Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A scary night

About a year ago, Jackson had a febrile seizure brought on by a rapid increase in his body temperature. The culprit was a double ear infection, creating a fever too intense for him to handle. It was by far one of the scariest moments of my life. It was also one I hoped never to relive.

Early Monday morning, we relived it.
After a touch of fever and a low-key evening, Jackson woke up at 8:30pm Sunday night very fussy. We gave him Motrin hoping to bring his temperature down while soothing whatever was ailing him. He threw up a short time later, but we were hesitant to give him more Motrin, not knowing how much he had absorbed from the initial dosage. Instead we gave him a bit of Orajel, thinking his 2 yr. molars may be the culprit. This seemed to work and by 9pm he and I were snuggling in and getting some rest.

At 1:30am Jack started to toss a bit in his sleep and began to whine. He will do this from time to time, mostly in response to a bad dream. This time seemed more intense though and I reached out to soothe him. That's when I noticed he was stiff as a board and starting to shake. We turned on the bedroom light and sure enough our little guy was going into what looked like another febrile seizure. His little fists were clenched up by his face and his eyes rolled back in his head. The reality of it started to hit me as flashbacks of last year came rushing back.

Andy & I stayed as calm as possible and called his doctor's office. The overnight nurse was incredibly slow and seemed more interested in my zip code and whether or not we spelled Jack's name with an "x" vs. helping us decide if we needed to go to the hospital. I understand she needed some basic information, but it took the woman over 5 minutes to tell us we needed to go to the emergency room. How is that not the first thing you say to a nervous mom on the other line???

Jack was having a hard time breathing, so we decided mid-call that regardless of what this nurse said, we would be heading to St. Mary's ER asap. "God, not again" is what I kept thinking over and over during the drive. I started making my usual bargains as well... anything seemed a fair price to just see my little boy's eyes open up and look at me again. It took him about 10 minutes, but he finally came around and started crying once we were in the triage. His cry was normal again and full of frustration at being in such a strange place. He could be as mad as he wanted, at least he was responding to his surroundings again!

After a bunch of tests and x-rays, it was determined that he once again has a double ear infection. (Thankfully it was nothing more serious!) Of course at this point the mommy guilt sets in. How did I not catch this? How does this happen twice in just over a year? The doctor assured us it simply came on quickly and that Jack is prone to this now until he is 5 or 6 years old. There is still a good chance though that b/c it's a febrile seizure, he may never have another one. Still, we need to be vigilant the next time his temperature begins to rise.

We were discharged from the hospital around 6:30am and did quite a bit of napping yesterday. After an evening bath, Jack was back to his normal self.

It's amazing how grown-up he looks while running around the house and speaking in full sentences... yet how tiny he still looks when sleeping on my lap in the emergency room. I hope for his sake and ours this is our last trip for a long, long time.


Babs said...

I hope so too! Was this part in the parenting contract? They usually put this kind of thing in the small print!
You two must feel totally overwhelmed sometimes, with all that's going on. We in Indianapolis will be SO glad when you're all here so we can come on short notice.
I love you!

Jill said...

Jesus, this is just terrifying to me. Poor Jack, poor Mommy and Daddy. You guys are WONDERFUL parents so don't beat yourself up.

Andy said...

In retrospect, I wonder what Jackson was thinking during the whole emergency room ordeal.

I feel like it must be similar to the experience people claim to have when abducted by aliens.

He entered an altered state, somewhere between sleep and consciousness, and when he came to, he was in a very bright room surrounded by strange people who shined lights in his face and stuck probes up his butt.

I am not sure what Martians are so curious about that would make them probe your anus, but I do know the experience had to be terrifying for Jack.

Maybe it was a bit more so for his mom and dad.

At any rate, I will always make a point of knowing the best way to get a sick kiddo to the ER by navigating side streets and knowing where I can turn right on red.

jeff said...

I have only vague memories of the "nail polish remover" incident from Oklahoma, but I can remember what it was like going to the ER with my parents. To this day, I'm not sure I actually drank any of the lemon-smelling crap, however, I do remember playing with it behind a closed (and maybe locked) bathroom door. I remember the drive from our house to the hospital in Tulsa being a long one, and it being done in the dark. I remember being given something that tasted really good to drink when I got there. For some reason, I remember it being a blue-green color and tasting like apple juice. In those days, I'm pretty sure that apple juice was my favorite flavor in the world. I then remember sitting quietly for a few minutes before throwing up violently for what seemed to be forever.....and without a tummy ache. We all made it through that night, but it did make one hell of an impression on mom and dad. Watching you and Andy and Jill and Shawn flip the order of what's really important to you in life to accomodate a child makes me understand where that story came from and how they must have felt those 32 or 33 years ago. You're doing fine, and no-one will ever believe otherwise.