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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Uh-oh, Spaghettios!

The first seizure my son had was the    scariest      thing   I.had.ever.seen..in.my.life.   It even topped seeing him after his heart surgery, lying on the hospital bed, asleep and all helpless and limp, with wires coming out of him everywhere.



I had just fed the children...with  spaghettios ...because it was just-one-of-those-nights when I felt that was all I could handle preparing after the long and stressful day I had had.  Naturally, my intuitive little creatures decided to *help* me handle that stress even better...they dumped their bowls all over their heads and proceeded to "paint" their faces with those little-round-things-in-RED-sauce!  Great.  Just  great .  Now I had to figure out how to get them from their chairs, up the stairs, and in the tub--with minimal damage to my own clothing, the carpeting, the walls, you know, pretty much Everything that isn't inside of a giant bubble.  So, I stripped the little devils right by their chairs, and I managed to get them all  the  way  up the stairs and into the bathroom without so much as a drip on the beige-carpeted stairs.

I set them both down by the tub and began removing Chub-Chub's diaper (did you think I was crazy enough to take that off downstairs, too??? Not on your life!).  Miracle Man was standing behind Chub-Chub, but they were both right next to the side of the tub.



Now, one thing you should know about Miracle Man is that he Loves, and I mean LOVES taking a bath!  We're talking squealing-with-delight-and-jumping-up-and-down-while-holding-onto-the-side-of-the-tub infatuation!  And that, my friends, is exactly what my little, wobbly, unsteady 18-month-old Miracle Man was doing when he launched  himself straight into the tub...head first!

Luckily, I had only just  started filling it with water, so there wasn't very much in there.  And, thank  goodness  I follow all the safety rules and he was within arms reach from me!  Because I scooped that little guy up faster-than-you-could-remove-a-hot-potato-from-the-oven--tinfoil on, without  a  glove !

Unfortunately, what had happened when he fell in (all superfast  and ToPsY tUrVy), was that he bonked his head on the bottom of the tub...hard.

After I scooped him up, I laid him down on the floor and he kinda looked all FuNny to me.  That's when I noticed that    he.wasn't.breathing.    And then, he wasn't responding to me, either. At.All.

As the PANIC! OMG!-I-THINK-HE-IS-DEAD!!! ensued, I at  least  had the where-with-all to call 911.

Thank  God  I had my phone   right.there.with.me   (which I never used to usually do because I didn't want to be distracted while the babies were in the tub).  It was just one of those lucky instances where I did something by accident  that turned out to be totally FABULOUS!

The 911 operator was great.  He asked me all about Miracle Man and what was happening, and as we were talking, Miracle Man started to come out of it.  His face was no longer scrunched up.  His pupils were no longer dilated.  And he was breathing!  I am not sure how long it was all taking place, but it seemed to me like it was Forever.  The man keeping me calm on the other side of the phone proceeded to talk me through everything I needed to do to help the paramedics when they arrived.  When I hung up with him, I relayed the instructions to my then six-year-old Little Miss,  "Honey, go downstairs, turn on the outside lights, and open the door.  Find Boomer (our dog) and put him away.  Go  now Hurry!"

Little Miss rose to the challenge..and completely exceeded  my expectations.  She hurried along and did everything I had told her to do.  She didn't panic.  She didn't stall or ask questions.  She even figured out that she should lock Boomer away upstairs in the boys' room, without me even giving her that specific direction.  She was nothing short of AMAZING!  My heart is still  swelling with pride, as I sit here and write about her actions.  Later on, when everything was all over with, I made sure I told her how proud of her I was, and that she was my hero .  

Literally the moment after Little Miss locked the dog away, the EMT was walking up my stairs and stepping into the bathroom...it was that fast !  We spoke briefly and he took over, sending me downstairs to wait with another EMT who asked me a bunch of questions, as the sirens and the various vehicles that made them continued to come up the street.  I looked out my front door and saw through the pouring  rain  what seemed like a bazillion-and-one emergency vehicles all up and down the street, parked on the lawn, in the driveway...wherever they could fit.  You would think it would be comforting, but it was actually terrifying

I turned back toward the noise upstairs and what I saw, I will never forget.  How tiny  And helpless  my little baby looked in this man's large hands.  He cradled Miracle Man's head and floppy-seeming body down the stairs and out to the awaiting ambulance...while I stood by, paralyzed by fear, Chub-Chub clinging to me, diapered, but otherwise naked.

 The next thing I remember happening was another paramedic asking me for the car seat  from the car and I couldn't even respond coherently to him.  He ended up taking my keys and going out to the car to remove the seat for me (since I was clearly not capable of producing said car seat for him, in my panic-induced stupor).  In the meantime, Chub-Chub (with his still-spaghetti-stained-head) and Little Miss (all-wide-eyed-and-shaking) were glued to me, frightened by the cacophony of sirens, mesmerized  by the lights, intimidated by the sudden rush of strangers in our home.

