Thursday, September 15, 2011


Long time no post. Sorry about the alarming title, but it is the only word to come close to what I experienced this time last week. This post has been in draft form for a week, I have only just recovered. One week later I am now looking back on the previous week and wondering why I was not more over the top than I was, and thanking God every day for my wonderful life.

Last Monday night Toby had a seizure. It was the scariest, most horrendously terrifying experience I have ever encountered in 44 years of life, so awful I cannot even find strong enough adjectives to describe what I went through.

Don't worry, Toby is fine!!!!

I want you to all go and Dr Google "febrile convulsion" and get informed, because I have never heard of this, in any of the parenting books, and advice I have from many parents. It scared the crap out of me, and had I know this is a common condition in children, maybe I wouldn't have freaked as much as I did (though I doubt it).

In summary, and you can look it up yourselves, a febrile convulsion comes on due to a sudden spike in temperature. It happens in children 6 months to 6 years, it affects 20-30% of children and is more common in boys. It is brought on by a cold, flu, infection or virus. In our case Toby had been well after recovering from a slight snotty cold in preceding weeks, and the docs at the hospital and our GP think it was caused by a 24 hour virus.

It strikes quickly and the lasting damage is to the parent

4.15pm - We put Tobo into his cot for a late afternoon nap. He was grissly, but he hates his cot anyway, so nothing was unusual. He had no temperature, he was cool to the touch, he was 100% normal.

4.30pm - Super Nanny left and Toby had a bit of a small grizzle that I ignored and he went back to sleep.

5pm - He woke and had a bigger grizzle, he was still tired, we had a cuddle and I put him into the "big bed" (mummy and daddy's bed) and he fell asleep.

5.30pm - He woke and grizzled, as he normally does. He was happy I busted him free from the big bed. We went to the lounge room, and I sat him on the floor next to his Sit and Spin Zebra, offered him a piece of banana, which he threw on the floor, nothing unusual. I noticed he felt slightly warm. We have had temps before, I do know how hot or not hot he is or should be. He felt a bit warm. I went to get some nurofen as I thought it was teething.

5.40 (ish) - I lay Toby on the couch, gave him 5ml of nurofen, and immediately his left hand started twitching. I was actually on the phone chatting to Chai Baby at the time, and said, "OMG, Toby is twitching, OMG, he is shaking. Hang up NOW!"

My first thought was that I had overdosed my baby. Then I thought, what did I put in the neurofen pen other than neurofen? It is actually impossible to overdose a baby with one pen of neurofen, Tobes has 5-7mg of the stuff, and the pen holds no more, but shit, the things one's terrified mind thinks of!!!!

By then Toby was having a full seizure. His eyes had rolled back in his head, they were open, but vacant, and his body was convulsing, I don't even know how to describe it, it was so frightening ... he just had waves of shaking go all over him, and I tried to get him to focus on me, but mummy couldn't reach her little boy. I seriously thought he was going to die.

5.41pm (ish) I called 000. In my mind it took forever for them to connect me to an ambulance, seriously, how dare they take time to ask, 'Hello, this is emergency services, do you require police, fire or ambulance". I do recall saying, "I don't want the effing police or fire, how can they help????!!!! get me an ambulance and doctors, and send them NOW!!!"

Connected to the ambulance operator, I had to give them information, but all I could do was scream was, "My baby is having a seizure, I think he is dying, please get someone here now!" Of course, the first thing they do is dispatch the ambulance, and then they ask questions, name, age of child, address etc etc., but that all took way too long, seconds were hours, as I sat there and watched my precious boy, who I couldn't rouse, convulse.

Within one minute the paramedics arrived, and Toby was just coming to. I cannot tell you the relief I felt, to see my little boy stop shaking and see his eyes focus on mine, and recognise me, and he let out a whimper and I knew he was back. God, that was the most precious moment of my whole life.

Tobes was strapped to heart monitors, and temperature takes and had a tiny little baby oxygen mask placed over his face. The paramedics were very clam, and they put him on a stretcher and we went to to ambulance. I don't remember a whole lot more. At soem stage I grabbed a few nappies and chucked them in a bad, but we left the house open, lights on, doors open, Screw that, come rob me, just don't take my son.

