Sunday, August 18, 2013


It was Wednesday.  All was good.  Both kiddos were healthy and happy and playing as usual.

I went to put Kaleab to bed that night and felt a possible mild fever as I rocked him.  As I crawled into bed I commented to Jeff that I wondered if Kaleab was coming down with something.  Even as he drifted off to sleep he was kind of whimpering.  Not normal.

My gut told me something wasn't right.  I figured he was coming down with a cold or something.

An hour later Kaleab awoke calling out for me.  It was different sort of cry.  Not one of just waking up wanting his mama.  This was more of a "Mama, I'm scared.  I need you" cry.

Poor babe had soaked through his pajamas with sweat!  He was BURNING UP!

After changing his diaper and pjs I brought him into bed with us.  We cuddled and eventually started to fall asleep.......

.....only to be awakened by a nightmare!!!.......

Another hour later, Kaleab awoke puking.  My heart began racing.  As did my mind.  I knew that I knew this wasn't just some simple sickness.  My gut was talking to me again.  {I SO wish my gut was wrong this time!}  I felt an urgency to have the bedroom light turned on while simultaneously feeling afraid to have the light turned on.  Afraid of what I was going to see.

Having a lightened room confirmed my need for worry.

My poor sweet baby was ill.  Seriously ill.

He could not talk.  He could not even cry.  He tried to but only little sounds of a whimper could leave his mouth.  He could not lift up his limbs.  And his eyes.  Those beautiful ebony eyes rolled slightly back into his head and then fixated on a spot on the ceiling.  And they could not move from that focal point.  No matter what I tried to do to get him to look at me or elsewhere.  His eyes were fixed.  His body was listless.  Except for the brief whimpers that were like screams to me for help.

Amidst our panic and trying to decide if we should call 911 or drive him straight to the hospital, Jeff phoned 911............while I ran out the door in a frenzy with baby Kaleab.  I had said to Jeff, "Let's just go!"  He didn't think I meant let's leave right this second.

But I did.

As I ran sweet Kaleab to the car, he tried to put his arms around me.  But he couldn't lift his arms.  As I placed him in the carseat,  I prayed out loud while watching my sweet baby sit there nearly catatonic.  The prayers became louder as did my verbal assurance to my sweet babe that he was going to be okay, though on the inside, I was in a freak-out frenzy and was pleading with our Heavenly Father to protect our sweet son.

After waiting for Jeff maybe two seconds (poor guy) I sped off in the car to the hospital which thankfully was less than a mile away.  Yes, Yes.  You heard me right.  I left my husband and raced to the hospital!

I left my car running in the ER entrance and sprinted in, begging the front office person to "Help my baby!  Please someone help my baby!"  No sign whatsoever of my being a mama who had totally lost all sense of control and wits about her, right?!  But seriously, time was of the essence!

Time was so pertinent, that I did not even bother {or think} to put on my shoes, or change out of my puked-on jammies, nor did I take time to change sweet Ka's puked-on jammies.  What a site we were.  But nothing mattered ~ nothing! ~ outside of getting my baby emergent medical care!!!

The front office lady slowly and calmly started asking me the routine questions.  Until she saw my Kaleab.  Upon which she brought us immediately back to the doctors and nurses in the ER.

I crawled onto the bed holding Kaleab in my arms, and by this time sweet Jeff was by our side.  As the doctor and staff were asking us a bunch of questions (before helping my baby!) puke began oozing from sweet Ka's nose and mouth.  Poor baby couldn't even respond to it happening.  He just sat in my arms.  Limp.  Unresponsive.  Jeff and I were SO FREAKED!!!

It was a NIGHTMARE we hope to NEVER EVER repeat!!!

The doctor was confident it was a febrile seizure because Kaleab had a fever of 104.  All I heard was seizure.  I freaked even more.  The doctor tried to calm both Jeff and me by saying though this was not desirable, it was fairly common.

Seizure.  Seizure!  Kept running through my mind.  I didn't hear much past that.

