Friday, October 24, 2008

Things Change Quickly

I've been reluctant to write this. Not sure if I could. It has been a tough week. I'm just going to get it done. This is Ian's blog and I guess the good and the bad need to be documented equally. I guess. I'm not sure. But here goes.

My mom got here on Tuesday. Ian went to school, I picked her up from the train station and we enjoyed lunch and a tour of the Governor's Mansion together. I'd really wanted to spend time with her alone since we never do that anymore. We had a great afternoon. Walked to get Ian from school, got coffee at Pete's with the sweet gift card the Ferraras gave me. Shea joined us and we went across the street for dinner at Petes. We litteraly spent 3 hours in the same one block area of midtown. It was great afternoon! Came home and played in the front yard until it was time for Ian to go to bed.

And then...everything changed. While trying to get him to sleep he suddenly, unexpectedly stopped breathing. The color disappeared from his face. I think 30 seconds. It felt like 10 years. There was yelling. There was panic. There was confusion. I picked him up, put him on the floor, took his pajamas off. Mom ran for Shea downstairs. 911 was called. He started breathing again while Shea was talking to 911. All I can remember him saying was "my son isn't breathing, my son isn't breathing." I don't know how long it went on. Time stopped and sped up all at the same time.

I held Ian just looking at him. He was not right. His little face didn't look panick or afraid or anything. It was just blank. I asked him to talk to me. He just had a glazed nothingness to his expression and his eyes. I will never forget just how blank his sparkling eyes were.

The ambulance was on its way. We took him downstairs wrapped in his blanket. Only his Shrek underwear on. He clung to me. A cling from when he was so much smaller and so much more needy. So vulnerable.

He said a few words to me. But not many and barely audible.

The ambulance came. They checked everything. It all seemed ok. The ride with him in my arms seemed the longest drive I've ever experienced. I thought for a minute they were taking us to Roseville since I recognized nothing out of the back windows. They weren't.

The ER, if it can be, was a good experience. They helped him almost immediately. Drew blood, temperature, heart rate, everything. He cried when they put the needle in his arm to draw blood. It was such a sad cry and I hugged him closer but at the same time was relieved to hear him cry, see him move, see him be something like the normal little boy who just an hour before had been bouncing on the bed refusing to settle down to sleep.

They ordered a CT scan and took us more quickly than I expected. He was so tiny in the machine. His little head held in place and covered with a sheet. I laid beside him covered in a lead jacket with directions to hold his face so he didn't move. His little eyes were so afraid. Not certain what to expect. And I couldn't even tell him. I had never experienced one to know what it sounded like or look like or even did. He seemed amazed by the spinning but not so interested that he needed to move his head. Thank goodness.

And then we waited. He became more of the Ian we knew. About an hour after the initial moment he started to talk and goof and generally be Ian. Then he said, "let's go home and take a nap." Midnight. Yes, that is where we should have been. Home taking a nap. He asked us over and over.

We were still waiting. Trying to be strong and happy for him, but on the inside terrified of what we were going to find. Anxious to know what turn our life was going to take.

Nothing. Thank God. Nothing. All tests showed nothing. Not one thing. Everything fine. Everything.

So four hours after it all began we were sent out of the ER with directions to "keep him safe" if it happened again. Relieved a little. Frightened a lot. Completely unsure. Not much explanation. Sometimes it happens in little kids. Body shuts down. No risk unless it goes longer. See his doctor the next day. Get an EEG. That's it.

We all went to sleep quickly but it was not a restfull night. I couldn't turn over. I just needed to see him. Touch him. Know that he was still breathing. Know that it wasn't going to happen again.

In the morning he was Ian. Tired but just our Ian. Laughing, goofing, asking for a movie, playing with his light saber. Everything as it should be. He ate. He drank. He talked. All normal.

We visited his pediatrian. I love Dr. Cutts. He just has a way of making it all okay. He describes things beautifully, honors our internet research, and is completely thorough. He confirmed what we were already beginning to believe. A seizure. Not uncommon in children. Essentially the body rebooting. No pain. No memory of it. Just a need to shut down and restart. Probably held his breath when he got upset about not sleeping. Sent his little brain into a bit of a loop -- breathe, no hold breath, breathe, no hold breath. Common among 3 year old in the "tantrum age."

Now we just go on. Live life. It might happen again. It might not. Keep him safe. Time it if it does happen again. Today feels better than yesterday. Seeing him be Ian helps make it easier. I'm sure the memory will fade for us a little. I'm sure it will be easier to talk about. I know, without doubt, that image of his little body limp in my arms, blue in the face, lifeless won't pass soon. But I've comfort in hearing him play in the living room now with my mom. Talking of Star Wars and Halloween and everything else that should be in a 3 year old's life.


Anonymous said...

wow Katrina you have experienced a frightning thing and I understand exactly how you feel as I have this t-shirt, but mine was over 20 years ago.

Simply enjoy the little man with all your heart - as you do !

sam ellis

Heather said...

Oh dear Katrina. *HUGS* How frightening to have happen. I remember when my husband had an episode of irregular breathing and how it scared us as adults. I can't imagine experiencing it with a child.

If Ian does remember it, I am sure he remembers how strong and protective his parents were. He is lucky to have you both in his life looking out for him. You both have great instincts to keep him safe.

Anonymous said...

K ... I've tears running down my face after reading your account of this most frightening day in your's & Ian's life.

We have had many scares, and emergencys with our children and grandchildren, but nothing like what you and Shea went through.

Anonymous said...

Oh Katrina, this is so frightening of an experience that yall have been trough. I cant imagine how scary of an ordeal it has been and I am so glad Ian is on this side of the ordeal and is doing well.

esther_a said...

Eeek, how awful!! And you are left with that lingering doubt and those ghastly memories so fresh.
Thinking of you!

Christine said...

Wow, Katrina how scary! I'm so happy he's feeling better. I feel so connected to him from reading your blog and knowing that my oldest was born within days of Ian. As the Dr said - keep him safe and keep yourselves safe too!

Miss N said...

Oh wow - I've been out of the internet loop for awhile now and am just catching up. I can't even imagine, and all of the other comments have said it much better than I can. Things are better now, no?

Michelle Filo said...

OMG girl, what a scary thing to happen!!! I hope neither of you has to go anything slightly similar ever ever again!!!!!

sorry I have been away for so long, sending healingcalmingpositivehappy thoughts your way :)



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