Monday, November 4, 2013

we went to utah: part 2, a.k.a.: the scariest few minutes of my life

I started the second day of our trip, Saturday, at 1:25 a.m. when Krew woke up with a fever.  A high fever.  I didn't take his temperature, but I've held my kids close often enough to know that he wasn't just a little warm-he was hot.  Luckily I had packed some children's ibuprofen, so I gave him a dose and snuggled him in my bed for about 30 minutes until his fever broke.  I tried to settle him down in his room again, but it quickly became apparent that he wasn't going to go back to sleep without a fight.  (This kid is notorious for his middle of the night power struggles, even when he's not sick and/or sleeping in an unfamiliar room in an unfamiliar pack-n-play).  So, I decided my best bet for some decent sleep was to move his pack-n-play into my room with me and hope that he would go to sleep, comforted by the fact that I was in the same room with him.  Well, it helped a little because he was no longer crying, but it was nearly 4 a.m. when he finally fell back asleep. (And no, him being awake for 2 1/2 hours in the middle of the night isn't all that uncommon). Luckily, he slept in until about 9, and since my mom is awesome, she got up when the twins did, and fed them and entertained them so that I could stay asleep as long as Krew did.

I was relieved when we woke up to find that Krew was not feverish.  His voice was a bit raspy, and he had a few "barky" coughs, but otherwise he was happy, and energetic.  

We packed a picnic and met up with my two younger brothers, Jonathan and Andrew, and Jonathan's wife Katherine.  It was fun to see them and of course all three boys were excited to see everyone and again acted like it hadn't been 8 months since they had seen them.  Seriously, my kids are not shy at all.  Love it!

Krew did start to get tired and clingy a little sooner than I would have expected, but again he had been up for hours in the night, he was obviously coming down with a little something, and all the travelling the day before could certainly wear out a little one, so I didn't think much of it.  But, Bart had told me to make sure that he was getting medicine every 6 hours even if he didn't have a fever, just in case.  So, I had been doing that faithfully. 

 Krew took a little nap in the afternoon, and when he woke up, he was super clingy, fussy, and didn't have much energy, but he didn't have a fever.  Around 4:00, he was due for some more ibuprofen, so I gave him some, but he spit most of it out. I tried to give him more, but he spit some of that out too.  I knew he hadn't taken a full dose, but I didn't worry since he wasn't hot, and he had a least a half-dose.  About an hour later, I could tell that his fever was back, and he just wanted me to hold him.  In fact, he kept trying to get comfortable so that he could sleep in my arms, but he never seemed to be able to get quite comfortable enough to sleep.  I tried to just keep him happy, and figured in an hour or so, I would try to give him some more medicine and put him to bed.

Meanwhile, my brothers and sister-in-law were outside with Kade and Ky, and my mom was trying to get dinner ready.  I wanted to join everyone, but decided it was just easier to hold Krew and try to find something that would make him feel better.  

Around 6:30, he suddenly seemed very hot, and became very lethargic.  We took his temperature again, and it was 104 degrees.  I called Bart to ask him what I should do.  He told me that I needed to go take him somewhere.  So, I quickly checked my insurance to see where he would be covered since we were from out of state, found an urgent care, and  my mom found out that they were still open.   My mom asked if I wanted her to come with.  I knew that she was in the middle of trying to get dinner on for everyone, and I wasn't worried about taking Krew to the urgent care by myself, but she convinced me to let her come.  (Truthfully, it didn't take a lot of convincing, since I knew it would be a million times easier to have her there with me).  We quickly gathered our things, and headed out the door.

We were about half way through our ten minute drive to the urgent care, when I heard the most awful cry/gasp/gurgle sounds coming from Krew behind me.  I turned around, expecting to see him maybe choking on a cough or something.  I couldn't see his face directly, because he was in the seat behind me, and he is still rear-facing in his car seat.  But I could see his little fists clenched tight against his chest, his head jerking rhythmically to the side, his eyes rolling back, and I could hear the gurgling, and gasping that were the same rhythm as the jerking.  I immediately knew what was happening.  

I cried out, "Mom, he's having a seizure!"  

She said, "Oh no, what should I..."

"Just keep going."