The EMT who had remained inside the house while all of the others bustled around on our front lawn and in our driveway, asked me if I had gotten a hold of anyone to stay with Chub-Chub and Little Miss.  Gosh !  I hadn't.Even.Thought.Of.That.  I was just so  scared and focused on what was happening with my Miracle Man in the moment.  Immediately, I tried calling Prince Charming, but he wasn't answering (apparently they don't have cell phones on white horses!?  Who knew?).  Then I began calling everyone I could think of that was nearby enough, who might be able to come over.  But I couldn't get a hold of anyone!  I did all anyone in this situation could  do.  I left several voice mail messages all over the place.  I was at a complete  loss and desperate to find out what was happening with Miracle Man out there in the ambulance!

The woman still in my house offered to stay inside with my other two children so that I could go check on Miracle Man, but Chub-Chub would have no part of that!  And I couldn't take him out in the pouring rain without clothes on.  I had to get him dressed...and while I was working on that, my neighbor came over, asking what she could do to help.  What an amazing  woman!  We barely knew each other, and yet, here she was, standing at my door, in the pouring rain, offering assistance.  She sure came at the right time, too!  I handed over Chub-Chub, who willingly went, and I remember so clearly asking her to "Please, just clean the spaghettios off his head for me."  That thought still makes me giggle!  And she and I have both laughed about it together since.

Anyway, so Chub-Chub and Little Miss headed over to the neighbor's house, while I grabbed my purse and ran out the door to see my little guy in the ambulance. I climbed in and we headed toward the hospital.  During the ride, I was finally able to get a hold of Prince Charming and my mother-in-law, and they were both springing to action;  Prince Charming heading to the hospital, and my mother-in-law to retrieve my other two kiddles from the neighbor's.  Phew!  At least that was some  kind of relief!

As we rode along, Miracle Man was still very subdued, and not at all like his normal, cheerful, happy-go-lucky-self.  But, as is often the case (at least in my world), by the time we reached the hospital, he seemed completely fine...and was even smiling and giggling with the EMT's, and (dare I say) flirting  with the nurses!

The ER doctor checked him all over and determined...(since he wasn't there to actually see  what had happened and could only rely on an anxious mother's inexperienced description of the events that had occurred)...that Miracle Man must've bumped his head hard enough to have knocked himself out cold--with his eyes still open.  Hmmmm...weird, I thought.  But, okay...He's the expert!

In any case, we were sent on our merry way, and headed home to our anxious family members (by now, my sister-in-law had also come over to the house to help with the kids and await the news).  Once we arrived home, we were greeted by everyone, including an understandably anxious Little Miss, who recounted her experience of the events with wide eyes and fervor. 



So, about a week passed and everything seemed to be going alright...Miracle Man didn't really seem any worse for the wear, thank goodness!  Until............One day I was out walking around my neighborhood with the boys in the stroller.  After a brisk, but brief stride, both boys decided to take turns wearing their Mr. Cranky Pants hats.  They wanted Out of that stroller...in a bad way!  Can you blame them?!

I took them out, one at a time...letting Chub-Chub walk alongside the stroller, but carrying Miracle Man, who was not yet able to walk.  But then they were both irritable, and I had a hard time getting either  one back in the stroller as they squirmed and fought against me with all their strength.  Sometimes, us parents just have to pick our battles, and so I decided to let Chub-Chub walk, while I carried Miracle Man, and pushed the stroller at the same time.  Yeah...that didn't last long.  Miracle Man soon became too heavy for me and it was too awkward trying to push the stroller, too.  And , I was  almost back home, so, like a fool, I set Miracle Man in the stroller, without strapping him in just yet.  I have no  idea why I did that!  I am such  a paranoid freak about these things usually.  I normally won't even let them sit in the stroller without buckling them in, much  less  walk around like that!  I truly, truly  do not understand, for the life of me what I was thinking!  Well, sure enough, my Miracle Man slipped out and fell onto the pavement!  Hello!!!  This, people, is eggs-act-ly why children should always be buckled into a stroller!  I still feel so  much  guilt for making such an incredibly stupid mistake.

Now, naturally, when he fell onto the pavement, he bumped his head again.  And I picked him up, to.hug.him.and.comfort.him.and.tell.him.that.I.was.sorry...for being so  incredibly careless.  And that's when I noticed that his face had, once again, begun to scrunch up...and his eyes were rolling back into his head...and his body was stiff...and he wasn't breathing...again...and OMG!  He's doing it AGAIN!  And this time it is completely All.My.Fault!

