Monday, May 21, 2012

Scary Happenings

For those of you wondering and curious about what happened to Rowan; here is the story. 

It was about 4:20pm on Monday. I've been watching my friend Jessica's little boy, Hunter, while she starts a new job, and it gets pretty crazy here with three little ones under the age of 3 running around. I was back in my room getting some laundry to wash, and didn't want all the kids back there playing. Once I had the clothes I needed in my arms, I told Kirby, who had followed me back there, to come out. He broke into a full out run in our very short hallway. Rowan had proceeded down the hallway in an effort to follow us, and Kirby slammed into her, knocking her flat on her back. I saw the expression on his face-he hadn't even seen her. As I was telling him that he needed to be careful and ALWAYS watch where he was going and watch out for Rowan, I heard her cry for a split second then stop. I went and picked her up and her body was stiff and she wasn't breathing. I thought she had gotten the breath knocked out of her. I was gently patting her back & telling her it was OK and to breathe. I put the laundry down on the washer, and as I did so, Rowan's eyes crossed, she arched her back, and then her eyes rolled into the back of her head. She started making choking sounds and out came a couple of pieces of the dried pineapple she had been snacking on. Thinking she might still have some lodged in her throat, I put her in position head down on the floor and started doing the baby Heimlich on her. She wasn't responsive at all, nor could I tell that she was breathing. I remembered that our next door neighbor was some kind of nurse so I ushered the boys outside and I was holding on to Rowan screaming at her to breathe. Panic was setting in. No answer to my knocking on the door, so back inside we all went. I knew I was going to have to call 911. I was still screaming at Rowan to breathe. In the moments before I dialed 911, all I could think about was my dear friend, Christi's friend Kate, whose 14 month old choked to death on a pretzel he ate everyday. I just knew Rowan was going to die. I was going to lose her. Rowan started having a seizure. She was on her side, eyes barely open, unresponsive, convulsing, foaming at the mouth. I pulled out my phone, dialed 911, and lost it. I told them where to come. Dispatch made me stay on the line and was asking me questions. The lady asked me if she was breathing. I could not tell and told her so. I was sobbing. I didn't even think of looking at her chest to see if it was rising or falling or putting my ear to hear mouth. You know, those normal things you do to see if a person is breathing. I was almost paralyzed. I knew she was going to die. IT. WAS. HORRIBLE. I don't think I've ever felt so helpless my entire life... Rowan coughed a little and she said if that was her coughing, she's breathing and that's a good sign. I say OK, all the while willing my daughter to breathe and hang on to life. Kirby and Hunter were so concerned and so kind. They kept bringing me toilet paper, telling me to blow my nose. I kept telling them how serious this was. We live RIGHT down the street from both the fire station & the police station. The ambulance and police officer were here within a minute. Rowan had stopped convulsing and was coming out of it, crying. I let the paramedics in while trying to keep the curious boys inside. The paramedics checked Rowan's vital signs which were good. I gave my report to the sweet lady officer who had come. Rowan was pretty unresponsive until the paramedics shone a flashlight in her eyes to check them. She then proceeded to start screaming & crying. The paramedics told me that Rowan was fine, but that she needed to be taken to the hospital for a follow up because of the seizure, since she had no signs or symptoms which could have triggered the seizure. Her vitals were perfect and she had no knots on her head. I chose to transport her myself thinking that if she was fine, I could take her for free, opposed to if they transported her in the ambulance, it'd be who knows how much.  Rowan was still screaming and crying. The paramedics told me to not be surprised if she slept for awhile. They said no matter the age, a seizure takes a lot out of a person and she'd be sleepy. As the ambulance drove away,I tried calling Hunter's Mom, but wasn't able to get through. I then proceeded to call my Dad, who thankfully was home (and lives right down the street from us as well) and tell him that I had an emergency situation and that I needed him to come watch the boys for me. I then called Joseph and briefly explained to him what was going on. Rowan was still screaming & crying so it was difficult for me to hear and to be heard. My Dad arrived, sans shoes, and I proceeded to tell him a little bit about what was going on, and the food I had in the oven, etc. Rowan finally stopped screaming and crying and went to sleep. I got her loaded in the car and realized I was going to have to stop for gas to be able to make it to the hospital. After I got some gas, I saw my husband sitting at the light by the gas station & called asking him why he was there. He said he was going to come home to meet me and ride to the hospital with us, but I had already left. I thought that he had said he was going to meet me at the