Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Part 4: The night we could've lost Brody

Read part 1, 2 & 3 first.

I scrambled up to the hospital's ambulance entrance only to be stopped by a door that requires a code to get in.

Remember when I said I'm directionally challenged? I banged on the door knowing my husband got through there, but the people in white coats pointed and motioned for me to go around. Seriously people, I was just here! 

Mind you, it's freezing outside and I look like a mess. I'm wearing sweats and a t-shirt, no makeup and my eyes are red and swollen from crying for what seemed like a few hours now. I'm sure the hospital folks who denied my entry thought I looked similar to a criminal or a crazy person, so I can't say I really blame them.

I walked around finally finding another entrance. I come up on a waiting room overflowing with sick kids and parents. A lady with a computer granting entry to the ER sat at the desk looking alarmed when she saw my nutty-as-a-fruitcake (are fruitcakes nutty?) ass walk in.
Our first night back home.
I was so overwrought, I'm surprised I managed to get anything out.

In between tears and gasping for air, I told her my son was discharged minutes ago, and my husband carried my son back to the ER after another seizure episode in the car. She walked me back asking a few folks about Brody and where he might be. We bumped into the doctor who dismissed us, eyes widened as she saw me distraught once again. She followed us to where they probably were--in the critical rooms.

I saw my husband standing outside of a door, staring into a room. His arms where crossed. He was distressed.

"What's going on?" I said looking into the door.

"He's twitching like he did after the first one at home," Klay said. He grabs me and hugs me.

I look into the room and see a flurry of people surrounding him moving things and putting things on Brody. They talked back in forth quickly to make sure his vitals were OK. At least 7-8 people swarmed our son lying on the stretcher in the room. His body shuttering and twitching.

The doctor who dismissed comes out of the room to tell us the twitching is a sign that he's in his post-seizure state.

Before we were discharged, she informed us that there are two categories for febrile seizures--simple and complex. Brody was in the simple category prior to our discharge, but because he's had two seizures in a short timeframe, he was now in the complex category.

They gave him Motrin, again, to try to lower his fever, but now they wanted to figure out what is causing the fever. If it's treatable, they want to treat it. Obvi.

Standing there watching all of the motion around him didn't seem real. I've seen TV shows or movies where people watch a loved one swarmed by doctors and nurses trying to save their life or figure out what's wrong. But actually having it happen to your kid was difficult and physically painful.

Eventually Brody was moved from a critical room back to a standard ER room. His temperature went down, but now he had an IV and was going to go through a series of tests done to rule out illnesses.

They tested for strep and the flu first. If you've never had a flu test before and you're sick, it's pretty painful, at least it was when I had the flu. It requires sticking a long Q-tip straight back into your nose and sinuses. I don't recommend it; it's not pleasant.

The nurses had trouble getting his IV in. It was a pain in the ass, and as if Brody wasn't tired enough, he was scared and this was making it worse. It took about an hour for them to do, changing places from his arm to his hand. They called several people to help or give it a go before it actually worked. Once they finally got it in, the machine wasn't working right; they had to call in more people for that.

By this time it past 3 a.m., we hadn't slept and my mom had arrived witnessing all of the IV-difficulty. Brody was really tired, whining and couldn't get comfortable.

Next, they had to get a urine sample from him to make sure it wasn't a UTI. To do this, he had to have a catheter. This was hard for all of us to watch, but harder on Klay than anyone. He started to tear up. He held Brody's hand, but he couldn't bear to watch.

I know for any parent watching your child go through sickness or injuries, or any type of pain for that matter, is heart-wrenching. Klay and I would have happily stepped in his place if we could.

I can't imagine the fear Brody felt. All of these people coming in and holding him down to poke him, swab him and take his vitals; this kid was terrified. He had probably cried for four hours straight, calming down when the nurses left only to be poked again or bothered minutes later, reactivating his fear and tears.