I don't recall the ambulance ride, in fact, I now recall very little of the whole event, one's brain has any amazing way of clocking out terror. I know I called Grandma at some stage, and she came to the hospital with Aunty Belinda, who is a doctor (thank YOU God!).

Poor little Tobes was subjected to much prodding and poking, and he was in the nude to cool home down. His temp at home was 38.6 and in the hospityal it was 39.1 ... and fortunately dropping. By the time Aunty Bind and Grandma arrived, mr T was quote indignant, laid in the nude with the family jewells on display above a pee cup so we could get a pee sample.

We had four hours of observation in the ER, and the doc didn't feel it was necessary to admit Mr T. She did, however, offer to admit "us" ... ie. mummy and Toby, due to mummy's anxiety. The ER was full, and there were no beds in the kids ward. I had a cry about making the decision to take him home. The worst thing in my mind was that I would take him home and it would happen again and I couldn't get him to medical help quick enough. But I trusted Grandma and Aunty Bind and we went home. We also decided to not call Bob who is working in Manila, as we knew he would freak, and come home immediately, and if there were no planes available, he would hijack a plane and order it to Perth airport.

I spent two nights on the couch with Toby sleeping across my lap. I watched all the crap late night TV and infomercials, and even Weather Watch. I refused to go to sleep. I had to watch him breathe.

Tobes has been to his GP and she gave the same diagnosis, febrile convulsion. She said it was most likely caused by a 24 hour virus. We have an appointment with a pediatrician in 2 weeks, and I will demand a CT and an MRI and a referral to a neurologist ... which are most likely unnecessary ... but who can take a chance?

Here are some more Tobo pics of great cuteness.


Doug Rigg said...

Gosh that just sounds terrible, Meg. I'm glad he's doing better and things have calmed down,...and yes, you can never be too careful. Take care.

Anonymous said...

Oh my god Meg, how scary. You poor thing. I have a friend wholes little girl has one every couple of months it's awful. Hope your recovering from the shock. I can imagine you will never forget it. Take care. Denise x

Edward said...

Thank GOD he's all fine (and you too!) It's valuable info to at least know that this could happen...but I'm sure every parent who was put through that kind of scare would be very upset! Huge hugs!

The Heffernan's said...

Meg, we are sitting in Delhi reading your post and it must have been just awful for you. Thankfully Tob is ok and mind you still as cute as ever! Hope you are feeling better. x

Mandy - email said...

Why in the world am I only seeing this now?? It wasnt updated on my blog (the title-i mean)!! I just happened to click on it randomly. SOOO Happy things are ok now, your anxiety must have shot the roof off. Glad to see such a cute pic of him after reading this SCARY post.

Hugs and kisses to Mr. T!!

Avey and Dr Vinay Bhatia said...

Thank God your both fine. What a terrible thing to have to go through. I do agree Toby is just so cute,

Anonymous said...

What does "grizzled" mean to those of us in the U.S.?

Tigerlilycat said...

What the?!?! We're totally out of the look too - and thank go (literally!!) that Toby is fine. Never heard of this before, but going to research it now.


ps - nice paving!

[grizzled = have a whinge]

jojo said...

Oh poor mumma and tobes. Sounds like u went thru a living he'll. I'm so so so glad everything's ok.

Anonymous said...

God just saw your post. So sorry to hear about Toby but glad he is feeling better. Take care Karen

Bernadette & Duane said...

Oh my-- I had to skip to the end before reading the entire post. SO GLAD all is well. Lots of hugs to Toby-- and more to you!!!

lucylu said...

Hi Meg
I know exactly what you have been through my son had a seizure 11 days after his MMR shot and it was terrifying to say the least. I too thought he was going to die! The temperatures you described are a typical range for febrile seizures. My son's were not febrile though... but they look the same. Thank god he grew out of them when he got a little older. He is in great health now but the fear was there for years. Every time his eyes rolled even a little or his breathing sounded funny my heart would plummet into my stomach. Even my GP said they scare doctors when they see kids convulsing!!! If you need to chat please email or call me. Take carexx

Kerrie and Mark said...

I am releived all seems ok now and it was probably viral. A CT scan is not an unreasonable request.
I too would loke to know what grizzled means.

Sam and Phil said...

Meg honey, so glad you all got through that, just heart wrenching to read. Hope we will get to see you soon! Lots of love Sam, Zoe Ruby and Phil xxxxxx

Sharon from Mom at Last said...

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