There were so many hands on my baby ~ giving him an IV, cathing him to test his urine, taking his temperature, drawing his blood, cutting off his pajama top {thank goodness it wasn't his firetruck or dump truck jammies!  ha!  Trying to add some humor to this NOT FUNNY story}.  You name it, they were doing it to my baby.

Oh can I tell you the utter JOY and RELIEF of hearing our son CRY out loud!!!!  No more little whimpers.  He could all-out CRY!!!  It must be what it is like for parents birthing a child and hearing that first-ever cry.  I wasn't sure we were ever going to hear that precious beautiful sound again when I left the house!  "Praise God!" I kept thinking and saying repeatedly as I clung to my baby.  The relief it brought my mama heart is totally indescribable!!!!!

Shortly after his cry was the sound of those words!  Those sweet.precious.words....."Mama!  Mama!  Mama!" He kept repeatedly saying "Mama" while looking into my eyes and crying out loud.  Oh my!  How AMAZING it was to hear his precious little voice calling out my name!

He was talking!  He knew who I was!  This was an incredibly GOOD sign!!!  He had stopped seizing!  Praise God!  His normal functions were returning!  I felt as though I was witnessing a miracle before my very eyes!!!

His eyes were once again tracking and watching all the chaos going on around him.  He kept snuggling into me for assurance of safety.  And seeing Daddy right there beside us helped ease his anxiety as well.  Mine too, for that matter.

As the fever started to be controlled and his function continued to resume, and mommy and daddy were able to collect themselves and regain a sense of calmness......okay, so that may be an overstatement.....but at least we were once again coherent.  We were able to be present in the now.  As opposed to praying frantically in our own heads to God, and freaking ourselves out about what was happening and what the future looked like for our precious baby.  All the while trying to console Kaleab with a voice of calm and peace and confidence.

We were now able to actually listen to the doctor beyond the word Seizure.

We went with Kaleab to have a CT scan done of his head.  Results were normal and stable!  THANK YOU, JESUS!!!  All other tests were coming back normal as well.  Further confirming for the doctors that this was, indeed, a febrile seizure.

The ER doctor did recommend a spinal tap for our little babe.  We were not keen on this idea.  When we inquired as to why he thought this was best, he stated that it would help rule out meningitis.  Well, of course we did not want to take our babe home and have worse things happen if he did have meningitis, when it all could have been prevented if found in a spinal tap, so we reluctantly agreed to the procedure.

They gave him the meds to try to get him in an awake but sleepy state.  They kept having to give him another dose as he wasn't responding.  After giving him one more dose, the doctor finally conceeded that this little guy was going to continue talking and not sleep enough for the procedure to be carried out.

Jeff and I had to wonder some nights can take forever to get this sweet boy asleep!  He even fights sleep when given meds to help him get there!  That's my baby!  And to be honest, it still was just so good to hear our boy talking!!!

They admitted us for observation and the ER doctor recommended they try again with a different drug once set up in the pediatric unit.  With much prayer about the upcoming spinal tap, as God would have it......NO SPINAL TAP was performed!  The pediatric doctors said that his White Blood Cells weren't high enough to indicate concern for meningitis!  Yay!  Our little guy was spared!  GO GOD!

Our little guy didn't fall asleep for the procedure because God knew he didn't need it!!!  How DOES God pay attention to so many details in every.single.person'!?!?  Guess that is why He is God and I am not.  Unfathomable!

To summarize the rest of this story, we stayed in the hospital until 5pm that evening.  Kaleab just laid on my chest the entire day.  Talking, but minimally compared to his norm.  They kept giving him Children's Tylenol to fight the raging fever, which helped him finally get some sleep.

By the time we were able to be discharged, he was sitting upright, asking to stand now and again and even talking more.  Color was coming back to his face and that precious light was returning to his eyes.

We spent the evening at home cuddling, spooning and eating bits and pieces here and there, as his appetite had not yet returned.  Within minutes of getting home he was falling asleep in my arms.
There's no place like HOME!

