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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Seizure

Today, Lily had a seizure. Here's the e-mail I sent to family earlier this afternoon:

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just want to let you know what happened this morning. let me start off by saying that everyone is absolutely fine right now. keep remembering that as you read...

lily's had a fever (mostly 102 range) the last day and a half. this morning, she still had the fever when she woke up. i gave her some medicine and brought her downstairs. she was standing in the living room, one hand on the couch, drinking milk with the other, when she seemed to trip or spasm a little, cried out, and suddenly dropped her cup and fell down on the carpet. i didn't think much of it since she's been pretty clumsy with the fever the last few days. i came over to help her get up, and that's when she started shaking on the floor. her eyes rolled to the side and all four limbs jerked slightly and the seizure lasted no more than a minute, though at the time i thought it was never, ever going to end. i had her turned on her side to make sure she didn't swallow her tongue or in case she threw up. by the end, she had frothed a little at the mouth.

as soon as it stopped, she started crying with her eyes closed. classic lily cry. she looked like she wanted to open her eyes, but didn't have the energy. i kept telling her to look at me, and she flicked her eyes open once or twice, but it was just too much effort. she laid there with her eyes closed, clutching her blanket and twining her fingers through it...which to me was the best sight in the world - that was so LILY of her.

the second it was over, i called 911 - or maybe even before it was over, i don't know. the police arrived after just a couple minutes, and she was lying there on the floor in a sleep-like state when they came in. they spoke loudly when they arrived and lily's eyes flickered open to see what in the world was making that noise. i asked if they could not talk SO loudly, but they said they had to, to see how she responded, and then i felt bad, "oh, ok, of course! i'm sorry." she definitely realized they were there and then made sure MAMA was there, then closed her eyes again. she was definitely responsive, just acting super SLEEPY. they said that was totally normal after a seizure - that the body is recovering.

i asked one of the policemen if he could go next door and get my neighbor to watch jacob. he came back and asked if he could bring jacob over there b/c he had woken her up and she had to get dressed and everything. of course, whatever you want!! so jacob (who hugged each of the policemen's legs when they first arrived - our welcoming committee!) happily went off to barbara's house like it was this big adventure, chattering and saying, "bar-bra! bar-bra!" as he went.

lily laid there on her side, eyes closed, in a still, sleep-like state, breathing heavily and loudly, until the ambulance came. somewhere in there, i went upstairs to change out of my pajama pants and called ryan, who left work immediately to meet me at the ER. the EMT suggested i wrap her up in a blanket and carry her out to the ambulance, to which one of the police officers interjected, "CAN you carry her?" looking at my belly. i said that i definitely wanted to carry her, i just needed someone to pick her up off the floor and hand her to me. so they wrapped her up in one of our blankets - amidst her protesting, which was another good sign - and handed her to me. it was surreal, walking out of the house to the ambulance amidst snow flurries, with my baby girl wrapped up in my arms, resting atop my big belly.

i tried to make the ambulance ride sound exciting for her, but she was just freaking out that i was going to leave her. i assured her i was coming, too, that i wasn't going anywhere, and held her hand as they strapped her onto the bed with their special toddler harness. she was quiet but fearful and held on tight to my hand, with many a, "mama!" just to make sure. the ride there, i tried to get her to look at everything out the back window. i could tell she was interested, though still very still - only her eyes moving as i pointed things out. the ambulance driver noticed a big change in her responsiveness just from when we left the house to when he took her out into the ER, which was encouraging.

when we got to the hospital, she was again very afraid i would leave her. i held her hand all the way to her room in the ER. the nurses were very nice, especially lily's nurse laura. lily was a little freaked out by the finger cuff pulse thing (it had a light on the end of it, and the nurses told her it was a "princess light"), and especially by the blood pressure cuff on her arm ("a little hug!"). she didn't care when i took her temp rectally since we had already been doing it at home for a couple days. her fever wasn't too bad and everything else checked out normal.

soon, the doctor came in and explained different types of seizures to me...he said that this fever-related seizure she had (febrile) could happen to anyone and doesn't mean anything long-term. sometimes, it's the body's way of handling the fever. (ryan arrived some time in here.) they took a urine sample from lily (she peed into a pink bedpan i put on the potty for her - there was much lollipop bribery involved), and gave her some motrin and said just keep keeping her medicated until the fever passes. she has a follow-up appt with the pediatrician tomorrow morning.

i still can't believe this happened to our kid. it's the kind of thing you hear about happening to OTHER people's kids. i kept thinking about how this happened once to my brother when he was little and how it never happened again...that gave me some comfort. (i was only two, but i still remember standing outside waiting for the police to arrive.) it's amazing how many horrible thoughts can go through your head in that one brief minute while it's happening...things i don't even want to put into words here...

so anyway, she's home now and she's fine. i knew everything was really going to be ok when she started stealing jacob's toys and running away with them. ahhh she's back........

thanks for reading this long e-mail. i just wanted to let everyone know so you could pray for lily - and for her mama on vigilant seizure watch. not letting that girl outta my sight.
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She is still running a fever and has typical flu symptoms (tells us she's cold, has a cough, is going #3, is generally clingy/lethargic). Aunt Ilse, thank you THANK YOU for coming up today to spend the day with us after you found out what happened, even after I insisted that you didn't have to, because you could hear in my voice that I just did not want to be alone on seizure patrol. You're an excellent "2nd in Command" while my mom is away in Florida. (Hi, mom - please stop worrying!)

I'm exhausted. Mentally, physically. I'll be sleeping in Lily's room for a while...no other choice since I can't let her out of my sight. I'm sure I'll sleep with one eye open, and continue to monitor her every move for some time - at the very least, until her fever breaks. I'm still so scared. So unsure. The site of her on the floor...like that...I can't get it out of my head. I keep telling Ryan how blessed he is that he didn't have to see it, because I will never forget...

5 comments :

Amanda said...

Oh Leah...just...lots and lots of HUGS...I LOVE you guys. Really wish I could be there with you.

Brit said...

This is the time when it is hard to be blog friends. so far away. :(

Yikes, Obviously there are no words of comfort only of one mama to another mama saying, ack, I'm sorry. How scary. And hard to believe, but it sounds like you did everything right. You are an amazing mama. Hang in there lady.

Brent and Abigail said...

lots of hugs. so scary reading it and i could just picture her on the floor. I'm praying her fever breaks very soon and that you dont have to worry and that even in future years when she does get fevers that it wont happen again. Good thing you called the police. What a scary day.

The Smiths said...

wow! girl! one more thing we could have definitely lived without!

Mel said...

hugs to everyone!!!