Look! I got to ride in an ambulance.
So many times, I've shared pictures and told you about one of the many "firsts" that little Parker has experienced in his 16 months of life. Never did I think we would be chronicling his first ambulance ride! But I guess that is what parenting is about...the unexpected. The stress and the love!
Let me just start by stating that it all ends well.
Here's the story. The probably more-than-you-care-to-know details.
The day started off good. Parker had slept in till 8:00am! Well, actually, I knew that was unusual so I went to check on him and he popped right up. But when I picked him up, he was burning up. Oh great. I had a list a mile long, as we were heading back to Blue Mound for the weekend. I knew I should have done more the night before!
But ends up, Parker had a fever around 100 most of the day, but wasn't terribly whiny or clingy. We watched Thomas and Barney over and over again (wait, that's any day!), he ate lunch (again, the piece meal we call a lunch every day), and he headed to nap at his normal time. But just before nap, I checked his temp. It was 103.6 I sent him to bed with more motrin, then called the doctor to check to see if I should be concerned. The nurse said that because he had no other symptoms, she wanted me to wait 24 hours and then call back. She warned me that I would probably be visiting prompt care then on Saturday.
Again, personal panic sunk in. Matt and I were co-hosting a surprise party on Saturday. How were we going to set up for that AND spend hours in prompt care? Oh well, we would figure it out.
He woke up from his nap and again wasn't too cranky. His fever had gone down. We loaded up the car (to the brim as always)and started our 2 hour trip home. First we stopped at Walgreens to get more motrin, and while I was inside Matt moved the mirror we have to watch Parker from the middle to the passenger side. Just last weekend, we converted Parker to the bigger car seat, moved it from the middle to the side, but never got around to moving the mirror. (There's a reason I'm telling this minute detail.)
So as we approached Morton, just outside of Peoria, traffic was down to one lane. It was 6:00ish... so busy and barely moving. While we were creeping along, Matt looked back in that mirror at Parker--who was having a seizure. Body twitching, glazed rolling eyes. Matt was just screaming "Parker" and hastily pulled over to the shoulder (later telling me he didn't even look to see if cars were coming...eeeks). He runs out and starts undoing the 18 point car seat harness. I'm still not knowing what's going on really because Parker is behind me (facing backwards) and I can't see around Matt. Matt couldn't even speak. But as soon as I got a glimpse of Parker, I knew it was a seizure. I grabbed my cell phone and called 911. Luckily we were literally right in front of the Exit 99 sign or else I probably wouldn't have been able to even tell you where we were.
So the next few minutes were some of the scariest moments of our life so far! Parker continued in the seizure for up to about 5 minutes. I was on the phone with the 911 operator, but meanwhile, I was flagging the slow moving cars asking for help. Somehow, somewhere, for some reason...we had 7 angels appear. Seven! First it was a lady who instantly came up saying "I can't help. But I'm just a mom." As I walked back, there was a 20 year oldish couple, clearly dressed for a date night, who wrapped their arms around Matt and Parker and were praying out loud! Whew--that still gets me! There was a nurse and her husband and later an EMT and his wife. All who just stayed with us, giving us more comfort than they ever, ever could have imagined. We will never know their names or be able to thank them, but I know I haven't forgotten their faces.
About 5 minutes after the seizure ended, the ambulance (as well as police and fire dept) showed. Parker was really lethargic and just in a daze. Normally he would be pointing and babbling, but he didn't even notice them. Parker and I both got to experience our first ambulance ride, as Matt followed behind.
Basically Parker just had a febrile seizure. His temp was 104 when we got to the hospital, so it likely had hit 105 before the ice packs, etc. They tested for strep and he got his first e-rays. Everything came back fine. There was spots in his throat so he likely just had some crazy virus. (Hmm..maybe a McDonald's virus since we had been at the nasty playplace the day before). Let's just say, we've learned a lot about febrile seizures since Friday night.
And now we realize maybe Parker didn't really need his first ambulance ride (only has to go to ER now if seizure lasts more than 10 minutes), but I'm pretty sure neither of us were capable of driving at that point...especially to get out of a construction zone!
I should also add--we've talked so much too about so many of our friends and family who have had to witness their kids go through so many worse medical problems. Some over and over again. Our sympathy changed to empathy and our hearts ache for you even more.
Oh, and even though we spent 4 hours in the ER and didn't make it to Blue Mound till 12:30am (at which Parker was wound up, ready to go!)...at least we didn't have to visit prompt care on Saturday...and the party went off perfectly!
See, lots of happy endings!