Friday, July 13, 2012

We're fine. Now.

Since I started my new job, we've had to bounce Emily between family members and daycare.   It's getting old.   It's hard on all of us, but until my pay gets back to where we are used to.

It's how we have to live.   And it sucks.

Friday, June 29th, Emily had a busy day playing with my sister and brother in law, and their four kids.  It was warm - it had been raining - and they played hard.  When I picked her up shortly before 4, her forehead felt warm.  As if she'd been running in the sun.  Recently.   Except, she hadn't been.  She had been inside, in a large air conditioned building.  For at least an hour.
Thinking nothing of it, we continued on our way, ran our errands and headed out onto the lake (our after work routine for the months of April through October. .. Ice Out to Ice In.)  After about 30 minutes or so - Em started to fall asleep.  Again, nothing new for her ... up until this year, she has fallen asleep on the boat everytime we're on it.  The way the boat moves, the sun, the fresh air, perfect nap material.
The following day, she had an appointment (more on that later) ... we had some other errands to run, and while sitting down for lunch - we received a phone call alerting us to the fact that Mike's dad was being brought to the ER by his mom.  His heart was beating a little fast, and with his history, they needed to monitor him (He is okay, he has since been sent home - and will be following up with his cardiologist) ... We went to Em's appointment, and then visited them in the ER (not my idea .. I would rather have sheltered her from seeing her grandfather hooked up to every machine imaginable, with tubes and wires and leads and monitors and crap everywhere.  It scared the shit out of her, and she was still not feeling well - so she was really really clingy to me.)  After hanging out there for a few hours (don't ask) - we headed to the lake.  The best way to unwind, we've found, is by floating the stresses away.  Ensuring we had our phones charged, and with us - in the event that we were needed, we took off and left dock.

We have a few friends on the lake (okay that's an understatement) - but so does Emily.  There are 2 kids that stay at the house next to my parents, where we dock, that have adopted her as their Summer Little Sister.  And She Loves It.  However, on this day?  She wanted nothing to do with them, the water, the boat, the sun, nothing.  She wanted to sleep.  So She did.  Again, thinking nothing of it, we continued our day.  I played with the other kids, Mike kept an eye on Em - notifying me of every whimper she uttered, and monitored her temp.  It was a steady 99.5 for the previous 30 hours.  We weren't concerned.
Backing up a touch - we got a flat tire on Friday night ... it took a few hours to get it changed (the spare was at home, and Mike had to walk 1/2 a mile to the house to get it, and then drive his truck back to us.  Then the hub wouldn't release, and it was a nightmare)  She slept through it - but we had to keep the back door of the van open, for access to the tools and what not.  Since she's allergic to bug bites, and we hadn't sprayed her with bug spray for a couple hours - we knew she'd get bit - but there was little we could do.  We covered her with towels, and kept things open as little as possible.  She ended up getting a really large swollen bite on the collar bone, that swelled the size of a golf ball - I gave her tylenol and benedryl, and we went about our business.
Keeping that in mind - it's now Saturday night at 8pm.  Emily had asked to come home.  She actually started to cry, and curled up next to me on the bench seat, and fell back asleep.  We took one loop around the lake, to let her sleep more, and headed in.  After arriving home, Em had some ramen noodle soup for dinner (half the flavor packet and 1 1/2 times the water necessary so that it wasn't as loaded with sodium.) - she ate it fine, and snuggled with us watching some silly tv to let it digest.  At 10pm, her fever had spiked to 102.6.  Not the highest she's ever had so - we went about what we would normally do.  We gave her Triamenic Fever Reducer (that had been given to us by the pediatrician the last time her fever spiked out of control - for no reason), changed her into some cooler clothes, and sent her to bed.

An hour later, as I was going about my nightly routine, I went in to kiss her goodnight again, and take her temperature.

