Monday, February 4, 2008

So about this seizure thing...

L, my youngest, is 21 months old. On January 10, she had a seizure at 5:30 that lasted about 5 minutes, for which we took her to the ER. The diagnosed it as a febrile seizure, she recovered, and we went home. Then at midnight, she had another, about the same. With that one, she was admitted for observation, definitely a "just-in-case" move. She was fine overnight, then at 8:30 a.m. on the 11th, she got hit with another. This one started as a tonic-clonic (or grand mal) seizure for about 10 minutes, slowed for about 5 minutes, then triggered right back to a tonic-clonic that lasted for another 75 minutes. The doctors were calm and letting it run its course for what I think was 25 minutes, but then they hooked up the oxygen monitor. Her o-stats were in the 70s and her heartbeat in the 200s. They started administering the anti-seizure medicine, getting all sorts of people in the room.

My job was to keep her on her side so the food she was vomiting wouldn't choke her, and hold that oxygen mask on her tiny face. I called my husband after 45 minutes, and he started the process of getting a sub and making the 37 mile drive to the hospital from his work. After about an hour, I called a dear friend who was there in 5 minutes. Great timing, because shortly after she arrived, they told me they were going to intubate and transfer her to a bigger pediatric hospital. That's when it sunk in that she wasn't okay, she was bad enough to be flown 2.5 hours away. I left the room while they intubated her and cried. Then, by the time the helicopter and my husband arrived, I had pulled it back together, except for the shaking. I'm shaking even now as I type this, reliving it.

So I'll sum up the next part...they flew her, we drove. Her lung collapsed during the transport, and she had one minor seizure-type episode on the 11th. They took out her intubation on the 11th, and she finally woke up on the 12th. She slept most of the 12th and 13th, but was literally bouncing up and down in her crib-cage by rounds on Monday. They sent us home with diastat to administer if she has another seizure.

The local docs said she doesn't look like she has any permanent damage. She can walk, she can talk, she can draw and eat and little stuff like that. Emotionally, she was higher than a kite for about 10 days. We were so excited when she finally cried, thinking maybe it was a sign her emotion-box was okay. But she still wasn't doing everything she'd been doing before.

Last night L remembered how to take off her shoes. It may seem like a little thing, but she had just learned how to do it hours before her first seizure, and could not do it since. The shoe thing was especially exciting to me -- tears in the eyes exciting -- because I thought that once she could do that, the last skill she'd mastered before getting sick, then that meant she'd caught up what she'd lost. In reality, there are still at least a dozen things she can't do at all and another dozen she doesn't do the same, but she's making progress a lot faster than I thought. She remembered how to count to five, say almost everyone's names, and say yes and no this weekend.

So what are we still watching and waiting for? L is not kissing us, saying home or touchdown, going down the stairs, signing all done or more, or giving up her thumb (which she'd almost stopped). She can say bye-bye, but when you ask her to, you can actually see in her eyes that she can't remember how to make that B sound. Then if I ask her to say ba-ba-ba-blaine (for a boy in daycare), she'll say that, and then can say bye-bye. Her little mind just can't remember where that B sound is. Her words aren't as clear and she's still falling a lot, but I know from last week's tympanogram that she still has fluid in her ears, so I'm hopeful that is why she keeps falling and why her speech isn't as clear. Also, her emotions are more normal, more to be expected, as compared to the crazy happy she was the past two weeks.

So, how's that for an excuse to be a silent-blogger? What a way to start 2008.

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