June 12, 2012

Emily's seizure

I have recently been praying about whether I should go back to work full time.  A *very* hard decision but one I felt that I needed to look at due to the economy, our finances, and medical insurance woes.  I should also find out this week, the results of a recent interview.  This post describes the answer to my prayer...just certainly not in the way I expected.
Emily-a few weeks ago

I woke up at 6am this morning, hearing Mary's voice ring out in our stairway with an edge to it that would bring any mother to her feet.  My husband was ahead of me but still calling down the stairway about what Mary wanted.  I urged him to just go!

Emily was staying in Mary's room last night because they were staying up late to pack for girl's camp with church.  As soon as I walked into the room and could view Mary's hysteria and Emily's limp body flailed across the bed with hair wildly covering her face....I will admit that there was at least one second of terror that we had already lost her.
Emily and Mary-they have always been close

My husband was soon pushing the phone into my hands and telling me to call 911 as he seemed to be too upset to speak.   I was actually calm....kind of that scary emotionless calm.  Within the next few seconds I determined that she was indeed breathing but not conscious.  I was able to tell the 911 operator our address and that Mary was describing what sounded like a grand mal seizure. 

Mary had woken up about 6am with the bed shaking and was irritated that Sizzles (our dog) had gotten up on the bed and she sat up to shoo her off.  What she saw will likely never be erased from her memory.  Emily was jerking around violently with her arms tightly outstretched and her fingers extended out but curled over at the tips.  She was nearly about to fall and Mary was able to run over to her and gave a good shove to keep her on the bed.  The next moment was when we heard her frantically calling us upstairs.

The 911 operator asked if Emily was beginning to be more conscious...I said that she looked like she had voluntarily moved her head.  She requested that I ask if she knew what her name was.  I did and I got the mumbled and slurred question, "what?"  It was the best "huh, what?" type question I had ever heard....

The first to arrive at our house was our local firefighters...we are so thankful for them!  He was able to get some oxygen on Emily and she was able to answer what her name was.  He asked her how old she was and she answered "15"....well, she is *almost* 15 but not until next month.  She continued to seem a bit more alert.

I noticed that there was blood on the bed from biting her tongue... 

The ambulance arrived.  They informed us that they could only take Emily to the smaller local hospital which tends to have a bad reputation.  I wanted them to take her to the hospital where she and the rest of our family are insured and where the care is so much better. 

Her vitals were now good and she was more alert and talking. 

They again insisted that they could not transport to our hospital. 

I ended up deciding to drive her myself.....I still am not entirely sure that it was a good idea.  The ER doctor later scolded me that it wasn't.  But, I know of stories of deaths that were entirely preventable or caused by the other hospital and just wasn't comfortable. 

So, we started our journey speeding down the road towards the hospital.  Emily was falling asleep and looked grey.  I kept asking her what her birthdate was and asking if she was okay.  She indicated that she felt sick.  She didn't want to talk to me because she was afraid of getting sick.   Luckily I was able to find a bag because the inevitable happened and....it was red.  You can imagine what I thought it was..... but Emily reminded me that she had eaten strawberry sherbet the night before.  I don't think I will enjoy that flavor of ice cream so much anymore.

On down the road we drove and I started to slow down lest I would get pulled over .....and then I realized that for the first time in my life I would truly have welcomed a police officer pulling me over.  They could give us a hospital escort or call 911 and hopefully we would be far enough to get to the "right" hospital.  But, it didn't happen...we kept driving....

I cannot describe the relief I felt when we arrived at the ER....I really and truly can't imagine if my decision to drive her myself had put her at risk.

The ER doctor did bloodwork and it was all normal other than a high blood sugar which was explained to be due to the seizure and something about muscles contracting and releasing sugars into the body.  I was obviously so glad to hear the other results that I couldn't focus much on what all he was saying.

When the doctor came in to give the results of the MRI, he announced with true relief in his voice that it was good news.  He said that it was normal and then admitted that he had prior thought that  Emily probably had a brain tumor.  It was such a mix of emotions.....I appreciated his genuine care for her and yet was traumatized by the mere idea of what it could have been.

He stated that he did, however, think that Emily had epilepsy. 

The doctor said that 50% of folks that have seizures will only have one and nothing else for the rest of their lives.  The unfortunate thing is that Emily recalled a few episodes of waking up and noticing involuntary jerking of her head, hands, and feet.  I don't think I will ever quite understand why she didn't say something to me but she had thought at the time that it was nothing big to worry about since it resolved quickly. 

Emily was given Ativan to temporarily prevent seizures and we were sent home with the instructions to follow up with a neurologist this week and make sure she rested since her prior lack of sleep was likely the reason that the seizure came on.  And, that she was not allowed to operate heavy machinery or *swim*. 

 I am so thankful for our gracious and loving Heavenly Father who did not allow Emily to go to camp.  She was supposed to leave tomorrow....if she had been swimming when having a seizure, we might have lost her.   I can't and won't imagine.....

I told Emily that she and I are going to be buddies! :)  She gets to go with me everywhere for right now until we get some answers. 

So, why on earth am I writing a disjointed blog this late....well, we have decided to camp out in the living room with Em down on the air mattress on the floor.  Mary was too upset to sleep alone with her again, which I completely understand, and I didn't want Emily to be alone.  So, Mary and I...and Robertson(who couldn't fall asleep) are downstairs. 

I am attempting to purge my thoughts for the day and get myself tired enough that I can fall asleep.  I have no idea what we will do tomorrow or tomorrow night but for now all is well.
Emily is beautiful inside and out.  She is also so strong....

And, my prayers were answered...and I will not be going back to work full time.


1 comment:

  1. Friend ... I went cold reading about your precious Emily. I am so very sorry for such an awful experience. I am so praying for your precious Ems, Mary and for each of your hearts as you try to recover from the shock. I am so rejoicing that your girl is fine now. Sending you so much love friend.


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