Skinned Knees, Broken Bones and Ambulance Rides
I always assumed that having a little boy would mean skinned knees, broken bones and possible ER visits but I wasn't prepared for that to begin immediately after his first birthday.
Our first ER visit with Vinnie came about two months after he turned one. Prior to going to bed that night, he had a 100 degree fever that we assumed was caused by teething since he didn’t appear to have any other symptoms. I gave him some Tylenol and put him to bed around 7pm.
At 2am, I woke up to the sound of Vinnie crying. He's always been a good sleeper and very rarely woke up in the middle of the night so instantly I knew something was seriously wrong. The sound of his cry even woke my husband who sleeps through literally everything.
I jumped out of bed and ran to his room. He appeared to be sleeping but he was crying and extremely hot to the touch. I grabbed him and ran to our room yelling, “take off his clothes! He’s burning up!” Before I could hand him to my husband, he began seizing in my arms. I will never forget the feeling of his limp body shaking in my arms. It was without question, the scariest moment of my entire life.
My husband took him from me and immediately ran to tub and jumped inside. He turned on the cold water, covering himself and my son. During all of this, Vinnie was still seizing so I ran to call 911. The operator told us to take him out of the tub, take his temperature and to begin counting his breathes. His temperature was 104 degrees. At this point, he had finally stopped seizing but he seemed almost paralyzed in my husband’s arms and he was moaning in pain.
After what felt like an eternity, the paramedics finally showed up. They did a few tests and told us to hop in the paramedic where they took us to the hospital.
Once we got to the hospital, the doctors and nurses ran a few more tests, gave him Tylenol and Motrin, and monitored him until they could get the fever down. The ER doctor told us that the seizure was caused by the rapid spike in his fever. He quickly checked his ears and declared that he had an ear infection as he frantically left the room without telling us which ear was infected.
I felt extreme mom guilt for not realizing he had an ear infection and allowing him to suffer in pain. #momoftheyear
They sent us home with antibiotics and the doctor’s orders were to monitor the fever and alternate meds. We were to see our pediatrician three days later.
For the next two days, Vinnie continued to have a 102 degree fever, even with constant meds. On the third day, the fever broke, and he broke out in a rash all over his stomach. We headed to see our pediatrician, where we discovered that Vinnie did not have an ear infection after all. He had contracted Roseola, also known as Baby Measles (which is different than the measles we get vaccinated for). Apparently, it’s very common and highly contagious. He could have picked it up from a shopping cart. GROSS.
There is no treatment for Roseola and the symptoms are usually an extremely high fever that lasts about three days with no other symptoms, followed by a rash covering the body. The good news is that your kiddo usually can only contract it once so hopefully we're out of the woods!
As you might’ve guessed, we've learned a lot from this horrific experience.
-There are different types of seizures. The one Vinnie had is called a febrile seizure. It is caused by a rapid change in body temperature, which causes the brain to shut down and reset. Since he had one at such a young age, he is prone to have another if his temperature rises too quickly, which just means we have to be very aggressive about treating a fever.
-If Vinnie does have another seizure, it isn't necessary to put him in a tub of cold water to cool him down. At that point, it's too late and the seizure will stop on its own.
-Apparently febrile seizures can last up to 15 minutes! THANK GOD Vinnie's only lasted a few minutes, even though it felt like an eternity. If it happens again, we will place him on his side (to prevent choking in the case that he were to puke) and let him ride it out. It isn't necessary to call 911 because it isn't life threatening.
- My advice: Don’t ride in an ambulance unless you’re actually dying! That was the most expensive transportation I have ever taken! In hindsight, now that we know what type of seizure it was and how to treat it if it were to happen again, we would not have taken the ambulance ride and just driven him ourselves. But in the moment, we would've done anything and paid any amount of money to ensure our baby boy was safe.
-There is nothing stronger than a mama’s instinct (but a daddy's instinct comes pretty close!) Even though we were both half asleep, slightly confused and extremely panicked, my husband and I worked as a team to help our son in any way we could. We both look back at that night as the scariest moment of our lives but it brought us so close as a couple and a family. Moments like this are a reminder that life is short and not to take anything for granted.
We are so thankful that Vinnie is safe and sound and there weren't any serious complications from the seizure.
J A M I E L Y N N E