I’m going to dig a little into the seizure in hopes that writing it all down will help me recognize possible future seizure triggers and also to get it out. Last Monday i was way too emotionally fried to write much about it.

So last Sunday she slept pretty well for naps. I was expecting her to be up until 7 or so. Around 5, she started getting fussy and wanting to nurse. I would nurse her and she’d act like she wasn’t hungry, popping off and trying to climb around. So I tried solids. She threw everything on the floor and didn’t want any of it. By 5:30 she was incredibly fussy and I decided to skip the dinner F had spent most of the day cooking and put her to bed. She continued to whimper in her sleep and started running a slight temperature. We gave her some Advil. In the morning (Monday) she seemed fine. She refused all food at school and most of the milk they tried to give her. At 12:20 they called and said she had a fever of 101 and we should come get her. It was F’s turn, so he went and got her and brought her home. She was still feverish and fussy so he called the nurse line and got an appointment for 2pm. At 1:45 he was texting me anxiously. He couldn’t find his wallet and he wasn’t sure what to do. I told him there was no copay for sick visits, and if there was they could just bill us. So at 2:05, when I saw the doctor’s office calling, I reached for my wallet. I figured they needed a credit card number right now. The conversation seemed to take a long time to get there.

“Is this Mama Triumphant?”
“J’s mom, right?”
“Yes, that’s right”
“This is SoAndSo from the pediatrician’s.”
“Hi, how are you?”
“Oh I’m fine. We have your husband and J here today, and I wanted to call you and let you know” as I’m reaching for my wallet and preparing to explain, “J has had a seizure.”

My hand dropped from my pocket. “Oh my god” I said, unable to even form a useful sentence. Her words echoed around in my head, setting off fireworks of fear and sending hot tears burbling down my cheeks without my permission. “Oh my god” I said again, bringing the full bore of my intelligence to the conversation. The nurse kept talking as while I packed my pumping gear with hands that were shaking so badly I kept missing getting the pieces into my bag. “Dad’s here with her and we’ve got doctors Someone and SomeoneElse taking good care of her. EMS is here and they’ll be going to the hospital shortly.” “Is she okay??” I finally manage to ask. The nurse assures me that they’re taking good care of her. She asks if I need directions to the hospital and I tell her just the address. I scribble it on my hand in barely legible sharpie and finally have my stuff together and can leave my office. I stop by my boss’s office, just long enough to interrupt her in a meeting and tell her I have to go because J just had a seizure. She’s waving me out the door before I finish my sentence. I stop by the freezer to grab my milk (on autopilot, or I would have left it there) and run to my car.

Before driving to the hospital, I stop and take a couple deep breaths. I’m proud to say that before I got on the road I reminded myself that I wouldn’t do anyone any favors if I wrecked my car in the way, so I might as well drive safely. I managed to actually drive safely only because I was terrified of anything slowing me down (accident, getting pulled over, missing a turn, anything). All I wanted in the whole world was to get to J and hold her and see with my own eyes that she was okay.

It’s a good thing I didn’t hurry. When I walked in to the ER, they said she hadn’t arrived yet. I was much closer to the hospital than the pediatrician, and she was stable so the ambulance didn’t turn on their lights. As I was sitting in the waiting room, I gradually started to lose the calm that I’d carefully collected during my drive. I was chatting with my sister on IM and she was helping me stay calm, but waves of panic and tears kept washing over me. Eventually another woman who was in the waiting room with her little boy gave me a pep talk about how mamas are strong and when my little girl does arrive I need to be calm for her, so pull it together. And she was right. And somehow I pulled myself together. 30 minutes later I went to ask again about her arrival. She’d just been checked in.

They led me to her room, and I found her with a bunch or wires coming off her, sitting in dad’s lap on a hospital bed. She smiled when she saw me but it wasn’t her usual rambunctious grin/wave/crawl to mama that she usually does. That was okay. I went over and took her up and held her and rocked her and felt for the first time that we, all three of us, would be okay.

The hospital visit was pretty uneventful. I brought some toys with me (I had the diaper bag) and waited for the doctor with J while Dad, who hadn’t eaten yet that day, found the cafeteria. The doctor came in right as he got back. She had no ear infection, no rashes, nothing to explain her fever. She didn’t need a spinal tap to check for meningitis because she was up on her vaccinations, but because her fever was unexplained, he wanted a urine sample. I jokingly asked if they could just take her diaper. No such luck, but he did say I could nurse her while waiting for the nurses to come get the sample. She nursed for a few minutes then fell asleep in my lap.

The nurses came in about 20 minutes later, finished checking her in, gave her an ankle band, and asked me to hold her still while they catheterized her. One nurse held her bottom half while I held her arms and talked soothingly to her. The other nurse was quick and good. He got the catheter in the first try, and said she didn’t even twitch. She was screaming the whole time but I think much of it was that she was tired and wanted to nurse/sleep and was frightened of strangers touching her. Her cry didn’t change noticeably with the catheter, so I don’t think it was too painful.

After the quick test for bladder/kidney infection came back negative, they hustled us out before the shift change. At the time I was a little annoyed at how quickly they tried to get us out of there, but in retrospect and remembering her birth, I’m grateful and glad. We took the back way home because it was 5:30 at that point and rush hour was in full swing. I dropped dad off at his car then we went home and put J to bed.

We alternated Advil and Tylenol all night and through part of the next day.

And that was J’s seizure.

We don’t know yet why she had it, but everyone is hoping/thinking it was a febrile seizure.

A brief overview of dad’s experience: he was pulling to the pediatrician’s office when he heard J breathing strangely. He looked behind him to back out nds straighten his parking job when he saw her arm twitching and stiff. He parked where he was and ran around to the back seat to get her. Both arms were bent and her whole body was completely stiff and trembling. Her eyes were rolled back into her head and to the left and she was having a lot of trouble breathing. He ran with her into the office and shouted, “Please help me, my daughter is having a seizure!” They got her on oxygen and albuterol and there was not much room in the exam room where they were treating her so he got out of the way. He heard a nurse say, “there you are” and then heard J’s voice. He estimates the whole thing took about 5-7 minutes.