Saturday, November 15, 2014

My first ride in an ambulance. May it never happen again.

Last night, Jules had a fever. I knew he was hot, and when he was in my bed, he was fidgety. The last couple of nights, I haven't been sleeping very well (as I told a friend the other day, "let's stop talking about my sleeplessness. It's boring even to me") so when he kept kicking and wanting to snuggle with me, I hate to admit it but I got a tiny bit annoyed. I got up with him to use the bathroom once, though, and he seemed fine.

We had a busy day planned for today - I had an appointment at 8 to take my car to the Honda dealer for the most recent air bag recall, then we had Jules' music class at 10, and then his school scheduled family photos today. I think one of the other parents is a professional photographer. We were going to do that at 11. However, when we got up, Jules still had a fever. At around 6:30 a.m., it was about 100.5.

I decided to get up and go to the Honda dealer, and on the way stop at Weight Watchers. Jules would stay home with his daddy, and then at 11 we would go take the pictures if he felt okay. I've been looking forward to it. If the photos came out nicely, I'd planned on using them for our Christmas cards. But when Jules heard that I was going to Weight Watchers, he wanted to come too (when I have him with me, we always stop at Starbucks for an iced coffee for me, a chocolate chip cookie for him). Even though he was hot, he was in a great mood. So Patrick started getting him dressed. They were in his room, and I was in ours, doing something (I was already dressed... maybe I was just making the bed), when I heard Jules cry a little. Then Patrick called me.

Jules was having a seizure.

We don't have a land line in our house anymore. We only use our cell phones now. I grabbed mine and called 911. I could hear the difference in my voice: I was precise, maybe too loud, unemotional. I said, "My son is having a seizure. He's 3." The woman on the phone asked me my address and within seconds I was on with someone from the local fire station. I remember thinking, "Speak clearly so you don't have to repeat anything." The firemen were here in minutes.

By the time they got here (I think the paramedics were right behind them), he was starting to come out of it. They evaluated him, and told me we were going to go to the hospital. I got a little choked up - I was scared. One of the paramedics said, "You're doing great, mom." I have to admit, it's weird to be called "mom" by a grown man. My room seemed so small with the firemen and paramedics in it. I carried him outside and they said they were going to put him on the gurney, which freaked me out. It may have been my only moment of being illogical. I said, "I don't want you to put him on the gurney!" But there was no other way to do it. Jules was pretty much alert by now, naked except for underwear. I calmed down and he and I got into the ambulance with the paramedic. His name, by the way, is Paul Rodriguez. He was awesome. He was sweet with Jules, and checked on me periodically. During the ride, he talked to Jules and tried to make it fun. I couldn't see much outside, and really didn't know where were going. The siren was on.

Patrick followed us in his car, and we went to Long Beach Memorial. The paramedics said that was the best place to take him. The nurses were kind, and the doctor who checked him. We stayed there for quite a while so they could evaluate him. He got an x-ray and they tested his urine. All that was fine. He still had a temperature (not very high) and he wanted to go home. I just realized: they didn't give him any medicine. He didn't cry or whine, though, and he was such a big boy with all the sticky things for the medical equipment on him, and when the doctor and nurses were checking him. We watched a bunch of TV. At around 12:30 we were released, and came home. On the way I ran into Weight Watchers. I lost almost two pounds this week. It's not really all that surprising, considering that last week we had the stomach flu.

When we got home, Patrick gave Jules some children's Motrin and then went off to get us some lunch. Jules ate great, played with his cars for a while, and is now sleeping with his daddy in our room. I just went in to check on him, and removed his socks and pants. He seems comfortable.

Needless to say, we did none of the things on our list today. I don't know if you remember, but this happened before when he was 15 months old. For some reason I'm having trouble linking to what I wrote then. It was in May 2012. On Monday I'm supposed to call his pediatrician at Kaiser to let her know what happened. I might just stay home with him, and maybe take him to the doctor. I called the school to let them know that we were going to miss the photo appointment, but I just told the director he was sick. I'm pretty sure I mentioned that other time he had a seizure on the medical questionnaire; I'll tell her in person about this one next week.

That time, I wrote about it a few weeks after the fact. It took me a while to be able to write about it, because it was so disturbing, but febrile seizures are very common. The doctor who treated him today said she and her brother both used to get them all the time, "and we both went to Harvard and became doctors." He's had fevers since that other time, and this didn't happen, so I guess I thought it was an anomaly that other time. I guess I was wrong.

Updated 11/16/14 at 9:54AM

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