Thursday, March 17, 2011

Typical Wednesday (OR NOT)....

8/11/2010 - It was a typical Wednesday…  I went to work and then went to my mom and dad’s house to pick up Addison, who was 3 months old at the time.  She was her usual smiley self and everything was great.  My mom told me that earlier in the day after taking a bottle, she was holding Addison and Addi got real still almost as if she wasn’t breathing and mom said it kind of scared her.  She said she kind of tapped on Addison’s chest and then she started moving around as normal.  Mom said she didn’t really think it was anything and maybe she was just imagining something that wasn’t there.  Later that evening after we got home (Austin had gone to church with the Vahle’s and Craig was at work), I was sitting on the couch nursing Addi and gazing at her beauty when she totally stopped nursing and just became very still--it was almost as if she was staring off into space.  I jumped up with her and kind of started moving her around and she began moving and acting completely normal again.  I picked up the phone to call EMS and decided instead to call Craig’s sister Lisa, who is a nurse, and who lives just a few blocks away from us.  In a matter of minutes, she was there.  Of course by this time, Addison was fine but I wasn’t.  I wasn’t sure if I was being paranoid after what mom had told me or if something truly wasn’t right.  I have learned that, as a mother, you second-guess everything it seems.  Lisa told me to call her pediatrician (since he is awesome and gave me his cell phone number).  I called him and explained what had happened.  I just wanted someone to tell me what to do—should I go to the ER to have her checked out or just stay at home and keep a close eye on her?  He advised that since she was so little that it would be a good idea to take her to the ER just to have her checked over.  I agreed—it’s better to be safe than sorry—especially when it comes to my little girl.  I talked to my parents and they volunteered to drive us to the hospital.  Dr. McKinney had recommended the Pediatric ER at UK Children’s Hospital, so that’s where we headed.  The whole way to the ER she slept, which is uncharacteristic for her—she normally likes to cry in the car, not sleep but I didn’t complain.  I sat beside her the whole way watching her chest move—inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale.. 
When we got to the ER, they took us back almost immediately (which was a nice change from the long wait that I was expecting).  The doctors and nurses were wonderful and wanted to run some tests based on what we had told them.  First they ran a CT Scan and a flu test on her and then we came back to the room to wait.  While waiting, my dad was holding her—we had been playing and reading books—I looked over at her and she wasn’t right—I just knew that SOMETHING wasn’t right.  I yelled for our nurse who was outside the door and she came running in and looked at Addison—she told us right then that our baby was having a seizure.  That’s hard for me to type and it brings all of that emotion right back from that night.  I know it is hard for any parent when their child gets hurt or is ill but to see a little 3-month old, 13 lb. baby have a seizure was just too much for me.  I think up until that point I had held myself together pretty well but hearing those words from the nurse wrecked my composure completely.  Seizures had been in the back of all of our minds because of our family history of seizures but we just didn’t want that for Addi, ya know?  Of course, looking back, there are SO MANY worse things that could have happened to her besides seizures but at the time, it didn’t feel that way.  The seizure was very short and afterwards, she seemed fine.  The doctors decided that the next test that they wanted to do was a spinal tap on her to check for meningitis.  They suggested that everyone leave the room—they said that it would be too hard to watch.  I didn’t want to leave my baby but I knew that watching that wasn’t something that I could stand so we all left and waited in another room.  There were 2 doctors and a nurse in there doing the procedure.  I just wondered if she was scared or wondered why her family had left her in there with a group of strangers but thankfully it was just for a short time.  When they came to get us to tell us it was completed they also told us that she had had another spell while the doctors were in there with her. I was glad (in a way) that the doctors were able to witness what we had described to them earlier.  They too believed that she had had a small seizure and it, like the other ones, was very brief. 

They told us at this point that they would like to keep her overnight just to keep a close eye on her.  By that time, Craig was already on his way to the hospital.  When he got there and while we were still in the ER, they also did an EKG on her where they had little patches all over her chest.  So far every test had come back normal thankfully.  A neurologist came in and saw her and said that they wanted to start her on some Keppra, a seizure medication, as a precaution and to hopefully prevent anymore seizures. 

They finally got us out of the ER at around 1 AM and moved us into a room in Pediatric ICU so that she had more specialized care.  That first night, I “slept” in a chair and held her in my arms all night.  Her IV was in her head since babies move their hands so much so we had to keep a close eye on her to make sure she didn’t grab it and pull it out!  Of course, no one got much sleep as the nurses came in constantly to check her. 
Thursday morning, they came in bright and early to do an EEG on her to check for abnormalities in her brain.  This time, all of the electodes were on her head and neck.  She did pretty good with this--of course mommy held her hand the whole time.  This, too, came back normal.


One of the highlights of our time in the ICU was when the nurses (who were absolutely adorable and wonderful) asked us if Addison could be in a flyer to advertise a fundraiser that UK Children’s Hospital was participating in.  She had won the hearts of all the staff with her good nature and adorable smile.  Of course we agreed—(they said her name would not be in the ad anywhere)—so they came in for the photo shoot and here is the finish product (the bandage on her head is just to cover up the IV):
We were moved from an ICU room to a regular room and the doctor came in and told us that they wanted to do an MRI on her later that day.  I wasn’t looking forward to that.  They told us that it would be best if she slept through the MRI—we were amused by that.  The time came and they came down to take her for the MRI.  I just think the picture of her (below) is so precious.  She looks like a sweet angel and guess what, she did great.  When they were getting her in the "straight jacket" she was going to town on that pacifier.  I think that was a good distraction for her because she slept through the whole thing and the results were normal (hooray)!

Friday morning came and we were hopeful that we would be discharged but we had to wait for the doctor so we waited and waited and waited some more…  Thankfully we had lots of visitors to make the time pass.  Finally, that afternoon the doctor came in and told us that we could go home.  They wanted to keep her on the Keppra as a precaution and said that after she was on it for a year or two, they would  do some more tests and then try to wean her off of it if everything was still normal.  The bottom line was that we were told that sometimes babies just have seizures—thankfully all of her tests had been normal so they were just hopeful that she would most likely outgrow them. 

Always had a smile for everyone!

On our way home!
We have been to the neurologist several times since then just for check-ups and all has been well.  We go back in June for a repeat EEG and if that is normal, I believe the plan is to start weaning her off of the Keppra and see how she does!  I'm so thankful that she is doing well--this thing hasn't slowed her down a bit--she doesn't fight us to take her medicine every morning and night.  It is just a part of life and she expects it I think!  She is an amazing little girl and we love her so much! 

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