So she did.  My super mom turned on her emergency flashers, honked her horn once every second, and drove 65 mph in a 40 mph construction zone so that we could get to the urgent care as quickly as possible. 

Meanwhile, I was crying, stroking Krew's face, and trying to remember if there was anything I should be doing to keep him safe.  I kept calling his name over, and over, until I had the realization that he would have no idea that I was even there.  I was grateful that Bart has talked to me more than once about febrile seizures, so that as terrifying as those moments were (and. They. Were.), I knew that his fever was causing it and that brought me a bit of comfort.  Those minutes watching him, seemed to last forever.  In fact, later when the doctor asked me how long the seizure had lasted, I had to defer to my mother, because I knew I would never be able to give an accurate estimate.  (She guessed it was around two minutes.)

Suddenly, his body stopped shaking, and he went limp.  Totally limp.  I thought I was scared before, but that was even more terrifying.  He didn't react to my jostling, or my calling his name, and I couldn't tell if he was breathing.  I was wishing I was sitting next to him, instead of in front of him, but then again I was glad I hadn't had to watch his whole face the few minutes prior. (Does that make sense?) We were less than a minute away from the urgent care at that time, and just before we turned into the parking lot, I finally felt his hot breath on my hand and I knew he was going to be okay. 

My mom stopped the car in front of the urgent care center and we both ran in.  I was happy that everyone moved quickly and took us back right away.  As soon as we told them that he had seized on the way there, it was apparent that they weren't going to deal with us there.  So, they called an ambulance to take us to the ER.  It took several minutes for the ambulance to come, and as soon as I could hear the sirens, I found it interesting that part of me was relieved that they were finally there, and that we were going to get help for my very sick little guy.  However, another part of me was thinking, Oh my goodness, that ambulance is coming for my baby!

The paramedics looked him over for less than a minute, and then ushered us out the door to the ambulance.  Luckily, they let me hold him all the way into the ambulance, where they strapped him into a carseat on the stretcher.  As we were getting in, I noticed that there were at least 6 paramedics and a separate fire department vehicle.  (I think all that attention made the situation feel even more serious.)

Riding in the back of the ambulance was crazy. I was grateful for the peace I felt, and so thankful for the wonderful EMT who helped me feel so calm.  He seriously did a great job.  He gave Krew oxygen, checked his stats, called the ER, and talked to me about the weather so that I could keep my mind off of what was happening.  

The next few hours were spent in the ER, with monitors, medicines, and lots of holding my very sleepy (totally out of it) little boy.  The diagnosis was croup and an ear infection (which the ER doctor said were quite rare together), which caused his fever to spike quickly, which in turn caused the seizure.  We were "lucky" enough to be at the ER, in what we were told was one of the busiest nights anyone there could remember, but we were still well taken care of, especially by the ER doctor, who even offered to call Bart on the phone and explain to him what was going on, and told him in much more accurate terms than I would have been able to.  We decided that it was most likely simply a febrile seizure, and so were going to simply watch his condition rather than doing a bunch of extra, painful tests.   After several hours, Krew finally woke up enough to watch Doc McStuffins on my iPad, drink some water, and smile a bit.  So, they let us go home.  

I didn't sleep much that night.  I kept reliving those few terrifying moments, plus I was still worried about how sick he was, and since I was worried, I decided to let him sleep in my bed with me, which happened to be a twin size bed, and he happens to move a lot in his sleep.  But, he slept surprisingly well, and I actually cherish those hours, snuggled so close to my sick son, knowing that my closeness was all that I could give him to make him feel better that night, but also knowing that sometimes a mother's closeness can mean everything.  

1 comment:

Becky and Jeff said...

I know exactly how you felt. last winter when we were living at my mom's house CJ had the same thing happen to him. He had medicine in him and at exactly at the 6 hour mark the medicine wore off and his fever spiked, had a seizure and then stopped breathing. I froze and didn't know what to do. My mom yelled for my dad to call 911 and I simply told my mom "I don't know what to do" while crying at the same time. I knew CPR but you never know what you are going to do in that moment. My mom took over and gave him one breath and jostiled him a little and he started to breath, seconds later an emt showed up that happened to live next door to my mom. It was the scariest and worst moment of my life. He ended up having the flu. I am so glad Krew is ok!