Facing One Of My Worst Fears

My earliest memory of learning what to do in an emergency situation was in the third grade. I remember learning what to do in a fire drill, tornado drill and all about 'Stop, Drop and Roll.'  I even remember learning how to escape from the back of a school bus in case of a fire or accident. And I most definitely remember the various scenarios my classmates and I were given in case of an emergency.
  • don't panic
  • stay as calm as possible
  • know your location, address, phone number
  • if someone is hurt, stay with them
  • give the 911 operator as many details as possible until help arrives
Of course there are many more but the ones I just listed pertain to what happened at my house on Saturday, February 16th.  It was the first Saturday of the year that we did not have any commitments or major errands to run.  It felt so good to be able to sleep in, eat breakfast and stay in my jammies.  I had plenty to do around the house but because I had all day to do it; knowing I did not have to leave and I had no intention of leaving my house I was kinda taking my sweet time.  The day was all mine and my plans were to dedicate it to me, the family and the always countless chores.  But first I wanted to watch a little tube and get my FoodNetwork and HGTV fix.  Next to me on the couch was my beautiful girl playing on the iPad in her cute and colorful strawberry night gown, bed head still in tact.  After getting some laundry started and working on other chores I told baby girl that it was time for her to get out of her PJs.  I called for her to follow me as I walked to her room; she stopped playing with her toys and ran after me.

Then IT happened and the whole day took a different direction.

One of my worst fears came true and I was home alone when I turned around and saw my baby girl lying on the floor, unresponsive, eyes rolling back and scaring me so bad I began to sweat, plead and pray.  

You see I was practically in her room when I called for her so I didn't see her get up from the leaving room floor and run down the hall.  I didn't see her hit her head on the corner of a toy storage as she quickly trotted by like any playful five year old.  I did, however, hear her hit herself and I thought it was her hand or elbow thinking it happened because she was running.  You know how we sometimes hit our hands, wrists, elbows or stub our toes when quickly passing by furniture or a door?  Well she hit the the side of her head on a toy storage about as tall as her.  That hit/bump on her head must have triggered something even though it was not a hard hit.  Her head hit the toy storage in passing and she continued to run towards her room.  She cried a little and complained some saying that she hit herself and with my perifiel vision I could tell that she was rubbing her owie.  I still thought it was her elbow.  My back was pretty much to her because I was picking up laundry from the floor and putting it in the hampers.  

"Silly girl you know you gotta be careful when you're running around," I said to her as I finished picking up the dirty laundry.  I began to turn to her as I finished my sentence and that is when I heard her collapse on the floor and saw her fall straight back and heard her head bump the floor.  For a split second I thought she was having some kind of fit because she hit herself and I quickly realized something was happening to her.  It was so surreal and it was happening in slow motion.  Her body was in a weird S shape formation, her fists were clinched, her head slowly started to twist to the left as her eyes began to roll back and then flutter to the left.  And her body was slowly slithering on the floor as it was happening.  I also could not tell if she was moaning or grunting.  I kept calling her name but nothing.  Oh yes I freaked the eff out and ran to call 911.  

Panicked? Yes.  Calm? Sorta.  I do remember breathing hard as I begged the operator to help me.  I thought she put me on hold but she was actually dispatching the ambulance to my house after I told her who I needed from the three choices she gave me (Police, Ambulance or Fire).  I explained what happened and I told her that in all honesty it looked like my daughter was possessed.  Okay maybe I wasn't as calm as I thought because I do remember stuttering quite a bit while explaining to the operator what was happening to my daughter.

My daughter's seizure-like episode was over in about a minute.  It happened so fast and when it was over she started to cry, picked herself up and went to her bed.  She was burning up and continued to cry.  Her eyes were closed the entire time and she just kept crying.  At this time she was responsive and within a few minutes the fire department and a sheriff were at my house.  I'm so thankful that we have a fire station in my subdivision.  A few minutes after they arrived the paramedics showed up.  By this time my daughter had stopped crying, was calmer but was a little feisty with all the big, scary men in her room.  She would not let any of them touch her until the paramedics arrived.  One of them was a very nice lady that happened to have pink sparkly nail polish and pink sunglasses.  Score!  My distraught little diva allowed the stylish paramedic to exam her.  Whew.

So to make a long story even longer, baby girl checked out fine with the paramedics including her temperature.  They and the firemen concluded that she probably had a febriel seizure.  Since she the episode was over in a very short amount of time and she was okay, it was strongly recommended that we take her to the doctor or the hospital to be checked out completely.  Well although her pediatrician has Saturday hours they weren't able to see her because they weren't properly equipped to exam her (for a seizure).  We were told to go to the ER.  So off we went to Dell Children's Hospital.  Again she was examined and I told the story for like the fifth time that day while her vitals were checked.  Later when the doctor came to see her I told the story again. He ordered a CT scan which was normal and finally after about 3 1/2 hours were discharged but told to follow up with neurology in 3-4 days.  Oh what a long day (and story)!  

Not happy to be at the hospital
As instructed, we followed up with the pediatric neurologist a few days later and once again I told the the ever so repeated story of what had happened to baby girl.  She was examined and her motor skills were tested all of which was fine and normal.  I guess it would have ended her with a final diagnosis of "sometimes one-time seizures happen and we don't know why" but because my husband had a few seizures as a child an EEG was ordered.  ugh.

A week later (yes, there was a wait for an EEG) baby girl and I were back at Dell Children's Hospital for this test that I dreaded.  Why?  Because she HAD to fall asleep for this test to be conducted and getting this girl to nap is not easy.  Well we my husband did his best to keep her sleep deprived the night before (she got to watch t.v. until midnight) and we woke her up extra early the next morning.  I felt horrible for doing that to her especially since her appointment was not until 1:30 p.m.!  Her teacher already knew that she would be leaving early that day and that she would not be napping with her class at 12:30 p.m.

Baby girl and I arrived to the hospital shortly before 1p.m. to fill out paperwork and what not and then we headed down to the EEG lab to get started. 

The prep work is what took the longest and thankfully there was a t.v. in the room to keep my girl distracted and still for the EEG tech. Um, I think that is what she is called.  And then it was finally time for her to sleep so the test could be conducted.  At first I thought it was goign to be a struggle because baby girl was scared and couldn't relax.  The tech was able to do some breathing exercises with her and I pulled out my iPhone and turned on the white noise app I love so much.  And finally she was sound asleep.

Time to wrap this story up you say?  Yeah this is one long post.  A week after baby girl's EEG test I was told by the neurologist's office that everything came back normal and she appears to be fine.  What is "everything" by the way?  It was concluded that this was probably a one-time episode and could have been her body reacting to that hit she took to the side of her head.  Her pediatrician even said that sometimes the body reacts differently to temporary pain and seizures or seizure-like episodes can happen.  Tomorrow will be two months since that day and I am just now able to write about it.  Yes, she is fine and yes she is healthy living a happy 5 year old life but that one moment scared the beejeebers out of me.  Too many crazy thoughts ran through my mind. 

Her Daddy and I are ever so thankful that she is healthy and we are especially thankful to the Travis County Fire Department, the Austin/Travis County EMS and most certainly to the Dell Children's Medical Center.  The kindness, compassion and professionalism they all exuded was exactly what a terrified mother needed to stay calm.  And in case you are interested (or need a refresher) on knowing what to do and say once you dial 9-1-1, here is a helpful link

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