Yesterday evening, my parents were babysitting for us during date night. About an hour after bedtime, Jayce woke making an odd noise. Dad checked on him. Jayce was acting weird. His eyes were open and he was breathing, but my mom said he was not responding to auditory or physical stimulus. They tried to rouse him unsuccessfully for several minutes before they called 911.
Jayce was acting odd before bedtime too. Josiah wondered if something was making him lose his balance because he kept crashing when he tried to crawl. He was also uncharacteristically still when Dad held him.
By the time the EMTs arrived, followed by us a few minutes later, he was looking much better. They confirmed he did have a fever. Not super surprising, since Justine picked up yet another cold earlier in the week and shared it first with me, and most recently, Jayce. (This will be our fourth since Thanksgiving, for those keeping track. Ugh.) During their efforts to rouse him, Jayce exhibited several common seizure signs, so the paramedics advised us to take him to the hospital.
You might remember a post from summertime describing a less severe version of this story. I thought I saw Jayce vibrating during a nap. It was the second time I had seen that behavior in a week or two. At this second occurrence, the pediatrician advised us to visit the ER just to be safe.
That ER visit was largely useless. They were not able to confirm or deny a seizure episode. We followed up with an EEG and a trip to the neurologist later that fall, neither of which uncovered any cause for alarm.
So yesterday evening at about 8 pm, we packed Jayce into the SUV and sloshed through the nighttime snowfall to Akron Children’s in downtown. We brought Mom along as our eye-witness while Dad and Justine (who did not appreciate being woke from her sleep, thank you very much) followed in the van.
I will say this about Akron Children’s: Everyone was very friendly and super efficient. Our main nurse was named Troy. We both agreed he was one of the most helpful, articulate, sensible child healthcare professionals we have met–and that’s coming from parents who have met their fair share!
The experience was over in about three hours. Jayce has a temperature and a cold. He does not have the flu. Unlike our previous trip to the ER, they did diagnosis him with an actual seizure.
Seizures sound scary but are not innately dangerous. There are lots of causes and even several types of seizures from what I understand. A fairly common type is the ferbrile seizure; it happens in children 6 months to 6 years of age who have a fever. So, really not that big of a deal.
This is the seizure type they initially diagnosed him with. However, towards the end of our visit they decided to switch to just “seizure” because he was not exhibiting the shaking arms typically present. Troy said it was possible–even likely–that it still was only a febrile seizure, but given his possible previous history with the behavior and overall health during the first year of life, they preferred not to call it something that is easily dismissed.
The neurologist felt there was no need to admit us or do further testing that night. They gave us some prescriptions to help with the fever, and hey, even gave me some advice on how to help the rash he always seems to have on his face!
(In the big picture of things, his ever-red cheeks just weren’t high on my list of medical priorities to this point.)
We got home shortly before midnight. Both kids slept like rocks. Not the case for the parents, as you can imagine. Between some intense cold meds, stress over trying not to wake Josiah with my hacking, and both of us monitoring the kids’ camera feed much closer than we have done for months, the night had its up and downs for the big people.
But everyone is doing great this morning. The kids slept late this morning, which meant we got to as well. (Hallelujah!) Jayce is acting normal, though he still feels warm. We are doing what we can to alleviate their discomfort as they struggle through the cold bug.
Somehow, Josiah seems to avoid these things when they sweep through our house. So I am taking a chill day with lots of fluids and hopefully a nap while he and my dad handle the kids.
Once again, we are thankful for reliable vehicles, a good children’s hospital close by, support from grandparents, and medical staff who can help our little troublemaker over any unexpected surprises. We ended the evening with a quick and slightly-incoherent thank you to God for watching over him better than we ever could. Thanks to all of you for your support as well!
Here’s to a less eventful (and less congested!) night ahead.