It's standard practice for Marianna to go into Adrienne's room as soon as she wakes up from her naps; she loves to get in bed and entertain her for a minute or two before I get up the stairs. But today as soon as I walked in, I knew something was weird. Usually Adrienne is bouncing up and down by Marianna, giggling or playing, and looking very, very alert after a good nap. Instead, as I approached the bed I saw that Adrienne was face down on her mattress, her sheet was damp around her head, and she wasn't moving. Small groans were coming out of her mouth, and when I called her name she didn't respond.
I reached down and picked her up and discovered her entire body was limp. She was unable to support her head or torso at all. That's when I got worried. As I started talking to her, trying to get a response, I noticed her breathing was shallow and her eyes were rolling up towards her eyelids, unable to focus on anything.
I was scared. I did something I'm sure every mom hopes never to have to do, but I knew in an instant it was necessary. I ran and grabbed the phone and called 911. The operator told me to keep her alert and breathing until the paramedics arrived.
At that point, things got crazy. My parents and my best friend live in the neighborhood next to mine, and they were there within minutes to help in any way they could. The paramedics arrived shortly after and Nathan and I loaded up in the ambulance with Adrienne to make the drive to the children's hospital in town.
Driving away from our house in an ambulance with my eleven month little girl looking anything but okay, strapped in her car seat on the ambulance stretcher, was a dark moment. I couldn't think any thoughts clearly other than to beg Jesus to be with her and keep her safe. No explanations or potential scenarios were presenting themselves, and the EMT riding with us was silent as the grave, leaving me feeling as in the dark as I've been since the moment we knew something was wrong in the ultrasound room nearly two years ago.
Nathan and I continued to try and get a response from Adrienne, if for no other reason than to keep her from drifting off, which seemed like a very real possibility. Each breath was shallow, her moans continued, and her body was dead weight. I dangled keys in front of her and we watched as she struggled to try and move her hands toward them without any luck. But gradually, things started to change. She regained motion in her hands, then her legs, and finally her neck. The EMT also decided it would be best to give her some oxygen, after which we noticed a marked improvement in her breathing.
Her improvement was so great that by the time we arrived at the hospital, I had already made a round of calls letting everyone know that things were looking much, much better. It didn't take long after we unloaded for the diagnosis of febrile seizure to get to us. I had never heard of that before, but as soon as the cause was described, Adrienne's condition fit the bill.
A febrile seizure occurs when a child's fever spikes in a short period of time. It is fairly common (the doctor told us 5% of children will have one at some point during childhood) and there are not consequences or side effects of the seizure.
Adrienne had a small fever earlier in the day, but as it was low grade and she was feeling very perky, I gave her a dose of Tylenol and didn't think anything else about it. However, it looks likes that fever escalated rapidly at some point during her nap, resulting in the seizure and the consequent panic.
After hearing the diagnosis there was HUGE relief because of all possible scenarios, this was very likely the best one. Since I never saw Adrienne seizing, the thought that I was seeing the aftermath of a seizure never crossed my mind. In any case, the rest of the 3 1/2 hour hospital visit was of no consequence compared to the thankfulness that flooded every ounce of my body.
My sweet girl began acting more and more like herself as the evening went on, and by the time she actually saw the doctor, she was at peak charm. No, she didn't appreciate the needle in her vein, the catheter, or the three rectal temperature checks, but all things considered, it was impossible to be upset by it knowing that she was okay.
I spent the first half of the day lifting up Stellan and the second half praying my heart out for Adrienne. Am I prayed out? Not likely =) Today God has been so good to us. I can't express how grateful I am to Him that I am home typing away while Adrienne is cozy as a bug in her bed. There were scary, terribly dark moments during that hour when I didn't know what was wrong, but I can tell you that God was there. Even with the unknown looming, I knew He was with me.
Thank you, Jesus. Thank you for your protection over Adrienne.