Before anyone worries because of the subject line, I will start off this post by saying that everyone is okay and home.
Last night at about 11:30 PM, Aden woke up crying. We knew instantly that this meant he was sick since he's a pretty good sleeper. Sure enough, he was running a temp of 103.3. We gave him Tylenol as per our usual and he went back to bed.
Like clockwork, he woke up four hours later at 3:30 AM when the dose had worn off. His temperature was in the mid 102 range so we gave him some more Tylenol and got him settled. Uncharacteristically he was up an hour later, with a temp in the 103s. I got Aden into lighter clothes and held him while Mark called the pediatrician to see if we should take him to the ER. The ped on call said to not do anything to quickly or drastically reduce his temperature, such as ice baths or alcohol rubs. Instead she recommended we give him half a dose of Tylenol and let him rest, which we did.
I decided to sleep in the room with the kidlets in case they needed me. We don't often do that because they know when we are there and it disturbs their sleep.
Sure enough, Aden got up a couple of times in the night but was quickly settled.
The kidlets both got up at 6:45, their usual time and got their bottles. Aden was running a fever in the 102 range and was pretty much not wanting to do anything but sit on the couch next to Mom. He took half his bottle while his sister drained hers and then went about her normal routine of playing. At 8:30, I tried to get Aden to eat since they normally get a mid-morning snack at that time. I realized he hadn't asked for his partial bottle so I was getting concerned. He refused a second bottle, so I cut up strawberries -- one of his favorite fruits -- which he also passed on. Meanwhile Hunter drained her second bottle and ate a couple of strawberries, so I guessed that Aden must be teething since his sister wasn't acting sick as well. I retook his temp, which was in the 102 range. It was higher than I liked but he'd gotten Tylenol a little earlier so I switched his long pants and shirt for shorts and a tee in the hope of bringing his temp slowly down.
Around 9:15 or so, he fell asleep on my chest, which was a blessing because I was exhausted too. We both dozed for about 30 minutes, when he suddenly became restless. I touched his back and he felt as if he were burning up. I decided that I needed to check his temperature and that I'd try getting juice or another liquid on him.
Well, his temp read 103.2 and the second I took the thermometer out, he started seizing. He had his hands in tight fists by his head and his eyes rolled back. Suddenly he started drooling fiercely. He was completely not responsive. I don't think I have ever been more scared.
I called for Mark twice then took off into our room and told him that Aden was seizing and we needed to call 911. I laid him on the bed and Mark looked at him, not seeing what I was seeing, but suddenly he realized what was going on. He put Aden on his side on a pillow and watched his little body shake uncontrollably. Meanwhile I was dialing 911 and asking a dispatcher to send an ambulance to our apartment.
The dispatcher stayed on the line with us, asking questions and directing us on what to do -- move him off the pillows, onto his side, put cool compresses on his head and back. I was freaking but I kept it together. I rapidfired my answers back -- address, phone, info about Aden, descriptions on his behavior at the moment. His breathing got really weird all of a sudden and his little fists were clenched so tightly that they were blue. Then his eyes fully rolled to the back of his head and I thought that he was going to go unconscious. I worried about having to give him CPR.
The dispatcher, God bless her, kept me calm. She told me that the weird sound I was hearing was him coming out of it; that she could hear him breathing and that he was okay. It was probably the longest 3, 5, who knows? minutes of my life before the FDNY showed up. Aden seized for what felt like an eternity but it was probably 5-7 minutes. He was coming back to himself when they came in. The gave him oxygen, took his vitals, checked him out and gently got me moving towards getting us ready for the ambulance ride.
We had 4 FDNY guys, one who clearly had never dealt with a baby having a seizure based on the questions he asked his colleagues but they were all super polite and reassuring. The guy who seemed to be running the show asked me to get Aden a diaper and some clothes -- I brought him into our room buck naked -- so that he would be ready to get in the ambulance. Then 5 minutes later he asked that whoever would be going with Aden in the ambulance should get ready. It was then that I realized that I was standing around in a sheerish shirt with no bra on and that my hair made Medusa's snake-do seem fashionable. I told Mark I'd go because he could drive -- nope, I don't know how to drive -- to meet us at the hospital and threw myself together.
The EMTs arrived just a few minutes after this and went to work on checking Aden out. They asked us which hospital we wanted to go to and we picked Methodist cause it was closest and we'd been there before. By then Aden was fussy and crying but I was thankful because I'd been certain that my son was going to die.
Long story short, Aden had a febrile seizure which are fairly common in children. Approximately 4 in 100 kids will have one. The fact that he had one means that he might have them again in the future so we will have to watch his fevers like a hawk. But, thankfully, as terrifying as the whole experience was, there is little evidence of long-term damage.
Also we discovered at the ER that we had been giving Aden HALF the infant tylenol dosage he should have been getting, hence why his fever wasn't being adequately reduced. Also, the recommendation for fevers over 102 is to use Motrin because it responds better than Tylenol. He also probably has a virus so we can expect for Hunter to get sick in short order also. Thankfully we already have a doctor's appointment for Friday so we'll be going over all this with our pediatrician then.
Aden has been an exhausted sleepy monkey and I am beyond grateful that he is okay. I also supremely grateful that we still have health insurance (until May 31 unless someone gets a job before then.) One of my biggest freak-outs around being unemployed has been concerning the potential loss of health insurance. With two small kids you JUST NEED IT, period. What if he needed to be hospitalized today?
Thankfully we are a-okay. Our family is truly blessed.
(Taken on Monday.)
(Taken on 02/13/09.)