Our First Ambulance Ride

Thursday, September 14, 2017

We had quite an eventful Labor Day weekend... and not in a good way.  My sweet Bennett had a febrile seizure.

Thursday we were gearing up for my Dad's party on Friday night and we were laying low.  Bennett was feeling warm and acting a bit off.  He is always the one getting sick of the two and so naturally, I suspected a bug coming on, gave him some Tylenol and we started upstairs.  We had a normal nighttime routine, brushing teeth, bedtime stories, and cuddles... and as I laid Bennett down to sleep, he turned on his side, eyes rolled back and started convulsing.  I yelled to Alex, "he's seizing!" and grabbed him up out of his crib.  In the panic, Alex took him to the floor and turned him on his side, holding him gently and making sure he knew we were there.  Immediately, Alex started a timer... a key component to seizures.

I frantically called 911 and felt like I couldn't even stutter a word.  I was laying next to Bennett, not taking an eye off him.  Within a minute, Bennett stopped shaking and his breathing slowed, but never stopped.  He became drowsy and lethargic.  After what seemed like an eternity but was really like 5 minutes, paramedics and firemen were in our house, assessing and offering a sense of comfort to the room.  The whole time this was going on, sweet Emmy was right there in her crib, watching.  I remember hearing her say, "buddy?!" and just telling her it's alright, even though she didn't understand, and truthfully, I didn't know it was alright either.

The paramedics were fantastic.  They were calm, collected, organized in their questions, and were reassuring to Alex and I that things were under control.  I was so worried about how sleepy and groggy he was.  They told me it's typical after a seizure.  The brain and body are recovering.  We loaded into the ambulance and were headed to KUMed.  Alex called his Mom to come sit with Emmy and until she got there, our wonderful neighbor, Pelina, came and sat with her.  As I walked with Bennett out of the room, sweet Emmy lost it.  She was yelling out for him and to this day, it breaks my heart to think about it.

Once in the ambulance, we strapped Bennett into the gurney, he looked so tiny and was scared.  I quickly remembered to have Alex grab Pooh and thank God... that was a huge comfort to him.  We left the house after a few safety checks and a quick explanation of febrile seizures to a terrified mom.

Education time:  F E B R I L E   S E I Z U R E as defined by WebMD is a seizure that can occur in children when they have a rapid increase in body temperature.  Most commonly it affects kids from 6 months to 5 years of age and normally the fever gets to above 102℉.  The highest we clocked his temperature before the seizure was 98.9℉ about 20 min before bedtime.  Nothing to even really think twice at, right?  Not even a fever really!  By the time we reached the hospital, he was 101.4℉ and that was after some Tylenol.  The paramedic explained to me it can often times happen and not happen again.  The biggest thing we can do it control the fever and make sure it doesn't rise again.  They explained they usually last 1-3 minutes (Bennett's was 1 minute) and usually won't cause any damage to his development or brain.

After a quick ride to KU and watching Mary Poppins on my phone, B was already looking more himself.  We were triaged, vitals taken and he was given Motrin.  Then came the wait.  They just needed to watch him and see how his fever progresses or digresses.  We were at the hospital until 1:45AM.  After sleeping a little in the room and getting assessed by different docs, they were discharging us with the diagnosis of febrile seizure related to a virus.  We were ready to get home and as we walked out of the ED, Bennett was waiving and smiling at every nurse we walked past.  I was so dang proud of that brave little bubba.

Of course, Alex had to take some pics of us... passed the heck out.  

As a nurse, and a nurse that works mostly in emergent surgeries, my response to his seizure surprised me.  I am trained to remain calm, act swiftly and efficiently, and know my course of action is helping the situation.  It changes with your children, or relatives for that matter.  You become clouded and scared and all the what-if's clog your brain synapses.  I was so thankful to have Alex there to be so calm and collected.  I learned a lot that day... about febrile seizures, about my husband's strong ability to act on a situation and about how freaking tough Bennett is.  The poor kid has had more issues than I can count on both hands, yet still manages to light up my life in ways I couldn't even imagine.

Thanks for the prayers and support, we feel so loved.  B is doing 100% and kicked that virus to the curb... only to get a cold this week.  Ah what is life with toddlers.

See you soon,

Now, a little point of view from Dada Keith:

Nothing can possibly get you ready for all of the things that parenting brings...
When we first found out that we were having twins my first instinct was to read books and articles and try and soak up as much information as possible. After almost 2 years of being a Dad, I now realize that while books and articles have their place, there is no training manual that will tell you how to react in high pressure situations. When Lauren screamed my name as Bennett was seizing in her arms the only thing I could think about was the last time I was around a seizure and how everyone else reacted.

It was last fall when a freshman football player had a seizure at practice. I was standing about 10 yards away from him and when the kids started yelling for a coach, I ran over. I couldn't for the life of me remember what I was suppose to do. My fellow coach, Matt Joshi was standing by me and immediately told someone to call 911, got the student to his side, took out his mouth-\\guard and started timing on his phone. As I watched him I was reminded of all the things I was trained on. It had always bothered me that I wasn't quicker to react, that I froze when I should have been acting.

Fast forward to the night of Ben's episode and I was channeling my inner Joshi. I honestly thought of my experience the past fall and felt completely comfortable getting him to his side, telling Lauren to call 911, timing it and making sure his little head was not hitting the ground.

The following morning Ben was doing much better and I decided to go into school that day. My lesson plans had changed just a little bit. We started all 5 of my classes that day with the story of what happened and what to do if you were to be around someone who had a seizure. I hope that my students can live vicariously though the story and be ready and alert if they are ever in the situation.

I live my life as an optimist, Lauren would say to a fault, probably. Even though my glasses are rose-colored, I know that there are going to be 1,000 more more stressful situations in these kiddos lives. These kids, as weird as it sounds, are hardwired for struggle and difficulty. It is how growth happens. Us as parents have to remember that as well. We are hardwired the same way and by design have good instincts to guide us through the traumatic times. Hopefully some new mom or dad, who was freaking out like I was, will stumble across this and be reminded that they are more than capable of going though the most challenging parts of being a parent. There is a little hero in all of us, don't be afraid to tap into yours.

I feel weird writing, so I'm going to give it back over to the woman who proof reads (rewrites) my important emails.


Father/Daughter relationship.  She's obsessed with him and him with her. 
Lots of cuddles for bubs. 
Sweet Em, with momma's glasses.  This girl barely gets sick, mosquitos don't bite her and her skin is perfectly soft.  What else could be better in life Em Lou?
Like father, like son.


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