Monday, March 03, 2014

Part 1: The night we could've lost Brody

When you're a parent, you hope and pray for the best for your child. You don't imagine becoming a news story or a tragedy-stricken family, so instead you let go of being the overly cautious I-have-to-take-my-kid-to-the-doctor-cause-he-sneezes-parent and ease up on worrying about your kids in certain places or certain situations.

I think that's natural. I can't count how many times my child runs into things and hits his "nog nog," as my husband calls it, and I think one day this kid is going to bust his head open or cause some permanent damage.

You can try to prevent these things all day--and yes, the thought of making your son wear a safety helmet crosses your mind at each kerplunk!--but then you think that's a little much, right? Or is it? At what length would you go to protect your child?

Napping earlier that day.
Let me start this story by clearing things up a bit. No, we've never made Brody wear a helmet just cause he's bumped his head more times than I can count. And no, he's never had a concussion. But we HAVE joked about how all these bumps and bruises may affect him one day. Honestly, sometimes I feel like Brody is Billy Bob from "Varsity Blues" or in "Not Another Teen Movie" and he only has X number of times left where he can hit his head without causing a major damage.

So this post isn't about Brody hitting his head; it's about a night that I'll never forget and that will forever make me a crazy, cautious mom that takes their kid to the doctor when her child runs a slight fever. I will forever going to be 'that mom'.

It all started on Friday, Nov. 22, 2013.

 I'd been at home all day with Brody cooking some Thanksgiving goodies. I was making a turkey, homemade cornbread and homemade dressing to help with our family Thanksgiving at my g-ma's that Sunday. I noticed Brody felt warm around 5-6 p.m., took his temp and it was 100.7. I gave him Tylenol and it went back to normalish. Despite having a cough, he'd been acting more than his usual rambunctious self.

BUT, he had been coughing for two weeks.

OK, OK hold the judgements, folks. I know what you're thinking... Why the hell didn't you take him to the doctor?

Two weeks prior, he'd had strep throat and ran 103+ fever. He was given an antibiotic shot, clearing up his strep but started running fever again only two days later due to a newly-developed ear infection. He had a cough and we had made four trips to the doctor in a week and a half. With the weather changing and allergies, the doctors said he sounded clear in his chest, but to monitor it.

The cough would come and go. He may not cough all day for a few days, and then it would start up again. It really varied and it never sounded like he was congested, until the Friday before this horrific night. Here's a video of how rambunctious he is and how clumsy. This is from the night before...

So, Brody played and acted normal all day and the day before the episode. As a matter of fact, he was better than normal and was more playful then he had been in weeks. He did take a nap though--in the middle of the day--so I knew he didn't feel good and was extremely tired. This boy hardly naps any more.

The night of febrile seizures
Making homemade cornbread.
When Klay got home from work, I started to make the homemade cornbread and enlisted in some help from my lil' chef. Brody was still doing ok, playing and happy as ever. Nothing seemed odd or off. He helped me pour, stir and pour again. This kid loves to cook!

Around 9 p.m., Brody started to get tired. Soon after, his fever started to rise and was at 100ish. It wasn't quite time to give Brody more medicine yet, so we continuously checked his temp in the meantime.

I was trying to figure out where he was going to sleep. We'd had a strict 'no kid' policy when it came to our bed, or at least we tried to. Brody has slept in our bed before, at various stages, but we never made it a routine. When he's been sick, we've had the pack-n-play out and laid him in that, which stayed in our room or I camped out with him on the couch, but we just moved it out of the house. So as all this was going on, I was trying to decide if he would sleep with us or if one of us sleep on the couch with him. At this point it had been low-grade fever so I even contemplated putting him in his room instead of with us.

Around 10 o'clock, I gave Brody some Motrin. He was whining and couldn't get comfortable on the couch. I held him while Klay checked his temperature again. This time it was at 103.1.

I laid Brody down on the couch and then got up to get a wet rag, and when I was coming back Klay was talking to Brody. It was dark in the living room and Brody was laying flat on his back staring at the ceiling.

I sat down next to Brody's head on the couch (Brody was wedged between us; Brody facing Klay). It was dark, so I couldn't quite see Brody's face.

"Brooody. Hey, bud," he said touching his head.

"Brody. Hey, Brody. Brody... Brody... Brody!" Klay yelled.

"Oh my God, Cass, Cass! Call 911 or get in the car!"

My heart started pounding from the urgency in Klay's voice. I snatched my phone and turned on the light and swung around to look at Klay who is now standing and picking up Brody.

Brody's head falls by Klay's shoulder and arm, and then away from Klay when Klay tries to get a better look at him.

Brody's eyes rolled up toward his forehead; Klay supported his head with his hand.

His arms and legs dangled. The rest of his body went limp.

We yelled and said his name, but got nothing--just a blank stare with no signs of our sweet boy behind it.

He was unresponsive.

That's when I could see why Klay reacted as he did.

My son looked as if he was no longer in his body. 

He was lifeless.

Click here to read Part 2.