Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Story about the Seizure

I was cleaning out my inbox and found an email I had written to a friend identifying with a medical event that occurred with her daughter. Because I am feeling a little bit lazy and less than creative today, I thought I would share that email/story with you....

Here's a trip down a not so pretty memory lane, but the ending is happy enough (swearsies)

November 2007: Camdyn is almost 2 years old

We were in Baltimore for a wedding that our whole family was in, including Camdyn, she was supposed to be the flower girl. Well, she woke up the morning of the wedding with a low grade, 99 degree fever. I gave her some Tylenol and then left her for the day. I had a bunch of wedding party stuff to do and I wasn't going to see her again until they brought her to the wedding. We left her with a dear friend of mine that lived in the area. Well, about 3:00 that day, Chris called to tell me that Cam's fever was 103 and she was too sick to be in the wedding so she would be at the hotel with the sitter. I was disappointed because I really wanted to see her walk down that aisle in her beautiful dress. So, the wedding was fantastic, I gave a good speech, and we had a fantastic evening. At about midnight we returned to the hotel. The wedding party was hanging out in the lobby and I went up to the room to check on Cam. She heard my voice and tried to crawl to me and then had a seizure. She completely froze up, and had this awful "stuck" expression on her face. I laid her on the bed and was about to give her CPR because I didn't think she was breathing. Lacey (the sitter) called 911 and she didn't know what hotel we were at, or what the room number was, it was pretty stressful. Lacey was a God-send, though. She was really calm and that was exactly what I needed because I was freakin' out. Cam unfroze about 10 seconds later, but she was limp like a rag doll and wouldn't hold her head up and wouldn't open her eyes. A few minutes later Chris walks in and he's a mess about the whole situation, but had the presence of mind to tell me to get out of the floor length bridesmaid dress and throw some jeans on before the paramedics arrived.

The medics got there and they strapped Camdyn to a gurney after taking her temp (106!) and they gave her some oxygen. She looked so small strapped on that gurney and poor Liz (the Bride) was near tears when she saw her wheeled through the lobby headed toward the ambulance. When we got in the ambulance (Chris was driving the rental car behind it, completely panicked because he had no clue what was going on in the ambulance) she was having "aftershocks" and would jump and twitch uncontrollably. At one point she opened her eyes and said, "Mommy - Bus." Those were heavenly words and it was at that point that I knew she was going to be okay. She thought we were riding in a bus, and she just happened to be addicted to The DoodleBops and the "Get on the Bus" song at that time. At the hospital they did a chest x-ray, gave her an IV, and a Popsicle and broke her fever with Motrin and she was all better. We flew home the next day as planned.

I had all this guilt because I should have been with her that day. If I had been there I would have known how high her fever was and I would have alternated Tylenol and Motrin (the sitter said she refused the Tylenol so she didn't actually have any) and I could have prevented it. The ER docs said this is the way that children naturally break a high fever and the seizure did break the fever. Cam's ped. said that some seizures last 20 minutes. WHAT? That was the longest 10 seconds of my life and I couldn't possibly imagine enduring that for 20 minutes!

Camdyn has never had a febrile seizure again, and now I really monitor fevers. It's hard not to break every fever. I have to remind myself that fevers are there to fight infection, so if you break a low grade fever then you are destroying the mechanism to fight the infection. I am able to let Chloe have low grade fevers and not run to the medicine cabinet, but anything over 101.5 I break with Motrin (it works better on my girls). Camdyn's pediatrician said, "She is going to recover just fine. You, however, will probably never recover." He's right. That night haunts me. I can not think about Liz's wedding and have warm and fuzzy feelings. When I think about it, or look at pictures, it makes me feel anxious, sick to my stomach, and worse than that.....GUILTY. I am hoping that over time these feelings will change, but it will always be an unforgettable trip, and a memorable night.

PS: Watching Cam get the IV was almost as bad as watching the seizure.


Liz, you had a beautiful wedding and I am so honored that I was a part of it. I don't regret being with you on your special day, so please don't read this post as regret. That day played out exactly the way that the Good Lord intended it to. This post is more about a mother's guilt. I hope that you never have to experience anything like this with baby Abby, although, at some point, I think all mom's end up feeling guilty about something. Love you!

1 comment:

Kate said...

Carol, I can't read this story without getting all emotional again. So scary, and I know what you're saying about fevers now. The first fever Lily had after the seizure made my heart beat faster and tears start.

And the irony, of course, is that "it's no big deal," and "they'll grow out of it, no problem." GAH.