave him Tylenol.  I had my husband call the doctor.  This was at about 5:00 am and it's Saturday, so a doctor was paged.  I had to answer the phone because my husband had left the room, but my son started crying so when my husband came back I had him talk to the doctor.  Apparently, the doctor was not too concerned.  He said to give him Motrin if the fever didn't go down within a half hour.  I gave Evan the Motrin, and his fever did go down, quickly.  He has been really fussy today, but in my eyes he can do whatever he wants, I'm just glad he's okay.

There is potential that I may have overreacted a bit.  It seems like most of the reading I've done after the fact  makes this sort of thing seem like not much of an emergency at all.  If you have ever seen your child in a situation like this there is no way you wouldn't think it was an emergency.  I am pleased with how I handled myself and how I handled this situation, I wouldn't change anything.  It makes me realize that I am not in short supply of motherly instinct.  I would have done absolutely anything to ensure my son was alright.  At the same time, I did not compromise safety or sanity.

Every time my son twitches even a little bit over the last few days, I think it's going to happen again.  I hope that feeling goes away soon, but I know I have what it takes to get us through pretty much anything.


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