hospital. Misheard him over Rowan's screams... I went and got him and then we headed to Cook Children's Hospital downtown. We didn't have to wait long to get a room. Meanwhile, my sister was with Kirby, Hunter and my Dad, and my Ma was out in the waiting room at Cook's with us. The nurse came in and checked Rowan out and said she was bumping her level up (trauma level, I assume) so that we could see the Dr sooner and get into CT sooner. Rowan nursed & fell asleep while we waited for the Dr. The Dr. came in a little while later and examined Rowan and said she had ordered a CT and we'd be taken back as soon as they were ready. Rowan fell asleep again. My Ma had offered to get Joseph and I some coffee from Starbucks while we waited and so I had sent Joseph out to get the coffee and my Ma came back to the room. We talked for a few minutes, me telling her how scary the situation had been, us both crying, until a tech interrupted us to take Rowan and I for her CT. I had to lay her on a table on her back and they proceeded to bind her up/restrain her so she wouldn't fall off the table. I was able to stay in the room and had a X-ray vest to wear. Rowan was very upset, quickly reaching the point of hysteria. They needed her completely still in order to get a good scan. The CT was only supposed to last about a minute if we could just get her to calm down. We tried everything. Toys. iPhone TV. Singing. Sugar water (which made her SUPER angry). Distraction of every sort. I tried going out of her vision range. All to no avail. She was not going to be happy unless she was in my arms. Needless to say, they did not get a clear CT scan, but said they'd see if they got anything usable. Once in my arms Rowan calmed down, but it took a good 20 minutes for her to completely calm down. She nursed and then went back to sleep. We waited. And waited. And waited. We asked the nurse what was going on, if she knew anything, and she checked and said the Dr was trying to figure out what she wanted to do. She and the tech that took us to CT came back and measured Rowan's head. More waiting  I finally was able to go get some dinner from the cafeteria with my Ma while Joseph held Rowan. She was still asleep. I was very anxious and antsy while we ate our bunless hamburgers and fries. I wanted to get back. I felt guilty for leaving Rowan. We headed back and I received a text from Joseph asking me to come back when I was a few doors down from Rowan's room. Rowan was up and the nurse was checking her vitals. Joseph said the Dr had been in and she'd be back to explain, but Rowan's CT results were abnormal and she had some swelling in her brain. I started crying. The Dr came in and proceeded to explain to us that the ventricles and the white matter in Rowan's brain were not large, but they were not normal size, either. They both have to do with the neurological part of the brain.  Our Dr consulted with the neurologist on call and he said he wasn't worried about it being slightly enlarged. It was not an emergency situation, but we did need to follow up with an MRI & EEG to get it checked out. We were discharged from the hospital about 9:40pm with instructions to follow up with Rowan's PCP and get her other tests scheduled. She had slept most of the time at the hospital away and was sleepy on the way to my parents house. As we walked inside to get Kirby, Rowan spotted my parents cat and perked right up, quickly returning to her normal self. She was able to interact and visit with her GiGi & Auntie Chelle. 
When we all got home and I was packing Kirby up to go to his Ginny's, Rowan was walking around, talking and playing like her normal self. We thankfully got a good night's sleep with no further occurrences. 
We followed up with Rowan's pediatrician the following day. He said she looked great but he definitely thought since she had a seizure that the next practical steps were an MRI (sedated-which I didn't know the sedated part until he mentioned it. Makes sense since she was hysterical in CT. Still scary to me, though.), an EEG, and blood work. He thinks that there's very little possibility anything is wrong with her. He thinks her seizure was probably caused by her falling and hitting her head. Her abnormal CT results could be attributed to the fact that she was not still but moving. 
Her MRI is scheduled for this Friday, May 25, the EEG June 6 and we can get the blood work done anytime. She will then follow up with a parter of the neurologist that saw her scans in the ER June 18. 
She's acting completely normal, her sweet, crazy self. No apparent signs that anything happened. Other than me freaking out every time she does anything she could get hurt from. (0= I guess that's a Mother's job, right? 
If Rowan should have another seizure we'd have to take her back to the ER. I'm hoping and praying that doesn't happen. It's a scary experience watching your child suffer while being completely helpless to stop it. 
Now we are waiting for her appointments and watching her to make sure nothing else happens. 
And I'm trusting God that He is keeping her in His hands, just exactly like she's supposed to be. 

We've received an outpouring of love, prayers and support from our family and friends and I just want to say thank you to each and every person! Your support means the world to our family and the prayers sustain us.