It seemed like he would wake up crying every few hours. For no apparent reason. Very strange for him, seeing as how he sleeps through the night, and has continually since he was 1 month old. Every time we would go in there to see what was wrong, he would only say, "I want to see you Mama/Dada." We would tell him to go back to sleep, and he would. Not without waking up Gabe, unfortunately, but that's another story.....
Around 6 this morning, it happened again. This crying all of a sudden. I was afraid (and angry) that he would wake up Gabe again, so I went in there and was pretty upset with him. That only made him cry worse. Come to find out, he was very hot to the touch.
Ahhhhh......now I understand what's wrong.....
I took him into bed with us for the rest of the morning. It was obvious that he was sick. You know the signs: a lot of sleeping, hardly eats, cries a lot, clinginess. He had all of them. Including a continual fever.
I personally don't worry too much about fevers. They're there for a reason, and I don't like to mess with that. He was fighting off something by having that fever, and as far as I was concerned, it could finish the job so I could have my old Ashey back. And as long as it doesn't get too high, and cause too much discomfort for the child, I tend to NOT medicate for a fever. If I do end up giving them something, it's a bit of Tylenol or Motrin, but again, only if it seems like the child is having a miserable time.
Asher was just spending most of his time resting on the couch, and so we thought we'd just ride this one out. He was clingy, but was fine in my arms. So I held him. A lot.
At some point in the early afternoon, he fell asleep on the couch with Libby. Seeing my new found freedom, I took the opportunity to tie up some loose ends on house chores. In the meantime, Gabe woke up from his nap, Michaela went down for hers, and Chris took the two older boys to town to get some stuff.
Which means, it was just me and Gabe when Ash woke up from his nap about 2:30. He was crying again, just like he had the night before. He wanted me, and I was happy to oblige him, except Gabe was nursing at the time. He wandered over to me, but I told him to go rest on the love seat until I was done with Gabe.
And then it happened.
Asher cried out and started to convulse in a full-blown, grand mal seizure.
My heart stopped.
And everything that we've been through the past 7 years ran through my mind. That first morning when she was turning blue, the myriad of EEGs, the abilities that just keep melting away......
I gently picked him up while his eyes rolled into the back of his head (how many times have I seen that face?), and his little arms beat rhythmically against my chest (the all-too-familiar thudding sound). I carried him to the kitchen sink and doused a kitchen towel in cool water, remembering the very first time I ever saw a child having a seizure: It was the same exact type situation, a fever induced seizure. The little boy's mother was hysterical, calling his name, while the other adults around him ran for wet blankets and covered him from head to toe. I was doing the same now, covering his hot head (how hot is it? hasn't he been this hot before?) with that towel. The twitching slows.......the eyes come back......the lips turn from blue to white. There's drool on my shirt. He's limp and catching his breath. He's post-ictal now....
I only know that term because I've known it for years....
I've been here before.....
With a pretty little blue eyed girl.....
Amazingly enough, even to me, I didn't freak out. Not during the seizure, and not later. And not now. I knew from the second I saw his face contort, that this was not the same as Boo. This was not the terrible monster we've been fighting all these years. I knew, in the back of my mind, where all the years of study and learning are kept, that this was not even Epilepsy.
It was simply a fever-induced seizure. A febrile seizure. A common childhood occurrence.
But even as my mind took that all in, and I took the steps necessary to help my little son, I couldn't help but go through all the feelings I've dreaded. All the years I've worried and cautiously watched every child grow up in my arms---for a twitch, for that cry---to wait until I felt they were past the risky years. Listening, watching, steeling myself against the day that I'd have to watch another child deteriorate. And breathing again, when they thrived and grew and learned
and didn't have a seizure.
Asher won't fall into that category, but I'm not the hysterical mother I thought I would be in light of that fact. I'm not freaking out, and I'm not upset. By the end of the day, he was eating plenty, talking a bunch, and fooling with his siblings. He's sleeping now, and not crying out. His fever broke in the late afternoon, and he's back to normal.
And thank God, I'm normal too.
For more information about febrile seizures in children, click here.