I will confess to having a fear of having a repeat experience, especially that first night home from the hospital.  I know fear is not of God, but I couldn't shake it {though I didn't let it steal my JOY of having my son healthy again and HOME!}  And God is working out that fear with each day, as I realize that God loves my son even more than Jeff and me, and He has shown up BIG to reveal to us just how MUCH He loves our little guy!

We had our post ER doctor follow-up visit and got the BEST report possible!

NO long-term effects of the seizure as his brain was never without oxygen (he never stopped breathing).  NO reason to believe he will ever have another seizure EVER again!!!  And finally, this episode has ZERO indication for epilepsy in his future!!!

PRAISE GOD!!!  As scarey an ordeal as this was, it looks as though it was our first and prayerfully our last!  SO PRAISING GOD, as I do not know if I could endure that nightmare again!  It was AWFUL!!!!!

So, our little guy is progressing well.  He is chatting up a storm, fulfilling his nickname "chatterbox," his appetite grows daily, no fever, and he is gradually catching up from all the stress and lack of sleep his body has endured the last few days.

Mommy and Daddy are still trying to catch up on sleep as well, but the bliss of having our sweet boy walking and talking and returning to normal makes our days MORE THAN BLISSFUL!!!

THANK YOU, JESUS!  For tending to our baby boy once again!  You held him in the very palm of your hand.  You guided his care and testing and brought back to us our precious, healthy, giggly, joy-filled little boy!  Words cannot begin to show our gratitude!

THANK YOU to Lisa, who came over in the middle of the night to be here for Sami!  You are a gem of a friend and a great gift from God!  And THANK YOU to Amy and Brent (one of Sami's best friends' parents), for allowing Sami to join your family while we tended to Kaleab in the hospital!

Words cannot describe the peace it brought me {us} to know that Sami was well cared for and either sleeping safely or having a blast with his buddy!  Blessings to all three of you!

And a big THANK YOU to ALL of you wonderful friends and family who sent me texts, emails, and FB messages filled with prayers, encouragement, love and offers to help!

We are beyond BLESSED to call each one of you family and friends!  Your prayers and our amazing Heavenly Father helped bring this nightmare to a beautiful, healthy and blessed ending! 

Here are some pics from today {Saturday} to show the beauty of God's work these past few days.  We enjoyed some family time by the river today, a short walk from our house.
That precious smile and laugh have returned!

Daddy took a quick shot of the three of us!

I will trade this JOY for the fear and agony of Wed night ANY DAY!!!!...................


Lisa Goihl said...

This story has so much love and heart in it, and is so well written, that it begs to be read over and over again. What kept coming into my head: This is why you were chosen to be his parents. What if this had happened before he was adopted? Would the medical system have what he needed to keep him alive and to help him recover? God has proven to you many times over His undying love for His children. Thank you for sharing this story.

Heather and Adam said...

I am glad that it turned out to be a febrile seizure and that all has turned out okay. I have run 911 calls on numerous febrile seizures and it can be very scary for the parents. I have always tried to reassure parents but you are right, most of the time they never get past the word seizure.

April D said...

Giant tears as I read this entire post. These are the scariest and worst moments for a parent. So grateful you listened to your gut and paid attention to your son's every moment. YOU ARE A GREAT MOMMA! Praise God that he is the ultimate healer :)

Debb said...

Thank you for the loving thoughts, Lisa! It definitely was a nightmare and we definitely don't want to EVER repeat the experience, but as you said, our Heavenly Father sure showed us again of His love for our sweet babe! I feel so blessed God chose US to be this sweet boys' parents! So undeserving! So grateful and awed by God! Blessings to you!

Debb said...

THANKS Heather and Adam! It WAS so very scary for us! Tough job you have, to convince freaked out parents it is "only" a febrile seizure! :) So thanking God this is what it was and that all is okay! Hugs to you and your family!

Debb said...

Yes, April!!! Scariest and worst moments EVER!!!! Ugh!!! Praising God right along with you for gifting parents that "gut feeling" and for bringing our sweet son out of this unharmed!!! He IS the Ultimate Healer and we are soooo grateful for His protection and provision that night! *HUGS*

Post a Comment

We Love Your Kind Thoughts!