Thursday, May 24, 2012

the scariest moment

My family certainly experienced the single scariest moment (and overall night) of our lives this week.

I had planned the week out as usual- some playdates, library trips, a couple playground adventures and some quality time doing arts & crafts.  However, Monday morning brought me a sick little boy who had rosy cheeks, no energy and a suspicious croup like cough.

He came with me downstairs and planted himself on the couch and it was clear to me Monday was going to be a restful day at home.  Jamin didn't get up once.  We watched cartoons, ate a few apple slices, and cuddled.  Daddy came home at 5:30 and he was still in this spot with Blankie.

Jamin had croup once this past Fall and we were able to treat it at home with a humidifier, extra cuddles and some rest time.  His temp was still not high and he wasn't having any coughing spells so I figured Monday would run it's course and I would call the pediatrician on Tuesday depending on how he was doing.

Occasionally, I would catch him dozing off.  He would let out a cough or two but nothing alarming.  His temp was 99.1 all day.  He was stable but definitely was not feeling like his normal self.

By the time 6 rolled around Jamin's temp had creeped up to a 100.something.  Daddy gave him a bath to cool him off and Jamin was relaxing in our bed.  We figured it would be an early night for him so I headed downstairs to get him a little bit of juice with some Tylenol mixed in so he could have some before he was down for the night.

I was sneaking in some evening chocolate (unnecessary confession?),  putting some dishes away and mixing up Jamin's drink when I heard Jud scream my name.


I've never heard my name screamed like that by anyone.  My stomach dropped and heart sank instantly.  Every emotion Jud was feeling in that exact moment upstairs all came through with one yell to me downstairs.  

I knew something was wrong with Jamin.

Panic happened instantaneously.  Jud was screaming for me to call 911.  I had already dialed and flew up the stairs within seconds screaming the whole time.  "TELL ME WHATS WRONG. WHATS HAPPENING. TELL ME."

I could hear Jud screaming Jamin's name over and over.  His voice sounded frantic and my stomach was in knots.  He finally yelled out that Jamin was having a seizure just as I ran into the room.  

It was the scariest sight I had ever seen.  My husband hunched over the bed with my little boy on his side, fetal position, twitching uncontrollably.  His eyes were open and empty looking and rolling.  No response.  No recognition of us being there, no conscious awareness of anything.

I turned around instantly and charged up the hall to Owen's nursery.  I wouldn't be able to remember our address or provide information to the 911 operator seeing Jamin like that. I gave our address and forced myself to answer questions calmly.  I ran back into the room.  Jud was in pure panic screaming for the operator to tell us what to do.  Jamin's lips were a terrifying shade of purple and blue.  Seeing those lips sent me into a state of hysteria.

I put the phone on speaker and threw it on the bed and scooped up Owen who was at Jud's feet. I had left Owen on his playmat next to the bed when I had originally gone downstairs and I didn't want him trampled in the chaos.  At this point, I ran down the stairs with Owen in my arms to unlock the front door to wave down the ambulance.  I was terrified they wouldn't know where we were with our townhouse complex that is so hidden away.

I threw the front door open and saw our neighbor outside with his sons.  I yelled for his help knowing he was a Sheriff and he came running in immediately.  His wife, also a Sheriff, took Owen from me and I ran back inside.

It seemed like an eternity.  The seizure was maybe 2 minutes at the most.  The ambulance about 6 minutes.   I was furious they weren't there sooner- it felt like an hour. They assessed Jamin and ran some tests.  He was passed out sleeping when they arrived- his body exhausted from the seizure.  They recommended he be transported to All Children's Hospital by ambulance. I rode with him and Jud and Owen followed behind.

Our feedback from the ER was that Jamin's seizure was caused by a sudden spike in temperature during a short period of time.  The seizure wouldn't have any lasting affects on him and these sort of fever seizures are considered common in children.   Try telling that to the parents of any child that has a seizure.  It was absurd to me to hear them explain that it is normal and not really an issue.  My jaw may have even hit the ground when we were advised that if in the future Jamin has another seizure episode we could wait it out at home and go about our business if he essentially snaps out of it.

Our boy was disoriented, exhausted and scared in the ER.  We held him close as they looked over him and treated his 102 fever.  Then we were released to go home. 

I cannot even imagine the agony my poor husband was facing during the whole thing. 
I had things to do.  Call 911.  Get Owen safe.  Unlock the door.  Wave down the ambulance.  

My husband was in the room the entire time looking into my sons empty eyes and feeling helpless and terrified.  The seconds dragged by for me and surely felt like an eternity for him.

Afterwards we both were rattled and just thankful our little boy was safe and home.   We ended up returning the the ER shortly after but I will save that story for another post.  It's exhausting to relive the emotion of the evenings events, not to mention the whole night, as I type them out. 

My boy sure knows how to scare momma and daddy!


  1. Ugh! My heart hurts that you two (three!) had to experience that! I cannot even begin to imagine what that would be like. I'm glad everyone is home safe and sound and will be praying that Jamin recovers quickly!!

  2. I am so sorry you had such a scary night! It's crazy how interminable the seconds are when they are filled with the unknown and fear for your family. Thank goodness for great neighbors, quick thinking, and superhero parents!
    Jamin and Owen are lucky fellas to have you and Jud!!


Popular Posts