Last Sunday, March 20th, my son had a seizure.
He woke up in that morning with a temperature of 100.2 and had thrown up in his crib. I gave him some Tylenol, fed him breakfast, and then he became his playful, happy self. We played, giggled, and had a great time like usual. He went down for a nap around 11:00, and I decided that doing my homework for one of my classes was probably a great idea. My husband was gone at a bachelor party, and let’s face it… I hadn’t had time to get any homework done all weekend. Around 12:30 Jameson woke up, but this time was much different than before. The heat was radiating off of his skin and he seemed very out of it. Upon arriving downstairs his temperature was at 101.6. Within one minute, it was at 102.6, and within seconds it spiked to 103.6 and he let out a scream. That scream…. I don’t think I can ever forget what it sounded like or the moments that proceeded it.
Immediately after the scream he began seizing, his eyes rolling back in his head and his arms and legs rapidly moving. There was no time to think! Knowing the hospital is 2 minutes down the road I grabbed my keys and jumped in my car, my child in my arms. Driving to the hospital with tears streaming down my face I tried to call my husband and tell him what had happened, but the words couldn’t come out. I just kept saying, “He’s not responding to me. He’s seizing. What is wrong with my baby?!” My poor husband had to have been scared to death, but I didn’t know how else to deal with the situation.
Pulling into the hospital I took up two spots and ran in screaming, “I need help! Something is wrong with my baby.” Immediately they pressed the red alarm and a doctor and three nurses came running out and grabbed my child from the counter where he was continuing to seize. They were trying to ask me questions, but I couldn’t pay attention. “I have to get to my child,” I thought, “he’s my baby, and he needs his mommy.” The security guard took me back into the room after they received a few pieces of information from me and there I could see my child laying on the table. His seizure had stopped; however, he was completely out of it and not responding to anyone talking to him. Scariest moment of my life… I stood there realizing that all of those moments where I had picked up my phone to answer a text message or the moments that I had tried to type out a quick email or get something done were moments that had taken away from my child, moments that I couldn’t get back.
The doctor told me that they would need to take Jameson back for a CT scan to make sure that there was no underlying issue and that it was only from his high fever. Thankfully Jason, the amazing nurse at the hospital, promised me that he would stay with Jameson and hold his hand the whole time since I was not allowed to go with him. If you’ve ever been in a hospital you know that a great nurse can be the difference between a comfortable or uncomfortable stay. Jason was definitely our lifesaver on that day. After the CT scan my husband came running in the door, having made it to us in record time on his drive home after hearing my frantic phone call. I don’t think he was ready for what he saw. Our child, laying on the table, staring out into space, and not smiling or responding to our voices. It hurt me seeing Jameson like that; however, seeing the look on my husband’s face was gut wrenching. Knowing that I couldn’t take the pain away from my child or my husband was a very hard moment as a mom and a wife, and it was a huge weight on my shoulders that I am not quite sure if I have let go of yet.
Finally the doctors came in and did a chest x-ray and Jameson began to look at us and recognize our voices. We were able to pick him up and hold him with the IV’s in his arms as they gave him fluids and medicine to keep his fever down. Although he was beginning to come out of what they call the “postictal state” the doctor was concerned because it had taken him much longer than it should have and she decided to send us to Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital.
After a ride in the ambulance and a few hour stay for observation we were sent packing. Although the doctor assured me that these are febrile seizures and they should only happen on the first day of an illness should a high fever strike I can’t shake the feeling that every day something is going to happen. I take Jameson’s temperature every time he wakes up and occasionally throughout the day, and I don’t know when I will get more calm and relax. It stresses me out to think that if I don’t take his temperature and something happens it will be my fault.
I have researched febrile seizures and asked the doctors numerous questions; however, I can’t seem to shake the feeling that febrile seizures have taken over my life. Knowing that it could happen the next time he gets sick is just too much. Thinking about seeing that moment again brings me to tears, it breaks my heart, yet I just can’t fathom the idea of it happening and me not being there.
When will the anxious feeling stop? When can we go back to enjoying every moment and not worrying? Will it ever stop? Probably not. As a mom we worry, we love, we take away pain, and I have to realize that sometimes all I can do is be there and know that God will make sure that my baby is okay.