Thursday, May 2, 2013

Keira's ER adventure

So, Wednesday morning I had to go to Butte to take a placement math test so I could finish registering for school, so I had left Keira with a friend for the morning, even though she was extraordinarily grumpy when she got up (very out of character for her) and obviously didn't feel well.  She vomited not long after I left, and then mostly sat on the couch, tired and miserable until I got back.  When I picked her up a few hours later, she made it clear in no uncertain terms that she was ready to go, and grumpily made her way to the van while I chatted briefly with my friend.  She crawled up into the van by herself and waited for me, so I walked over to get her buckled in.  When I grabbed her to put her in her carseat (she was still standing up, and looking at her sister, who was in the backseat), she didn't really respond (didn't look at me or mold into my hands), which was odd.  Then when I lifted her to put her in her carseat, she went completely stiff and didn't bend, and I realized her eyes were glazed over.  Her head jerked a bit to the side and her lips puckered, so I turned her towards the open door thinking that she was going to vomit, and her eyes went to the side and it suddenly occurred to me what was happening.  I pulled her out of the van onto the soft grass to put her on her side just as she started to jerk and convulse, and yelled to Kaytee (who was still outside with her girls) that I thought Keira was having a seizure.

That was the start of a very long 24 hours.  Kaytee called the ambulance and I called Doug.  Doug ran over from his office (her house is only about a block from his work), and he went in the ambulance with Keira while I loaded Kylie up and met them there.  She was still out of it--not unconscious, but not quite conscious--when they loaded her into the ambulance, but she wasn't convulsing and her limbs were supple again, her eyes mostly back to normal when they opened intermittently.

We answered questions in the ER while the nurses drew blood to run some basic tests.  As the nurses struggled to get a vein on her little arms, Doug tried to calm her down by talking to her and asking her questions, and she was responding appropriately.  They finished taking blood, and by then she was fully awake and responsive, so they told me I could pick her up and snuggle her for a bit.  When I picked her up, she wouldn't look at me, even when I called her name, and I realized she was about to have another one, and, sure enough, her eyes rolled to the side, she jerked and started to convulse.

After we got to the hospital, I had called my mom to let her know what was going on, and she asked if she should come over to help with the other kids, or even take them home with her.  While Keira was having the second seizure, I asked Doug to call Mom back and tell her to go ahead and come over. One seizure in a kid isn't that unusual, but two, particularly with no fever present, is a little more unique.  Our hospital is very small, so they wanted her to go to Missoula for further testing (all her initial blood work looked normal).  It just happened that Life Flight was here for training that afternoon, so they just flew her to Missoula.  We had called Mom to let her know that they'd be flying Keira in, so she stopped in Missoula to wait for her.  So, while we drove over, Keira hung out with Mom and the pediatric nurses.  She was so good:  most two-year-olds don't do well with being sent off with strange men under the best of circumstances, but Doug strapped her into her carseat, told her that the Life Flight nurses were going to take her to see Yaya, and she just said OK and waved bye-bye and slept through most of her helicopter flight.

By the time we got to Missoula, she was looking pretty good.  They put a topical numbing agent on her arm so they could get an IV, and she just calmly sat there and watched them stick the needle in her arm, finding a vein.  And when they had to stick her foot, with no numbing agent, she cried a little bit, but still handled it like a champ.  They told her she could have a popsicle, and then her daddy came upstairs, and that seemed to make everything better:
 After Yaya took her brothers and sisters off for dinner and then back to her house, it was just me and Keira, and she got to have all the apple juice and popsicles she wanted, while watching Netflix and not having to argue with any siblings about what to watch.  She thought that was pretty awesome.  When she had trouble getting to sleep, her nurse brought her a teddy and told her that the bear was really tired and needed someone to snuggle with so he could go to sleep, and she was up to the job.  Keira and her teddy were both out about 2 minutes later.  She kept him pretty close the rest of the time she was in the hospital:
 They woke her up early, in hopes that she would be sleepy and, consequently, mellow, during the EEG scheduled later in the morning.  She woke up happy, but was really ready to get out of the hospital room, so we unplugged her IV from the wall and went and found the toy room.  It had a big fish tank with a giant eel, and several awesome cars.  We went down the hall with her in socks, but then she decided she needed her "sparkle shoes" to go driving:
Her nurse came in to do her morning vitals.  The blood pressure cuff always made her giggle a little bit, and she just calmly watched every time her toe got poked so that they could check her blood sugar.  She was an excellent patient for the most part.  Very tough, and very cooperative and friendly with all her nurses (and anyone else she happened to come into contact with).
 Except the EEG.  She was super mellow and cooperative while the tech spent half an hour putting on all the electrodes, and for the first half she was just watching Caillou and chilling.  But then the tech started turning Caillou down hoping Keira would go to sleep.  Then I finally closed the computer and told her she needed to go to sleep.
That, combined with the major sleep deprivation, the terrible hunger, and being told she couldn't have a popsicle, just led to total meltdown.  For nearly an hour after the tech left, she screamed at me and kicked and hit me.  When I finally put her down on the bed to take something to the trash, I turned around just in time to see her rip her IV out of her arm.  I put some pressure on it and called the nurse, and she calmly watched him tape it up, and as soon as he left the room, she hopped up and down with her arms in the air, shouting happily, "I did it! I did it!"  Then she asked to go for a walk, and as soon as we got to the hallway, she started running, and then hopping, and yelling, "Run! Run!"  She was very happy to be untethered from that annoying IV pole. Then they told her she could eat real food, and she started downing everything in sight!

A couple of hours later, we heard back from the neurologist that her EEG looked completely normal, so we started the discharge papers. When I first pulled her out of the van the day before, I got a distinct feeling that she was OK, and that she was going to be fine.  It was a bit nerve-wracking to see her seize a second time (particularly since both seizures happened to occur just as I was picking her up), but she had a blessing while she was in the ER, which also seemed to indicate that she'd be fine, so I was never all that upset--a little nervous, a bit unsettled, but never terribly worried.

The doctor was leaning toward a combination of dehydration and hypoglycemia brought on by her stomach bug, or the stomach bug itself as the cause.  So here's hoping that was the end of it!!

1 comment:

Kaytee Postma said...

I'm so glad she's ok. I worried about her all day until hearing she was ok. Let's not do that again, ok?!?!