Saturday, July 28, 2012

This Day

This day...well, let' just say I won't be forgetting it anytime soon.

The kids and I got up this morning at my in-laws house, ate breakfast and (they) watched some cartoons. As I was putting a few things into the dishwasher my grandmother-in-law (side note: that is entirely too long of a title for this lovely woman, she's just kind of like my grandma.) tripped over the open dishwasher and fell, scraping the skin on her shin. Ouch. Miss E came over to watch for a minute while I put a paper towel over it to stop the bleeding and then wandered away. We got out the first aid kit and started patching it up.  A few minutes later, I heard a thud coming from the back of the house. I waited for a few seconds to see if I could hear any associated crying but there was nothing. Still, it was a big thud so I headed back to investigate. And then I found Miss E.

Unconcious, in a puddle of pee, neck crooked at a weird angle, hand posturing in the air. My heart stopped. Like completely and literally stopped. I cannot even describe the feeling of finding your child like that. Terrifying is not a strong enough word. As I ran to her, she opened her eyes, looking very dazed and confused and out of it. I called to my mother-in-law to dial 911 and then sat with her as she tried to sit up. At this point I thought she had had a seizure. The pee, the hand posturing, the confusion, it all said seizure to me although, as I'm sure you all know, I am not a medical professional.

As we were waiting for the medics, she sat up and became more alert. I was really really really trying to stay calm and reassuring but there was no way I could keep the fear or the chocked up tears out of my voice as I repeated, "it's ok, you're going to be ok, you're fine Miss E".  right before the medics got there she realized she was lying in pee and asked if we could change her pants so I put a towel under her and quickly took off the wet ones and put on dry ones.

Then the medics arrived and a bit of my fear got channel into annoyance at one of the firefighters who showed up. Now, I know that not all firefighters are medics. Yes, they are all technically trained to be but not all of them - particularly older ones- are good at it or interested in it. Especially something as ambiguous as loss of consciousness in a child. However, the guy running the call was so freaking condescending that I almost told him to step aside and let his partner take over. He smiled the entire time (which really? My kid just loss consciousness for no apparent reason and that's somehow funny to you?) and made a bunch of comments about us being vacationers and wondering if we were having a "girls weekend". He had the younger kid with him take a blood glucose and a blood pressure with a cuff on MIss E in a way that seemed like he was  just appeasing me to do it. The he started telling me it was probably a febrile seizure (umm....she's almost 8 and hasn't had a fever so no) or low blood sugar (also no, glucose reading was fine and she had breakfast 30 minutes before) and really I could tell they were in the middle of a drill by hearing the radio traffic and he just didn't want to be bothered.

By this time, Miss E was more alert and I was mentally thinking through the car/Mr. T/transportation situation if we had to go to the hospital by ambulance so I signed the refusal of transport and said good-riddance to Mr. Jaded-bad attitude-dopey smile-condescending firefighter. After this I texted Peter who was on a 6 hour long bike ride in the other half of the state and got ready to drive Miss E to the hospital myself.

Thankfully, my in-laws have a GPS system with the emergency room pre-programed into that so I grabbed it and headed to the car with Miss E. At this point I still didn't know what had happened and as my mind was racing trying to figure it out on the 20 minute drive to the hospital it hit me - she was in the bathroom. But not going to the bathroom.

"Miss E, why were you in the bathroom?"

"I was getting a drink of water" (this is weird because usually all drinks of water are preceded by a request for me to get it for her.)

"Why were you getting water?"

"Because I was feeling fuzzy headed and I thought it would help"

OK. Bingo. Fainting spell, not a seizure. Immediately I felt better.  At the ER they ran an EKG and confirmed the same thing.

In the best cast scenario, she felt faint at the sight of blood, ran to the bathroom and passed out. When she passed out she peed on accident.

However, it's rare for kids this little to faint, even at the sight of blood and it's rare for kids (or adults) to pee when they faint. So, we don't know.

For now we are preceding on our vacation, she has a huge lump on her head and we will follow up with the doctor at home.

By this afternoon she was running around like normal and it almost felt like it didn't happen but I know that is one of those instances that will be seared into my memory. Remember how I say that all mama's carry a little pocket of fear in their hearts for their children? Well, my memory of that moment of finding her this morning is sealed away in mine. I am so thankful.


  1. that was some morning! I have the exact opposite opinion of the FD medics and saw why the elder acted the way he did,--but that's okay. We handled it pretty darn well and thank God it all worked out good as oh boy, it sure could've gone the opposite direction. A side note, and I don't mean to be the doting gramma, but jeeeeeze Louise, I think this is a smashingly stunning photo of one beautiful girl--now come on! She is so very lovely inside AND out. Even if I were not related and love her dearly... I wish you could post it on FB, then I'd share it and everyone else would say the same thing. Ha!

  2. I get pretty touchy when any old men are condescending to me and truthfully, I think firefighting is a younger person's career. I see very few GOOD firefighters within 5 years of retirement. They just seem to get burned out and the field changes too quickly. Especially for a small department like Sunriver.