Her room is set up a little weird.  It's a rectangle, however, there is a small cubby like area that juts over the stair case in one corner (perfect little reading nook when she's a bit bigger, now it's home to her Rose Petal Cottage).  The other, is where her closet is, and where the closet from the spare room is takes over the other half of that wall.  The part that juts out - has the light switches on it.  I turned on the light, and rounded the corner.
what I witnessed was terrifying, and I cannot explain how I kept it together, but I did.  

I will preface this by saying - Emily is Fine.  Completely 100% Healthy.  Now.
As I rounded the corner, and laid eyes on her - she was laying on her belly - her body went rigid, her back arched, her arms went to the sides, her hands curled and pointed down.  Her eye lashes fluttered, and her eyes rolled back in her head.  I knelt down next to her bed - gently put my hand on her arm, and tried to get her to talk to me.  She didn't respond.
3-5 seconds.  That's all it lasted.  3-5 seconds of pure terror.  3-5 seconds of not knowing if my child would live.  Not knowing what was going on, what to do, or how to make it stop.
Once her body went slack, I shook her a little to wake her.  She sat up right.  The following conversation occured:
M (mommy):  Em?  Are you okay?  Can you talk to mommy please?  I need you to say something.
E: (emily) Hi Momma, I'm okay.  I just .. My neck hurts, and I'm really tired.    I just want to go back to sleep okay?
M:  No, I'm sorry sweetheart, we have to go see a doctor okay?
E: Okay, can I sleep little more?
M:  Sure can, I'll carry you Ok?

At this point, I scoop my baby (who is not such a baby anymore - but a 5 yr old whose legs reach to my knees when I carry her, when the hell did she get so damn big) and Marvin (her giraffe that she cannot under any circumstances sleep without and begin the trek downstairs.

M: Hon?!  We have to go to the hospital - right now. 
D (daddy): Okay, we're going.  what do we need?  what happened? is she okay?
Halfway down the stairs:
E:  Why am I going back downstairs Mom?  (Now wide awake)
M: Because we need to go see the doctor for a bit okay?  And because it's so late, we have to go to the hospital.
E:  I don't want to go!!!
M:  I know honey, but something just happened that I can't fix.  I don't know what happened, or what to do, and Mommy needs answers okay?  You were so brave today, can you do that again for me?  Please baby?
E: Okay, I'm just gonna lay down here though - pointing to the couch - okay?
M: Sure honey.
I took her temperature again

M: (in the kitchen, out of ear shot of Em) - This can't be right, it's reading 99.9, but I took it twice - It's too low, It Cannot Be Right.  *sigh*  I think she just had a seizure, and I don't know what to do.  I've never seen anything like it.  Ever.  I'm terrified, and I need answers.
D: okay, let's go.  What do we need?
M: Keys, license, insurance card, that's it.  Let's go
it's now 11pm, one hour has passed since what I witnessed.  We enter the ER - and wait briefly until our name is called.
It is the weekend before the Fourth - and surprisingly, it's not slammed busy.  However, there is one doctor on.  One.  Not nearly enough for the patients that are apparently in rooms behind the door.

We waited a bit for the doctor to get to us - and once he did, I explained what I saw - and what her temperature change was.  It was a rapid drop, too rapid.

Dr (useless ER Dr. Brand):  I think, based on what you're describing - and looking at her now (he'd done the ear, temp, eye, and such tests) - Emily experienced a Febrile Seizure.  We're going to need to do a urinalysis, and a blood test, to rule out other things.  But generally these are harmless, and occur between 6months and 6years old.  They may only happen once, or could reoccur.
M: Okay.  Let's do it.
Dr: The nurses will be in shortly to take her to the bathroom, and again a few minutes after to take her blood.  I'll be back with the results.

An Hour Passes.  The last time Emily had to pee in a cup - it took hours.  HOURS and seriously - was the most torturous experience of my life.  She ended up peeing the moment we walked through the doors, into a "hat" (greatest invention ever) ... the ER, however, isn't equipped with this miraculous piece of plastic.  Sonsabitches. 

