Yesterday, Jacob had another seizure.
It was exactly one year and two days since the first two. He woke up crabby (NOT NORMAL), and was hot to the touch but had no fever. Strange. So I sent him to school, where he remained hot and crabby but still had no fever. Strange. Eventually they called me a second time and said he just wouldn't stop crying (NOT NORMAL), and I said I'd come and get him. I brought him home and he immediately fell asleep on the couch. He woke up screaming and couldn't be consoled...probably didn't help that I took his temperature again. This time, it was 101.2 - first fever of the day. We gave him Tylenol, and not 10 minutes later, I heard a shout from the couch.
The second I heard that sound, I knew what was happening. My heart sank, and I ran to the living room. I saw his body stiffen, his head back, his body shake. He shouted/gasped out loud once more before I got to him. I told my mom in the kitchen she had to leave the house - she happened to be here for his first seizure a year ago, and it was too much for her, so I knew I could not have her nearby. She willingly ran out of the house, and I scooped my little boy off the couch and laid him flat on the floor.
Within a moment, my dad was there, asking what he could do. I told him to call 9-11, but when he scrambled to find a phone, I pulled mine out of my pocket and dialed 9-11 myself. I told my dad (still looking for a job) to go look at the time - to the second - and to not forget what it said. I stroked Jacob's hair, prayed out loud so he could hear, whispered to him, stroked his hair some more. I turned his head to the side and looked in his mouth to make sure his tongue was where it belonged. I didn't like the color of his face or his lips, but though his breathing was erratic and in gulps, I knew he was still breathing as he should.
When the 9-11 operator asked me his location, I said, "On the floor at home." Haha, like she knew where that was. I told her his actual location, told her this was not his first seizure, and kept her abreast of everything that was happening. At one point, I called to my dad (keeping an eye on the time out of the room) that his seizure had ended, once the jerking stopped, but then I realized that wasn't true - his breathing was still not normal, his face was still the wrong color, his body was still not his own. He foamed at the mouth, and finally a few seconds later, he limped to the side. It was over.
The 9-11 operator asked me how long it lasted, and I said, "Less than a minute?" My dad called from the kitchen that it was closer to two. I continued stroking his hair, whispering in his ear, calmly answering the 9-11 operator's questions. I told her he was breathing normally and was in the regular post-seizure sleep. She said that paramedics would be there any minute and to call back if I needed anything else. It was the first time a 9-11 operator had ever hung up before the paramedics had arrived.
I told my dad to open the front door so we were ready. I pulled off Jacob's damp underwear and covered his bottom half with a blanket for some dignity. His top half was still burning up.
The paramedics walked in and I actually recognized one or two of them from their two visits last year (once for Lily, once for Jacob). They sat on the couch and looked down at Jacob, curled on his side on the floor. We chit-chatted about their seemingly frequent visits, about how everything looked as it should. Though his breathing was good, they turned on an oxygen tank and placed the mask near his face. Good thing - he would have freaked out if he woke up and found that thing strapped to him, after the asthma diagnosis and nebulizer treatment at the pediatrician's a couple weeks ago (whole other story). I had my dad get an ice pack from the freezer and they put it on the back of his neck or on his back directly to help cool him down. He seemed to respond to the cold, though he still wasn't actually "awake".
He eventually came out of it, and became aware of his surroundings again. I'm not sure how long he was out - 10 minutes? His eyes opened and he started sobbing and although I kept telling him how exciting it was that the police man and the "ambulance guys" came to visit, he did not find it exciting in the least. He cried and cried, and I put his head in my lap - stroked his hair some more. He freaked out when Lily kept trying to give him a sippy cup of water to drink.
The paramedics asked me which hospital I wanted to take him to. "I'm not taking him to the hospital," I shook my head matter-of-factly. "I'll call his pediatrician and we'll take him there if they need us to." No one argued. No one suggested otherwise. They all nodded like that was what their opinion, too. It's funny how different things are after they've happened once or twice. You have authority. You have clarity. You have peace.
That's what really struck me through this whole situation: I was super calm. I took action. Even though it had been a year since I last had to deal with this, I instinctively knew what to do, and that everything was OK. I didn't hesitate. I stayed focused. I called out orders without please or thank-you and made no apologies. There could be no other explanation than the Lord was with me, holding my hand as I held on to my little boy.
(Back to sleep on the couch, after the paramedics left.)