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Febrile seizures: A new challenge for the new year

I think if we needed to close out the year of 2012 with a bang and start with a clean slate we would score a 10.

My occupational therapy groupies from grad school planned an end of the year reunion in Warren. The festivities included dinner and some games, along with visiting and watching Jordan as they last saw him in June.

These are the girls who were there for me when we found out about Jordan’s spina bifida diagnosis. We were studying a couple of days a week for our licensure exam when we heard the future for our baby.

Jordan seemed a little off before we left. Of course we’ve been battling ear infections and reactive airway disease – and possibly RSV – over the past few months so it wasn’t anything new for him not to be feeling great.

As we were playing he seemed to be getting a little warm. We decided to play a quick game of Apples to Apples and pack it up to get him home for some medicine and rest.

Randy went out to start the car and I was wrapping up our conversations. Jordan’s new trick is to close his eyes then open them up with a cheesy grin on his face.

While I was talking, he said, “Mom, Mom!”closed his eyes and gave me the grin that melts my heart. I looked up, then my friend said, “Aw look he’s laying his head on the ground.”

This is nothing new, because when he doesn’t feel well he’ll lay his head down then get up and continue crawling. As I looked down, I saw our baby boy go rigid with his eyes rolling to the side. It was my heart’s most fearful moment.

I turned him over and shouted for someone to call 911 because he was having a seizure. Randy then entered the room to find a panic stricken mommy and his son unresponsive on the floor. In that moment I cried out to Jesus, because I didn’t want to see anything happen to the child he had given us.

As we watched his mouth turn blue, Randy and I started what we remembered about rescue breathing. All of the CPR classes in the world could not have prepared me for the moment to help our baby.

Randy then asked me to leave the room.  Usually I wouldn’t have complied but I knew that there were plenty of people there to help our son and I needed to gather myself.

While in the garage I could only pray that God would save our sweet boy.  A minute or so later I re-entered the room to find him breathing but still unconscious. His look of helplessness made my stomach cringe with fear.  I could only sing to our son as I held him close.

When the ambulance arrived I carried him out and in a panic attempted to give the information calmly. I asked them to please save our son. When asked where we wanted him taken I remembered there was an Akron Children’s Hospital in the area, so they transported us to the Beeghly campus in Boardman.

Our EMT, Ray, was able to keep us calm during our ride. Jordan was still a little groggy and fell asleep until he woke up to some small bumps. At that time I asked if he wanted me to sing to him. He said, “Yeah.”

After our song, I asked if he wanted to give me his famous zerbert on my hand, “Yeah.” As he pursed those sweet lips and blew I knew everything would be ok. He heard me and gave a little sweet giggle.

Randy followed in our car. In the heat of the moment he thought to contact the neurosurgery department to see what Dr. Chen wanted to have done.

God worked it out that she was available when he called. Dr. Chen was able to pull up his file and requested a CT scan in which she would get because we were going to be at a Akron Children’s facility. God is AWESOME!

We were seen by great Akron Children’s staff. Dr. Stoker was kind and calm as he examined our Peanut. He found he had a double ear infection and influenza A. He informed us Jordan had had a febrile seizure.

It happens to children 3 months – 5 years when their temperature rises too quickly. These types of seizures are not dangerous as far as brain damage, but it was still one of the most terrifying events we may experience.

One of our concerns was that it may be related to Jordan’s shunt. A shunt CT scan was performed revealing there weren’t any concerns with the shunt. Praise the Lord!

Our nurses Shelly and Missy were amazing as they treated us with respect and the calm demeanor parents need when their child is in the ER. We were even blessed with Rebecca, the child life specialist. She brought a smile to our faces as she blew bubbles to lift our spirits.

If we had to be in the situation we were in, God’s hands were all over it. One, we had not left the house. Had we left the house we may have not have noticed until later what was happening or knew where to tell the ambulance to come.

Two, we were in an area where there was an Akron Children’s Hospital. This gave the medical professionals access to Jordan’s records and allowed the specialists to have easy access to read results.

Three, Dr. Chen was readily available to discuss her wishes and talk with Randy about febrile seizures.

Finally, as I felt so helpless to help our child, I realized I am not in control. God has blessed us with a child who is His. He has a plan. He knew when Jordan was born and when he is ready Jordan will leave this world.

We will take the moments we have with him and treasure them. I will forever remember right before our world was shaken, “Mom, Mom..” Blink…Grin.

I guess that goes for each one of us. We never know which moments will be our last or how our worlds may change at a blink of an eye.

Read more about Megs’ and Randy’s journey of raising a child with spina bifida through her blog, Labor of Love.

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  1. My daughter does not have spina bifida but I can very much relate to the febrile seizures.
    At 19 months old, my daughter not only had one…but TWO seizures within a 24 hour period. She is now 17 years old but that day remains fresh in mind as if it was yesterday. A parents worse nightmare happening right before your eyes….to see your small child turn blue in the face, eyes rolled back, and breathless. 
    Our 911 dispatch had us performing CPR when the paramedics arrived and finally (like a gift from God) she gasped and started breathing again. Somehow I managed to stay calm & focused until after we were at the hospital, then it hit me that I just had to perform CPR on my beautiful baby girl. What a horrifying thing to go through!! We spent five days at Akron Childrens Hospital while they tried to figure out what was causing her high temps. They are so wonderful :)
    Prayers to you & Jordan!!

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