Wednesday, March 12, 2014

911, an ambulance ride, and everything is OK

**I wrote this yesterday, but got super tired before I published it, so here it is today.

This morning was mostly business as usual as I was emptying the dishwasher and making the kids breakfast.  We're still adjusting to this whole time change, and for some reason this morning I had the thought to ask the girls if they wanted to go to dance class.  I tend to not make activities I've already paid for optional, but today I just did.  Oddly enough, they both said they didn't want to go too...which, it's rare that they'd agree on anything, but especially on missing their favorite dance class.  So, instead of rushing out the door to dance class, we were having a quiet morning at home.  Tuesdays before dance class, Audrey has "school" at our house with another friend her age, so I was just giving the girls a snack when Maggie very sweetly said,

"Ward is really wiggly!"

Cute, I thought.  Until I looked at him.  It wasn't wiggling, he was definitely seizing and he was just gone...not at all responsive.  Just blank.  It was over by the time I rounded the counter and I picked him up (he was sitting in his high chair).  He was really droopy and lethargic and still trembling.  Then, he barfed.  Later, I would find out that was totally normal.

I quickly got on the phone with the pediatrician's office, and they told me to call 911 right away.  Yikes!  I have never had to call 911, and that part was really scary.  Of course, the operator was completely nice.  She had me undress Ward, lay him on the floor, and wait for help.  It was only a couple minutes before a firetruck with a couple firemen arrived.  They were so kind and calm.  I wasn't panicking, but I was definitely crying and anxious.  This is probably a good place to mention that I knew what had happened to Ward.  A while back, some dear friends' little girl had a febrile seizure, and they had blogged about it with great detail.  All of the information they had shared then was a complete comfort now.

The firemen took all of Ward's vitals, agreed that it was a febrile seizure, and that he would need to go to a hospital to be checked out just to be safe.  As we waited for the ambulance, I hopped on the phone and called a lot of people to find someone to watch the other kids (my big three, plus Audrey's friend).  No one was answering.  I left a few crazy sounding voicemails, before I eventually found someone who sent her homeschooled teenage daughter right down.  I wasn't discouraged by the unanswered calls, I was amazed by how my list of people to call kept going and going.  I didn't realize until that moment how many people I have here.

The ambulance arrived, and we loaded Ward onto the stretcher.  They had a special adapter for it with a five point harness to keep him super secure.  I don't think he needed it though, the poor kid was still so lethargic, he didn't move a muscle at all.  He snuggled with a special bunny that Amos gave him and a new bear from the firemen the entire way to the hospital.

With the babysitter at the house with the other kids, I rode with Ward in the ambulance to the hospital.  Another first for me.  The main road in and out of town is flooded right now, so we had to go the long way.  I am so glad we weren't in a hurry.  During the ambulance ride, I asked Wardie to show me his nose (his best trick right now).  I was relieved when his tired little hand pointed to his nose and he smiled.  It was the first sign I'd seen my happy guy was in there since all of this started.

Eric was waiting for us at the hospital, and they wheeled Wardie right in.  I think he might have been the only patient there at the time.  Really.  More vitals were taken, the doctor checked him out, they did a blood draw, and gave him fluids.  Everything came back great and just like that he was back to normal.  It was actually a huge blessing that he had been so lethargic, because once he was back to his usual self, getting him to leave the IV alone was super tough.  Thankfully we didn't have to do that for long.

Since we'd come in the ambulance to the hospital and the 911 dispatcher had me undress Wardie, Eric had to run over to Target to buy a new car seat and clothes for Ward.  The saleswoman at Target was totally appalled that Eric didn't care about the features of the car seat, and that he just wanted it to be cheap ;)

Meanwhile, back at the house, a very nice friend (Audrey's friend's mom) came and relieved the babysitter and picked up the big kids and took them to her house.  They had a great time playing at her house, and remember all of this as being pretty fun ;) She even cleaned up Ward's vomit at my house before she left with the kids.  Oh, and she brought us dinner.  Amazing.

Amos is pretty firetruck and police car obsessed, so all of this was pretty exciting to him.  He was an incredible help through everything.  He got Wardie's binky, the aforementioned stuffed animal, and even my shoes for me.  I walked barefoot out to the ambulance with Wardie, and he came running with a pair of my Uggs saying,

"I picked these ones so you'll be warm!"

Just amazing.  He did mention to me once we were all back home together that he almost cried because he missed Ward so much :( 

The reunion with all of the kids was pretty sweet.  I am SO glad we all have each other. 

Just in case, I thought I'd share the info on febrile seizures they sent me home from the hospital with, you never know when that knowledge might come in handy (obviously, you all know I am not a medical professional this is for informational purposes only):

Febrile Seizure
Febrile convulsions are seizures triggered by high fever.  They are the most common type of convulsion.  They usually are harmless.  The children are usually between 6 months and 4 years of age.  Most first seizures occur by 2 years of age.  The average temperatures at which they occur is 104.  The fever can be caused by an infection.  Seizures may last 1 to 10 minutes without any treatment.

Most children have just one febrile seizure in a lifetime.  Other children have one to three recurrences over the next few years.  Febrile seizures usually stop occurring by 5 or 6 years of age.  They do not cause any brain damage; however a few children may later have seizures without a fever.

Protect your child's airway during a seizure
Place your child on his/her side to help drain secretions.  If your child vomits, help to clear their mouth.  Use a suction bulb if available.  If your child's breathing becomes noisy, pull the jaw and chin forward.  

During the seizure, do not attempt to hold your child down or stop the seizure movements.  Once started, the seizure will run its course no matter what you do.  Do not try to force anything into your child's mouth.  This is unnecessary and can cut his/her mouth, injure a tooth, cause vomitting, or result in a serious bite injury to your hand/finger.  Do not attempt to hold your child's tongue.  Although children may rarely bite the tongue during a convulsion, they cannot "swallow the tongue."  Call 911 immediately if the seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes or as directed by your caregiver.

One thing I would definitely advise if you find yourself in this situation is to look at the clock.  Of course everyone wanted to know a lot about times, durations, etc. and I was pretty clueless on how long everything went on.  Keeping track of time can really help the nurses and doctors understand better.  Wardie's seizure was likely a minute long, but you know if felt like 10 minutes to me. 

So, that's it for our Tuesday.  I sure hope that's all of the excitement we have for a while.


julie said...

Wow. that is terrifying. I am so sorry that happened but so grateful he is okay!! What an amazing Mom you are. I don't think it is normal for kids that young to be that compassionate.

Andrea said...

this : I picked these ones so you'll be warm - so sweet!