I want to share an experience I had this past week that was by far the scariest thing I have ever gone through; and how it further confirmed my testimony in my God and Savior.
The last few weeks our family has gone through all the head colds and yucky sicknesses going around. Claire was the last to catch it for us, and was having fevers that lasted, so I decided to take her in to get checked just in case. She ended up having an ear infection in her left ear and they gave her some anti biotics. This last Wednesday, when she was almost done with the 10 day anti-biotic regime, she spiked a high fever, but this time it was 104.6. She didnt have any other symptoms, other than the congestion she already had for weeks and being tired from being so hot. I called the nurse hotline for their doctor and asked if I should bring her in. They said to see if it comes down with fever reducing meds and monitor it. If it didnt bring down the fever, bring her in, but that regardless, I should schedule an appointment tomorrow to be seen just in case. Luckily the medicine worked and her fever went back down and we didnt have any issues that night other than an occasional cranky wake up. The next morning she seemed pretty normal and only had a low grade fever, but I felt I should still bring her in just in case, and booked her for the first appointment her doctors office had that day. Her primary doctor was not in for the day, but I have seen almost all of the doctors in that office, so it wasn’t an issue. I had a feeling she probably had an ear infection in the other ear or something, nothing too crazy.
In an hour from me taking her low grade fever temp, to sitting in the office and being called back she felt really hot. They took her temperature and it was back up to 104. They hurriedly gave her some motrin and ran a flu swab to see if she had caught the flu. While waiting for the results, the doctor came in and was talking with me about any additional symptoms and checked her lungs and things looked good. She was going to check on the flu status (which ended up being negative) and then finish the rest of the check up. She was almost out the door when I looked at Claire in my arms (who had been pretty much sleeping in my arms) and her eyes rolled into the back of her head and she started seizing. I freaked out and said “um she’s acting weird!” and the doctor turned around and said “she’s having a febrile seizure!” I frantically asked what should I do and she said to lay Claire down on her side on the table and the doctor called people to come help her into the office. Claire stopped seizing but was just limp, and I heard the doctor say “she’s not breathing! Get the crash cart and the oxygen!” She had been so congested that when she started seizing, mucous plugged her airway and was causing her to turn blue. At that point about 5-6 nurses and doctors rushed in and were working hard. I watched the doctor use several different nasal machines to suck out the mucus before they finally had to get a tiny tube and shove it down her nostrils and into her throat and turn the machine on to super suck it out. She started turning pink again. This whole time I am just standing in the back of the room bawling my eyes out and trying to not be in the way so they can work on making sure Claire is okay. When Claire was breathing, they monitored her oxygen to make sure it was coming back up and called an ambulance to take her to Texas Children’s to do some more tests. Febrile seizures shouldn’t usually cause kids to turn blue and not breathe, so they wanted to make sure there wasn’t an additional underlying cause. While waiting for the ambulance they monitored Claire, who was barely conscious and when she was awake, she was looking right through me. It was like she didnt even recognize me. Finally she just fell asleep and the doctors continued making sure her airways were clear and her oxygen levels were rising. (Her oxygen kept going up and down, so they were being vigilant in keeping up with it). The doctor checked her ears and her right ear looked like it had a bad ear infection, so she said she was going to recommend switching anti biotics, but will wait until she is seen at the ER in case they have a different diagnosis. It was at this point I finally got ahold of Adam and told him what was going on. He had a later work day so he was home getting Bailey from pre-school. Once the EMTs get there they get Claire hooked up to their monitors (who was now awake and knew who I was and crying for me) and ask me to grab my car seat from the van. I was a mess running through the lobby, sobbing, to go grab the car seat and come back. The nurse and doctor were so kind to me and asking if I needed anything, which only made me cry harder and I kept saying I would be fine. I had to shove all the feelings back down so I could get into the ambulance and to the ER and keep it together for Claire. I calmed down a bit in the ambulance and the EMT was being so kind and gentle with me and explaining febrile seizures and what to do when it happens and how to help with fevers etc. He had such a calming presence. Claire was not happy about being in the ambulance in the new environment. In fact she made it a point to yell at the EMT and gave him a piece of her mind. The EMT said this was a good sign and chuckled.
