Tuesday 17 March 2015

A Febrile Convulsion...Our Experience

I'm sure all fellow mamas and dads will agree that seeing your son or daughter unwell is one of worst things a parent will experience. Probably more so when they are babies/toddlers as they can't verbalise how they're feeling and working out what's wrong can become a bit of a guessing game as it's not always easy to spot. I'm so thankful when Eliot is better and  back to his usual self.
Obviously there are different degrees to how children can be ill, from minor childhood diseases to life threatening illnesses/accidents. I do so hope we never experience the latter. 
Apart from Eliot's Pyloric stenosis, he wasn't really unwell during his first year, just a cough & cold. It was January  this year when he was first hit by a nasty cold bug which literally stopped him in his tracks. The boy usually can't keep still but he was lethargic and just wanted cuddles. It was awful seeing him like that as it was clear how poorly he felt from his behaviour.
Just over two weeks ago we went through the worst thing we've experienced as parents so far. The most terrifying event of my life.
Eliot and I were in Tescos with my mum when he started to become cranky, when I felt his head he seemed quite hot. When we arrived back at my mums I checked his temperature with our thermometer and it was up. I battled with him to get some calpol in  to bring his temperature back down, he sat and cuddled up with me. A big indicator he was not 100%. An hour or so later he was up playing with toys so I took his temperature which had come down. I put him to bed and he slept through, which led me to assume he felt better in the morning. However he still wasn't quite right and had a slight temperature so I gave him some more medicine. I left him with my mum as I had an appointment and a couple of errands to do. When I returned with the OH Eliot had become worse. He had a high temperature and hadn't moved. Another battle commenced of trying to get him to take some medicine. I'd also noticed a rash on his wrist which didn't disappear with the glass test. This made me quite panicky so we immediately got in the car and went to A&E. 
We were called in to see a nurse who checked Eliot over, he said he couldn't t see anything that particularly worried him so we were sent back out to wait and see a doctor. Eliot was sat on my lap, he dozed off. All of a sudden I felt him jolt, I thought he was just jolting awake. You know how you do sometimes when your drifting off. But he jolted again, his whole body then continued. He was having a fit. I panicked and shouted to the OH to get help, a nurse took him off me. In the blur of it all I heard her say 'crash team'. Not something anyone wants to ever hear, especially when it's in regards to your child. We were stood in a room, Eliot was still fitting on a bed with an oxygen mask on. I don't know how many doctors came in to the room but I was asked to relay the details of him being poorly, leading up to where we were. We were told it was common for febrile convulsions to happen when a temperature rose rapidly. We were asked if we wanted to leave the room or stay. I couldn't look at Eliot convulsing or the medical staff surrounding him. It was frightening, it was too difficult to witness but there was no way we were going to leave him. After a few minutes, I'm not sure how long it stopped and Eliot become semi conscious. We were back by his side, next a long struggle began to find a a vein to take some blood and get an IV line in for antibiotics. This was also incredibly distressing as took a long time. I for one have my own phobia of blood tests as its difficult to find a vein on me so hearing my son, my baby crying was awful. He had pin pricks all over his hands and feet before they eventually got one in his wrist. All the time we were being reassured that it was good he was crying and fighting because if his illness was something more serious he would be unresponsive.

Once the line was in and everything was sorted we were put out on the child's A&E ward and waited for adoctor to come and see us. Eliot wanted to be held and cuddled which I was terrified about, terrified he would get a high temperature again and have a convulsion. It was very warm in the kids A&E department, I had felt very hot when Eliot was sitting on me so I felt responsible for Eliot's temperature rising as I had been a source of heat.
Eventually a doctor got round to speaking with us and checking Eliot over. When he looked at Eliot's throat he said it was very sore and it was likely it was just a virus causing him to be unwell. He talked
 over febrile convulsions, how common there were in babies, toddlers and young children. Our main
worry was how likely was it for Eliot to experience convulsions again. We were informed febrile convulsions could happen just once or they could happen again. It was unlikely it could be epilepsy which was another big concern.
Eliot was kept in overnight as a precaution to be monitored and to await the results of his blood test, which we were told they had the lost the next day (but that's another story!) We were sent home but had to return to hospital for antibiotic injections for five days as they were unsure of whether he had an infection. Thankfully the next day his blood results were located and came back clear so we didn't need to return for any more antibiotic injections. Eliot recovered within a couple of days and is now very much back to his 'usual self'.

I am so thankful we were at hospital when Eliot had the convulsion, I panicked and don't know what we would have done if we were at home. But I worry about the next time he gets a temperature, if it will happen again. It's quite possible apparently, a 50/50 possibility. If it happens I know I need to lie him on his side, I know he needs to be somewhere safe where he can't injure himself and I will call an ambulance. 
If your  son/ daughter have experienced febrile convulsions I'd be really keen to hear about whether it happened again or if it was a one off.
Count Your Lucky Stars
Super Busy Mum

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