M:  Em?  You're going to have to pee in this cup? Okay?  They don't have a hat, and if you want to go home, you have to pee in this cup.
E:  Okay.

3 minutes later?  She's done - proudly washes her hands, and walks up to the nurse
E: You're going to be SO proud of me!! I PEED IN THE CUP!  WITH NO PROBLEMS!!  Filled it RIGHT UP!
N (nurse): Good for you!  (odd look crosses her face)
M: Last time it took hours.  Just trust me, this is huge.
N: Okay, I'll get this tested.  We'll be back in a few minutes - for the uh, next part?
M: Sounds good - Em, let's go tell daddy!

We arrive at the room, and Em regales her tale of peeing-in-the-cup to daddy.  who is beyond proud of this accomplishment.

An Hour Later.  (for those of you keeping score? It's now 1am)

A nurse and a phlebotomist wheel their equipment into the room - and freak my five year old entirely out of her tree.  She screams so loud, and carries on for so long - that I cannot calm her down.  And neither can Mike.  This only adds to the trauma of the evening for all of us.
A nurse by the name of Joe calmly walks in. He is a soldier who has recently returned from overseas.  He is a wonderful nurse, and an amazing man.  We like him.  Immediately, Emily likes him.

J: Hi.  My name is Joe.  What's yours?
E: *through wracking sobs and hiccups*  Emily Grace Mayo.  Hi Joe.
J: Would you like it if I taught you how to be brave?
E: Yes, *hiccup*, please.
J: ok, I'll be right back, hop up there with mommy okay?  She's going to help too.

A minute or so passes, and Joe returns with a warmed blanket.  He proceeds to place Emily the way he needs to her lay, and wraps her comfortably with his warm blanket - and then lays across her legs - a bit.  Not his entire weight, but enough to keep her still.

Her left arm is straight at her side, and they begin the process of removing 3 vials of blood.

J: Okay, Emily?  I want you to look right here, at me.  Keep your eyes right here.  Okay?
E: O-okay.  OWWWWWWWW IT HURTS!!!!!!!
At this point they've put the needle in her arm, and are trying to keep her calm.

J: Don't look there, look here - now, when it hurts?  Pretend you're blowing out a birthday candle.  Ready?  Go.
She does (alternating between inhaling and exhaling to the point of hyperventilating and asking if it was over, and if the needle was out yet ---), then in what seems like forever, it's over.  Joe returns with stickers, and the other 2 ladies, leave the room.  Heads bowed low, apologies whispered.  And then they're all gone.  Emily finally falls asleep, and we tuck her in on the bed.
Two Hours Later.

TWO HOURS LATER.  (these people and I - are not friends)
The doctor finally returns and tells us her white blood cell count is a little low, and they're waiting on our pediatrician to call back with some advice and answers.

20 minutes later, we're released with discharge information, and the instruction to call and make an appointment with her pediatrician ASAP.  We agree and gather our child, Marvin, paperwork, the blanket that Emily was wrapped up in (damn right we took it - okay, so Joe offered it to us to protect her from the early morning air.  Whatevs.  We have it now!! HAHA!) and what is left of our thoughts - and head for home.

It is now 320am.  We have been up since about 6am Saturday.  We are exhausted.

Emily curls right up in her bed, Mike follows suit in ours ... me?  I'm awake.  All night.  Alternating checking  on her, and googling (bad idea mom.  Especially on little to no sleep).   At 7am I called my mom, after not having made contact the night before, I wanted to explain why we called so late.  In the middle of telling her what happened - I burst into tears.  The first actual emotion - aside from slight fear - I could show in hours.

Regaling this tale is something we've time repeatedly since then it does not get easier with each telling however ... it is nothing I wish to have happen again, but am (in a sick way) glad that it did.  Now I know what to do.  Now I know how to handle the situation - the questions to ask, the things to look for, the proper (if there ever is such a thing) course of action.