We got checked into the ER and vitals were taken and we were set up in a room. I called Adam and he said he was on his way and that he called into work and that his mom was going to watch Bailey. I was so thankful for that. I needed Adam with me so I could share my feelings and not carry this on my own. Claire was so tired and angry and hungry and just not happy. She wouldn’t let me sit and I had to hold her a certain way, so my 30 week pregnant body took a beating that’s for sure. But the adrenaline was still pretty fresh, so it hadn’t hit me quite yet. They came in and checked vitals and after a few hours finally came in and gave her an anti biotic shot in her leg and eventually we were discharged. When we were getting the discharge papers, the nurse told me to make sure and call the doctor from the office because she kept calling the er over and over. I thanked her and left. When we were driving to the office to pickup the van, I called the doctor and she told me to turn back around and go straight to the ER. She said she was frustrated because she ordered them to do some lab tests and they never did. She said the EMT never relayed the fact that she had turned blue after the seizure, so they didnt do the necessary tests, and she felt it was very important for us to turn around. I said okay and we turned around, a bit shaken up. We get there and they made us reregister and sit in the waiting room and wait, which was really frustrating. At this point the motrin was starting to wear off and her fever was climbing again, which was really freaking me out. I told the nurse and explained that she had just had a febrile seizure a couple hours ago and needed more fever meds. It took them foreeeeever. Claire started shivering and then I started turning into a blubbery mess and Adam was finally able to get a nurse to take us seriously about getting her some meds. Then we were taken back to get chest x-rays done to check that she didnt aspirate into her lungs when she was blue, and also to rule out pneumonia. Afterwards we sat for another couple hours before the er doctor finally came in and said she looked good. She said she didnt want to take blood because she felt Claire looked fine. She prescribed an antibiotic for the ear infection. We thanked her and left. Adam took me to the van and I left to go fill the prescription and Adam went to go pick up Bailey. At this point it was after 5pm. Claire appointment had been at 9:30am. It was a long day. And poor Bailey didnt know what was going on and she missed us all and knew there were crazy emotions going on (she is very sensitive to emotions) so she was a bit of a wreck too. When we were finally all home, I got a call from the doctor in the office asking how Claire was doing and that she wanted to see her the next morning and do some blood labs just in case. I agreed, and then that night we monitored fever meds and made sure she had something every few hours. Luckily Adam’s work said to take Friday off as well if he needed, which he did. I went to get Claire her labs, which was an ordeal in itself. Thankfully it was only a finger prick, but then they had to squeeze enough out to fill the little tube. I broke out in a sweat wrestling her for 5 minutes with her screaming bloody murder while the needle guy got his blood. Whew this girl is freakishly strong! They reswabbed for the flu, which was still negative, and then they needed a urine sample, so they stuck a baggy to her in her diaper and we waited foreeeever. They said I could go home and bring it back later if I needed. Thankfully we did. After being home for about an hour she finally peed and bit and I raced it to their office before they closed for lunch. I got a phone call from the doctor saying everything looked good, and that she may have had a virus on top of the ear infection, which could have also caused the fever spike, but that ultimately it seemed to be the ear infection. She said to just monitor her fevers and if anything changes then bring her back in. Since she has had one, she has more of a tendency to have them in the future now, so we will be making sure her fevers are monitored for a while!
Luckily she is now doing well and improving and been fever free for almost 2 days, and back to her joyful funny self.
This whole experience has been pretty traumatic….but I have felt such an outpouring of love and support from family and those around me. Checking in on us and helping us and praying for us. We have definitely felt it. I have such a strong testimony that God is real, even more so now after going through all of this. The night before Claire had her seizure, Adam had given her a blessing and it said that she would full recovery and be okay, and that her doctors will be inspired to help her as I listen to the spirit guide me. Well that was fulfilled. I had a feeling to bring her in, and happened to be in the doctors office when she had her seizure. Because she stopped breathing and the great effort it took to clear out the mucous, there is no way I would have been able to do that at home. It was a miracle. Claire is here today with us because of the Lord guiding me and her doctor to take the right action in the right moment. I am so grateful for His love and watching out for me and my little family.
I have a testimony of my Savior Jesus Christ, and that He not only knows exactly how I feel because of His Atonement, but He has sent people to me to help me and comfort me and bring peace during this time. Adam being number one. I couldn’t have done this without Adam by my side. Seeing him enter the ER gave me so much relief. The many kind and inspired words of others helping me through this is one I wont forget as well.
I still struggle with flashbacks. Images in my head of her seizing in my arms and limp on the table. It takes my breath away and I have to fight not to burst into tears. I am fighting urges to become a hermit and never let my kids back out in the world of sicknesses and harm…(in fact even going to church is a struggle, and I only made it through the first hour today…but baby steps). I have to learn to trust in the Lord and have faith. To remember to listen to the spirit guide me and I will never be alone. Because we are all never alone. Ever. We just need to turn to His open arms and let them envelope us, because they are always outstretched and waiting.
I am thankful for the things I have learned through this harrowing experience. And now I am off to go snuggle my girls and smooch their adorable faces.
These are our Bits O’ Bertoch.