Saturday, August 30, 2008

So Traumatic I Forgot a Title.

In the six years that I have been a mother there have been difficult days, days that pushed me right to the edge of what I think I can handle. I've been reduced to tears many times as a mother. Tears of frustration, tears of joy, tears of exhaustion, tears of pure, all encompassing fear. I'd like to think that recently I've been handling the difficult days better in recent months. Rolling with the punches, laughing off my frustration. Finding humor even in things like poopy messes and kids fighting. Yesterday, all of my composure flew out the window.

Yesterday was just too much for holding it together, and the tears flowed.

Sometime in the late night on Thursday, Zack came into my bed, like he often does these days. He tossed and turned, and about 2:30 Friday AM I put my hand on him to calm him and realized he was burning up. Temperature of about 102 and we gave him Motrin. Besides the fact that it took him two hours to fall back asleep and lots of "mommy take my jammies OFF! Put my jammies ON!! No, not YOSE (those) jammies!! Mommy, I'm pooooooopy change my diaper" the rest of the night was fine.

We awoke the next day and he was happy and fever free and I dismissed the fever as a reaction to either the flu mist or the other immunization he had gotten on Wednesday. No biggie.

Mornings around here are wild. I was getting Ben and Zack dressed and motivating the big ones to get ready for school and Zack was fussy, but every forehead check felt normal. We were all getting in the car and Zack fussed and then got quiet and he was sitting in the floor on the garage. I called his name, and no answer. The way he was sitting was strange and my radar went flying. Something wasn't right. He was warm again so I picked him to go in for Motrin and I realized that something REALLY wasn't right. His gaze was fixed. I put my face right in front of his and said "ZACK, talk to mommy!!" and he turned his head away from mine, but made no indication he had heard me. I ran in and called 911 because at that point I was pretty sure this was a febrile seizure.

The 911 dispatch guy was great. He had me take Zack's clothes off and lay him on the floor. He told me not to hold Zack, or restrain him, but just to let the seizure happen. He told me what to expect and that these are not uncommon. I kind of hate that they are not uncommon because even though they are usually not harmful it is not something any parent should have to see. Just for information sake, they say that 3-5% of all children will have these at some point. It is most common before the age of 3 and the older a child is the less likely there will be a recurrence. However, after a febrile seizure, there is a chance there will be a recurrence within 24 hours.

During the seizure, Zack shook, his breathing was strange, but he was breathing. He started to turn blue and while I had been teary before, that is when I couldn't hold the tears back anymore. The tears of pure fear that this was not going to be okay. Even though intellectually I knew that the all statistics said he would be. There are certain circumstances in which thinking rationally and factually are pretty much impossible. This was for sure one of those times. I have no idea how long the actual seizure was. I don't know if I start the time when he blanked out, or if I start the time when he was shaking. At any rate the time I called 911 to the time the ambulance arrived was about 5 minutes, so we are talking about a short time frame, but it felt like forever. After a few minutes, though, he stopped shaking and rolled over, just like the dispatch said he would. I rubbed his back and cried. Then I realized that I needed to call and say I couldn't pick up Mark's friend for school. His friend's mom jumped into action and came and picked up Eric and Mark and took Ben from me too.

I felt utterly helpless as the ambulance pulled away with my baby inside and I went to explain to the boys that Zack would be okay. Fortunately, it wasn't long before I could be on my way to the hospital. Somewhere mixed in all the chaos, I called Kevin and he got to the ER before the ambulance did. This eased my mind so much, because I was so afraid Zack would be terrified around total strangers in a strange place when he felt bad. I cried the whole drive to the hospital, which also felt like ages, but it was about 20 minutes in reality. I worried about the what ifs. What if it wasn't a run of the mill febrile seizure, but something worse? What if he had brain damage? What was going on in that ambulance?

When I walked into the ER room Zack and Kevin were in I got a smile from my little boy. It was the best smile ever!

The rest of the day we just worked to keep the fever down, alternating Motrin and Tylenol and I about freaked out when it was back up to 102. But, he was fine. There were no more seizures and today he is fine. No more fever, back to his normal, silly self. I couldn't be more grateful for that.

The happy ending is Zack is fine.

Update: I was so nervous weaning him off the motrin/tylenol regimen. I did it though, because I can't just medicate him like that forever. Last night he woke up crying about ten and I just KNEW he was going to be hot. However, he came downstairs and I checked and he was perfectly cool. Such a relief for me. This has changed the way I feel about fevers. Before I was a "if they are comfortable and the fever is below 101 don't medicate." (I would have medicated this fever regardless, I just didn't have time. He was miserable and it was around 102.) Now I will be dishing out meds a little more liberally.


Sue @ My Party of 6 said...

My heart is in my throat reading that. I'm so glad he's ok.

bellebearberry said...

I've thought about you and Zack so much over the last few days. I am so glad he is fine and so sad that you had to go through that.

Adam and Lisa said...

Oh that is so scary! It seems like you handled it pretty well. I can't even imagine dealing with that. I am glad to hear he is ok!

Jill said...

How scary! I'm glad he is okay now. It seems like you did all the right things.

Mary Kate said...

wow...I am so sorry that happened! so glad everyone is OK now!

Crisa said...

My face is red just reading this. I'm sooo glad he's ok and you were amazing.

Sara said...

I'm crying with you! You did such a great job taking care of him and helping him through it all. Big hugs, mama. I'm so glad he's doing better.

Melinda & Matt said...

I'm so glad he is ok--fevers scare me so much!

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