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The Febrile Seizure


We have a really healthy set of kids. So far, we’ve had no major illnesses, no serious medical conditions, and no allergies that we’re patrolling. Thank God! Our kids are healthy. When my oldest son was two years old, he had to wear glasses to correct his “lazy eye”. I was 22, a new mother, and completely distraught. I knew that once his eye was stronger, he’d eventually grow out of the specs, but somehow, I still viewed this as a life sentence for him. I remember my grandmother consoling me: “Oh, if this is the worst thing that happens to that kid, he’s in pretty good shape”. That WAS probably the worst thing that has happened to him, and Missi was absolutely right. It could've been worst.


Over the years, we’ve had our share of choking and near drowning incidents, but we’ve been cruising along mishap-free for some time now. Until... last week. Exactly one week ago, on Friday evening, Davis vomited twice and spiked a fever. No biggie. We have six kids, and we’re used to bugs and viruses going around. The following day was a Saturday, and I went on to work as usual. Varday nursed Davis’ fever and took the kids to the park for fresh air. While at the park, Davis was clingy and stuck close to Varday. At some point, as Varday was holding him, Davis made a gagging sound. When Varday looked down, he saw an unresponsive Davis, drooling, with a blank stare. As he attempted to arouse him, he could see Davis turning blue in the face. Varday immediately jumped to his feet, scooping him up to seek medical attention. While in the van, my 14-year-old was holding Davis, in the back seat. He felt for a pulse, said it was slow, then proceeded to give him two rescue breaths and start CPR.

I met them at the Emergency Department, finding Davis lethargic but responsive. His temperature was 103.4 on arrival. After many negative tests, Davis was diagnosed with a febrile seizure. He was discharged home, medicated and hydrated. The doctor said there is a 30% chance of repeat seizure during the same illness, so that night, I slept with one eye open and a finger on the pulse #NurseHumor.


Davis recovered quite nicely this week. He had a fever for a few days without any repeat seizures. He is now back to his normal self. Just the same, we all were rattled for a few days, but we’re now also back to normal. In the moment, this situation was so traumatizing. All my nursing judgement went out the window, and just like with Ky’s glasses, I was a distraught new mother again. I don't care if it's a broken toe nail, my baby doesn't deserve it! Days later, I calmed down and could hear my grandmother say, “Oh, if this is the worst thing that happens to that kid, he’s in pretty good shape”. 14 years later, she’s still right. It could’ve been worse.

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