I called the on call nurse of our peditatricians office a little later, and after asking more questions, and getting further answers - she has me wake Emily up, take her temperature, and see if she can touch her chin to her chest with ease, and no pain.  She can.  Her temp is 99.8, and she is pissed I woke her up.
I call my immediate supervisor, at home, and explain to her what has happened - telling her I'd be in in the morning - but may either be late, or have to leave early to take Emily in to see her doctor.  She presses for me to take the day off, but Mike has so it's not necessary.  I need to focus on other things for a little bit, and have some normal brought in my life.

I have now been up for 27 hours straight.  Since we were given instructions to stay home, lay low, and hang out in the A/C - have a "Watch Movies in your jammies day" - we had some prepping to do.  Which meant, one of us would have to leave to get some things at the store.
D: Why don't you lie down with her, and sleep while she's napping?
M: are you out of our mind?  I'm not going to be able to sleep while she's napping.   I'll be checking on her every 7 seconds.

D: Okay, here's the list. go.
M: We really need stuff at the store?
At this point, Mike hands me the keys and list, and ushers me out the door.

I run to the jewelers, and get my rings inspected (they're supposed to be done every 6 months - June & December, but I had forgotten my certificate the day before, and had to do it the following. all was fine) .. when finished, text home to see how she's doing.

Go across the parking lot to the grocery store - text again.  Get the few things on the list, rent some movies and text more.

Check out, call home - ask how they are, what they're doing, if they want something to eat.

Get Lunch for Me & Em (Mikey had left overs)

Get home, put away the groceries, and eat lunch (completely unhealthy Big Mac - but damn it I needed the comfort)

After we pop in one of the movies I rented - (I have no idea what it is, I don't think I focused enough to retain anything) - I doze off a few times, and sleep through most of whatever is on TV anyway.

We have dinner a few hours later, her fever is back but not high - at all.  She goes to bed, and shortly after she falls asleep - we head upstairs too.

After tossing and turning for 3 minutes, I decide I can't sleep in my room - what if I don't wake up and it happens again.  I go in her room, and ask her if I can snuggle with her.  She happily (groggy and still mostly sleeping) agrees, moves over, and immediately turns to snuggle my arm.

Still unable to sleep, I read on my kindle for a while, and check her temperature every 15 minutes.  just in case.  Because, you know, it could happen again, though - it probably won't.

The last time I checked her temperature was 1am.   She cracked her eye open, turned to me and whispered:
"Again Momma?  Am I okay now?  can we please sleep"

heavy sigh.  I told her yes, she immediately fell asleep and I continued my vigil   At 2am, her fever broke.   how do I know?

She was drenched in sweat, shivering, and her temperature was perfect 98.7 degrees.

Me?  Still didn't sleep.  Around 6am, she crawled out of bed, went into my room kissed her daddy, came back and told me she was awake.   I must have dozed for a bit, not long I did happen to see 5:48am across her radio.

Knowing I had to go to work for the day on hardly any sleep since Friday Night, I got up and set about my usual routine.

I arrived at work with 2 minutes to spare.   Stay until 1:30 because the doctor can see Em at 2.

Upon arrival at the doctors office, I update our paperwork (new work info) andpay an outstanding bill (thank you high deductible insurance) once we're ushered into a room, and see the doctor - and relive our tale once more .. Emily is given the all clear, she is 100% healthy.  What happened is normal.  What happened was scary.  What happened was nothing we could prevent, prepare for, see coming, nothing.  What happened.  Happened.

What happened might happen again.

this is why bouncing her from place to place?  Is really starting to worry me

To make this incredibly long, drawn out, how can I even organize a sentence story that much shorter .... She's fine.

It hasn't happened since, and thank GOD because I?  Wouldn't survive it.

1 comment:

Jessi said...


I can't imagine.

Glad all is well