Tuesday, August 27, 2013

ER Visit

For the most part yesterday was a very normal day, and I had no inkling that I was going to experience the worst few minutes of my life later in the day. It was late in the day and Jason, Carter and I were heading home in the car after eating dinner. We were all counting to ten together as that is currently one of Carter's favorite activities. We were all counting away, and as we started another count to ten Carter stopped at three. Jason made the innocent comment "uh oh, Carter missed number 4" and glanced in the rear view mirror at Carter. He then said "oh my God" in such a way that I knew whatever he saw it was really, really bad. 

I turned around in my seat to look at Carter and felt a wave of horror and panic wash over me as I looked at my child having a full body seizure in his car seat. He wasn't conscious. I climbed into the backseat with him and yanked him out of the car seat. Jason called 911 while driving as fast as he could  to the hospital. Thankfully we were only a few minutes away. 

Carter finally stopped the convulsing from the seizure after what felt like hours but was really only a couple of minutes. However he did not appear to be breathing, his lips were blue and his face was starting to look blue. I took the phone from Jason and sobbed to the 911 officer that he wasn't breathing. I checked his airway for obstructions, then I started performing CPR. I frantically told Jason that Carter wasn't breathing, he wasn't reviving. Jason was driving as fast as he could and yelling at Carter that he loved him. 

The worst moment of my life came when I thought Carter might be dead. I thought nothing would ever top the fear and overwhelming grief that I felt just over a year ago when I held my dying father's head in my hands while telling him that I loved him. What I felt yesterday when I thought Carter had died was nothing compared to that moment with my dad. When I thought Carter had died all I wanted in that moment was to die with him, to try and follow him to wherever it was he might be going. I silently said "dad please help me. I need you to help me." I was so overwhelmingly desperate, and I didn't know what else to do. I kept up the CPR.

Maybe it was just coincidence, maybe it wasn't, but at that moment Carter coughed and started some very labored breathing. We were less than a minute away from the hospital at that point. I sobbed to the 911 operator that Carter was breathing, we were about to pull into the hospital, and hung up the phone. Jason pulled up to the ER with the tires squealing, left the car running and the doors open, and grabbed Carter's limp body from my arms and ran into the ER. 

The ER staff took one look at Carter in Jason's arms, as limp as a dishrag, and had a team of nurses and doctors swarming him in seconds. I stood there and felt like I was having an out of body experience, watching everyone working on my son. It still feels like it had to be happening to someone else. I managed to call my mom and she said the only words I got out were "Carter, seizure, unconscious, hospital."

A few minutes after we arrived at the ER I heard Carter start crying, and it was the most beautiful, most precious sound I had ever heard. Bless the ER doctor who at that point spoke calmly to me and said "mom, he is ok, he is going to be ok, and he has not developed a life threatening condition." 

I am happy to report that by this afternoon Carter had bounced back and was acting almost completely normal. He is really digging the fact that Jason and I are pretty much letting him get away with anything right now. Short of committing murder I don't think there is much he could do at the moment that Jason and I are going to get upset about.  Jason and I are still traumatized, and probably will be for a long time. The consensus is Carter had a febrile seizure brought on by a very rapid onset, high fever. It would be an understatement to say that it is an experience Jason and I hope to never experience again. 

When Carter was finally released from the hospital we were all exhausted when we made it home. We looked like three walking zombies. We got Carter settled in bed and were getting ready to go to bed ourselves.  I looked down to pick up a tissue I had dropped and saw a spider on the floor. Everyone knows I have major spider and snake phobias. I was about to call Jason to deal with the spider when I decided I just didn't have the energy. "Screw it" I said to myself, picked up the nearest shoe, slammed it down on that sucker, and picked it up with a tissue and flushed it down the toilet. Take that you effing spider, and let your friends know it is best not to cross Melissa's path after she's been through that kind of trauma. I didn't expect to have major breakthroughs in other areas of my life but at the moment my spider phobia has seen major improvements.

Yet again I had another life lesson in how quickly things can change. My words of wisdom for the day are to go hug the people that you love because there are no guarantees that you will have that chance tomorrow. 


Murphy and Johnny


Elfin and Grand

Stormy and Clayton

Donovan and Oskar

Wiz and B-Rad

Chance and Leo

I liked how Silky and Traveller seemed to be making a point of ignoring each other

Lighty and Africa watching Darby have a good roll


EvenSong said...

So glad he is back to [almost] normal! What a terrifying evening!
I find myself wondering if Carter had something new for dinner that may have triggered an anaphylactic reaction? Sudden fever high enough to cause a seizure seems odd. But who am I to question those ER docs that brought him through it?
Prayers of thanksgiving...

Anonymous said...

That is beyond scary - I'm so glad he's OK and that it's nothing serious for the long term.

Melissa-ParadigmFarms said...

That is a good thought. The rest of the story is that he does have a viral GI bug that has been going around our area. He had no symptoms prior to the seizure. We were told that febrile seizures are not common, yet not rare either.

KarenTX said...

Oh my! So glad Carter is okay. My son, Clay, picked up a small Lego when he was about 12-14 mos or so, I didn't see him pick it up or I would have taken it away. His dad did and didn't say anything, which is one of the reasons we're divorced. but that's a whole 'nother story! Anyhoo, Clay is in the backseat in his car seat and I hear these choking sounds.......slam the car into park, yank open the backdoor, grab him out of the car seat, turn him over my knee and give some good swift whacks in the back and out pops this Lego. I was finally able to breathe, don't think I had taken a breath since I heard the first choking sound.

You and Jason did everything just right, be proud of yourselves. Carter lucked out with you two. :o)

Anonymous said...



foffmom said...

If I remember correctly, febrile seizures are the most common seizures in childhood. They are terrifying (thankfully usually with no long term damage,except to parents peace of mind), and it is not uncommon for kids to have more than one over their childhood. You might want to prep for "how to deal with seizures" in case there is a next one. If you can prep for "colic, how to diagnose and deal with" you can handle single seizures for sure. You did great! I hope this is his last seizure. But you might feel better if you read up on seizures. Spiders, not so much.

Lori Skoog said...

Melissa, Jason and Carter...I'm so glad everything is ok now and hope you never have to go through anything like that again. Hugs all around!

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

Holy crap Melissa... so glad Carter's okay. My sister had a number of seizures as a child - super frightening for the family members - though thankfully my sister never knew they happened.

RuckusButt said...

Oye, sorry I missed this post. I can't imagine what you guys went through. I wish with all my heart that Carter is ok long term. Sounds promising that it is likely not a biological/genetic issue.

RiderWriter said...

All I can say is oh my God... as a mother of two, I can imagine how you were feeling. Your story made me hold my breath and cry. My "babies" are now 18 and 19 but I hate to tell ya, the worry never stops (especially when they do things like drive eight hours away by themselves for the first time, which is what my daughter is doing as I type). I am SO glad Carter is doing fine now and will hope and pray that continues. I knew about febrile seizures and while we never experienced one, I have seen seizures in a human and dog and they are SCARE-EY! And the not-breathing part is even worse. I do think your Guardian Angel, aka your dad, had a part in things...