I’ve mentioned my grandnephew, Jordan – the tiny-two-year-old-terror, in many of my social network posts. The posts are usually funny, the photos are cute, and Jordan loves seeing himself posted everywhere.
We had a Jordan-situation Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, that wasn’t funny or cute.
After a great family Thanksgiving, Jordan stayed the night with us as his grandmother (my sis, Melissa) had to work Friday. In typical Reevers family holiday fashion, we fell asleep everywhere. (This family does not understand the concept of “going to bed”.) Jordan and my youngest son, Drew – 26, were asleep on the sofa in the family room.
We were awakened at 4:30 in the morning by a fussy Jordan with a dirty diaper. Drew said Jordan “appeared” to have a seizure when he was waking up. I didn’t doubt Drew, and Jordan’s temperature was up. But, after getting cleaned up and drinking some cool apple juice, Jordan went back to sleep, as did my guys. I headed off to my writing cave.
Nearly three hours later, the mister runs into the room holding Jordan. “Fle, he IS having a seizure!” He puts Jordan in my arms, and he’s stiff as a board – arms and legs straight and inflexible, his eyes have rolled to the back of his head, and he’s frothing at the mouth. I loudly call his name twice, getting no response, and “911!” is the next thing out of my mouth…several times.
While Jordan’s seizure lasted less than a minute, it seemed to go on forever. As it tapered off, he took a huge gulp of air, exhaled, and slumped in my arms, eyes closed.
Yes, THIS is when I freaked out.
Checking for his pulse and/or heartbeat, I race to the front of the house. The mister takes Jordan from me in the living room, and tries to get me to sit down. Instead, I snap, “Where the hell are the paramedics?” – only to turn around and see them walking in my door! (FIVE MINUTES! It took them only five minutes to get there!)
In the SECONDS it took the medical team to sit down their gear and ascertain the situation, Jordan, the tiny-two-year-old-terror, who’s already had two seizures before 8 am is SNORING!!! The mister and I gave each other, “Did we dream this?” looks, and handed him over to the paramedics. After checking Jordan out physically and taking his vital signs, we were told he more than likely had a febrile seizure, brought on by the sudden spike in his body temperature, and such seizures are COMMON. However, the cause of the temperature needed to be found. The med team assured us his sleeping was also normal because the seizures are very exacting on the body, and he was probably extremely fatigued. They offered to take him in, but felt the ‘urgency’ of the situation was past for the time being. It was then I realized I had nothing authorizing me to get medical attention for Jordan. (DUH!) So instead, the family hopped in the car and headed for Melissa’s apartment, fifteen miles across town.
After scooping her up, it was a mad dash to the emergency room for the fastest, most efficient ER visit I’ve ever witnessed. (Getting Jordan’s prescriptions filled at Walgreen’s actually took longer.)
During the ER exam, we were again told febrile seizures are COMMON in infants and toddlers, and a signal that something – usually an infection – is wrong. In Jordan’s case, he had an EAR INFECTION! We all were speechless. Jordan had never had an ear infection before; and the day before – Thanksgiving Day – he had been his normal, rambunctious self, not fussy or tugging at his ear. Live and learn.
On a regimen of antibiotics, fever reducers and pain relievers, the-tiny-two-year-old-terror rested comfortably last night, and I could hear him during a phone call with Melissa this morning, loudly attempting to boss her around.
I’ve raised three children (with MANY ER visits), and helped raised or babysat dozens more – and I had never heard of a febrile seizure. Most of us know slight temperatures in the young ones are COMMON, and usually passes quickly, but this is just a heads-up – check and make sure the fever is going DOWN. Jordan went from “okay” to seizure in less than five hours without us suspecting a thing.
Jordan will be back with us this evening. I think my nerves are ready…again.
Many thanks, and much respect to Tucson Fire and Rescue, Tucson Medical Center and staff, and ER doctor, Brian Haggerty.
Also – if you’re going to watch someone else’s child for any period of time, even if they’re related, it wouldn’t hurt to get something in writing and notarized, giving you permission to seek medical treatment, if needed. You never know what will happen.