It wasn't until the third such instance of these episodes that I really started to realize what was happening, and  began to be able  to focus on him and pay attention to the details of what was occurring, so that I could better explain to the doctor what had happened.  This time, I was at home with the children and some family members, having a pizza night.  Miracle Man had been cruising along the wall in the hallway when he fell over, bumping his head on the slate floor.  My brother-in-law had been right next to him, so he picked him up, called for me, and handed him over.  And yet again, Miracle Man was having all of the same symptoms!

But this time, this  time , I was more keenly aware of each thing that was happening to him.  His eyes were rolling back into his head, his face was all scrunched up, his body was stiff as a board, his feet and toes were pointed forward, and he  wasn't  breathing .  I brought him into the kitchen and yelled to everyone,  "He ' s  not  okay !  He's not okay!  He's doing it again!"  I laid him on the floor and tried to get him to "come back to me".  His eyes stopped rolling, but his pupils were dilated.  His face seemed yellow at first, then ashen.  He wasn't aware of anything that was going on around him.  We were just  about to call 911 again, when he finally "came to".   I just hugged him and held him...and then...I put a helmet  on that poor little guy!  Because I was so freaked out--that's why!  Afterward, we all sat around discussing what had happened and how we all thought  it looked like a seizure. 

Miracle Man was already scheduled to see the neurologist at the end of the month, but with this third episode happening in as many weeks, it warranted a call to the office and a sooner appointment.  We were so very fortunate to get in the following week.  The outcome of that appointment was an appointment for a sleep-deprived EEG...and a confirmation that Miracle Man was, indeed, having seizures...the first one being the dreaded, "Night of the Spaghettios!"

Now, I know that I mentioned this in a previous post, but I will reiterate it here...the EEG came back "normal".  When he gave me the results, I explained to the neurologist that I had figured  it would come out normal, because he didn't hit his head before or  during the EEG (since I believe that the seizures are being caused by the head bumps).  The neurologist was quick to quip, "True, but I don't think the people over there would look too fondly upon me if I asked them to bonk Miracle Man on the head first."  So true!  LOL  Ahhhh...humor!  It's what get's us through this cRaZy life, isn't it!?!

Fortunately, Miracle Man has not had any more of these types of seizures (called tonic clonic seizures) since the one in the hallway, which was in the early spring!  Yipppeeee!! (Please take a moment to knock on any wood you may be sitting near right now...Thank you!)  He does, however, have staring spells every so often, which could  be  another type of seizure--but the jury is still out on that one.  Either way, Miracle Man continues to be monitored on a regular basis by everyone who spends any amount of time with him, as well as the neurologist.

And that, my friends, is all I have to say about that.  (For the time being, at least!)

Ta-Ta For Now,

MM





7 comments:

  1. Tears were flowing. It must have taken a lot to write all that out. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I am sorry I made you cry! :( It did take a lot! I had tears flowing, as well. Thank you for reading, MeliD, my fellow-twin-momma! :)

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  2. ps - I can also relate to the spaghettios...what mom can't? Seems I remember you and Brandon both in high chairs, continually tipping your dinners over onto the floor.....they rolled off the table..and onto the floor....and then your spaghettios....were nothing but mush! And you looked very pretty all decorated in orange!

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  4. Here too - tears. It reminded me of when you fell off the bunk bed after your 6th birthday party and the ambulance was called. IMPOSSIBLE to keep a mom calm. You did super well Marathon Momma, keeping your presence of mind. In those situations, the calmer you are, the calmer the children will be. This is especially true with seizures.

    Listen. Kids are going to fall and bump their heads. Unless you keep them in a snowman suit from head to toe, they are going to get the inevitable bumps and bruises. Obviously, seizures are so much more frightening - the worst part is that you feel so helpless. Don't beat yourself up over any of it. You are exemplary as a mom. Remember, no mom and no human is perfect!

    Now.....that was in the past - it is not necessarily a predictor of the future. So don't project worries and fears. What happened, happened. Purge it now, and let it go. Every day is filled with things needing your attention - you don't need to carry this with you constantly.

    Writing can be both cathartic and therapeutic. You can't take everything on your shoulders and you were never meant to bear these things alone. Do you remember I wrote a piece called "Stepping Stones" many years ago? It's like walking on a garden path, each stepping stone is an experience. You examine it and try to learn what you can from it, but you don't put them in a sack and carry them all with you. I've been going through years of releasing things I had no control over, either.

    Remember, you ARE important, too! Sometimes we forget that mommies are people too. Especially when the kids are not yet self-sufficient. A stressed mom = stressed kiddles. Loved what you said about Little Miss - she's amazing! So smart.

    And, yes you kids were lots of fun. Those were truly the best days of my life!

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