That was the most exhausting part--trying to make him feel safe and secure. Looking into Brody's eyes as he's reaching for me and screaming for us to save him from the strangers who are doing things to hurt him brought me physical pain. I just wanted this night to be over. I wanted him to fall asleep so his poor body would relax. He strained so much during his seizures and when people were holding him down to get the things they needed from him. I wanted to explain it to him, to take away his fear, and his pain, but there was nothing I could do.

By the time things calmed down, it was 4:30 in the morning and we finally got in a room to stay overnight. Mom left and headed back to our place to check on the dogs and let them out to potty. She also had to wrap up the turkey I'd left out in a hurry (remember I cooked that earlier that day, seems like forever ago now, huh!?). She also cleaned up the house for us too (which we were surprised and grateful for when we got home the next day). Thanks, Mom!

When we got back to the overnight room, they moved Brody into his bed/crib. There was a futon-like couch that pulled out for Klay and I to sleep on. Brody was passed out, and it didn't look like he was going to wake any time soon.

I stared at him for most of the night. I did fall asleep, here and there, but I got up to check on him several times, especially when the nurses came in every couple of hours. They checked his temperature and talked to us, which kept us from getting actual rest. It looked like his fever broke, because he was sweaty around 6 a.m.

Every time someone would walk in to talk to us, I'd wake up all blurry-eyed trying to focus on where they were in the room and what they were saying. I could feel my eyes going around and around, up and then down, trying to get a clear image of who they were. I know I must of looked delirious. Hell, I was.

The doctors came in around 12 or so that day to check on him. They reiterated it was febrile seizures and what to do in the situation. Here are the ways we are supposed to react:
  • Lay him on the floor and place him on his side
  • Make sure no objects are around that he can choke on
  • Make sure he has no objects in his mouth he can choke on
  • Do not stick our fingers or anything in his mouth
  • Call 911 if it lasts longer than 5 minutes (if it lasts longer than 5 minutes, it can cause brain damage). If it happens again, I'm calling if he has one regardless.
There is nothing we can do to prevent Brody from having more seizures. The only thing we can do is monitor his fever, and if he's running fever, alternate between Tylenol and Motrin. They warned us not give him Tylenol or Motrin every night to try to prevent him from running a fever because it can cause liver damage and other medical problems. And, like they say, he will grow out of it by age 5-6. Another 3-4 years of this? Greeaaaat... (that's sarcasm, yall!)

When Brody woke up that morning I was so happy to see him in a better mood. He was smiling and no longer afraid. He talked to the nurses and the doctors when they came in and even made a group of doctors laugh pointing and showing them who we were "mama" or "dada" or other things in the room. 

His eyes were extremely swollen and puffy from all the tears shed the night before, but he was happy and that made my heart and body relax. Here is a video right when he woke up. I had to send this to our parents and family who needed to see that he was OK!

Later that day, my BFF Cami and her sis Sarah came up and brought us some lunch and goodies, which included toothbrushes and toothpaste. I LOVE THOSE TWO! They wanted to take Brody down to watch the big train display in the main entry of the hospital. After clearing it with the nurses, we headed to watch the "choo choo train." Brody was definitely the most excited. He loved watching it go around and around and it definitely cheered him up, but lifted Klay and I's spirits too. Seeing Brody so happy and back to his usual self we were ecstatic.

Cami and Sarah left and we were discharged an hour or so later.

Ya'll, this kid couldn't of been happier to get out of that place. He didn't want us to carry him; he was going to walk himself out there.

We went to see the train one last time before leaving and then headed toward the parking garage. Brody waved to everyone and said "bye". We soon taught him to say "bye hospital" which sounded more like "bye HA-STI-PULL". Um, my favorite word by far that he says; this kids' cuteness is unreal.

I sat in the back of the car with him, again hoping this time to make it back home without any issues. Klay was waiting to back out and for cars to pass in the parking garage when Brody shouted "GO GO GO!!" He's never said that before. We laughed and we knew this kid high-tail it out of there.

Our bodies were finally relaxed. Brody hadn't run fever in several hours. It seemed like things were on the right track.

Little did we know, we'd make one more trip to the hospital before the weekend was over...

Click here for FINAL PART of this story.