Last Friday, December 16, 2011 Ava woke up from nap feeling warm, but I thought it was due to her blanket being on her so we went about our evening (I had forgotten she had diarrhea earlier). After dinner I picked her up out of her highchair and again I noticed she felt warm, so I took her temperature and it was 100 degrees nothing to be overly concerned about. I gave her acetaminophen and a warm bath and put her to bed like normal.
Friday night at 11:30pm she was complaining (not crying) in her crib and when I went to her she had gotten sick. By the time I got her crib and her cleaned up (Blake was now awake too) Ed was on his way home from work so I waited a couple of minutes so he could help me put the kids back to bed (1am). Around 4am she woke up and was asking for me and she ended up getting sick again (twice). Needless to say it was a long night for her.
Saturday morning she had another bout of diarrhea, but she was still playing normally. We were to go to a special princess birthday party, but instead we visited the doctor because we were celebrating Christmas with Ed's side of the family on Sunday and I really wanted her to be part of the festivities. Once again she got sick before going to the doctor's office. The doctor checked her and said she had no ear or sinus infection and at that time no fever as well, she had a virus and we were to keep her hydrated (3 wet diapers in a 24hr. period). She went the rest of the day without getting sick and one more diaper with diarrhea. She had a rough night sleeping, but if you know Ava she always seems to rough nights with sleeping.
Sunday we tried to keep it low key and I went to buy the sick essentials: saltines, soup, bananas, and applesauce. She took a nap and when she woke up we whisked everyone to the party. It was obvious to us and everyone there that she did not feel well, but we figured the next day we would stay in our pj's and rest. I was concerned because when I went to change her diaper she was not wet and Ed told me she wasn't wet after nap which made me nervous. We got home later than our normal bedtime, but I really wanted to see if she could drink something. She had a little water along with a couple pretzels. The night went ok, she got up a few times, but did sleep some.
Monday is Ed's day off so I wanted him to sleep in as long as possible. Ava was up early and Blake soon followed so I let her choose water or juice (water is what she had) and she wanted a banana. Shortly after eating she threw up and then asked for more banana, yeah I thought that was odd too. She ate 1/4 of a banana and kept it down. She was exhausted so I layed in a chair with my legs up and her on my chest. Blake was being an angel and playing quietly on the floor with toys. While she slept I called my mom (like I always do when I have a question) she advised me to call the doctor because she felt 3 days going on 4 was too long for Ava to have diarrhea and throwing up. I became upset because I was afraid they would send us to the hospital for fluids. Good ol' mom said not to worry and she would meet me at the doctor's office for support. I got off the phone and Ed had come down the stairs for coffee and he thought we should wait to go to the doctor. Ava woke up and I started to give her 5mL of water (my thinking was small amounts she may keep down). I called my mom back to say we were going to wait when "it" happened.
Ava wanted down off me to help get the water in the dropper when she got down she took two steps and fell down and had a seizure. Looking back I think she fell because she was seizing. I yelled for Ed (just woke up and had two sips of coffee) and said she was having a seizure. I was still on the phone with my mom and all she heard was "oh my gosh, I have to go". She assumed she was getting sick. Ed grabbed Ava patted her back while she was facing down then put her on his shoulder. Her trunk area was "trembling". I hurdled couches to grab the landline (you never know about cell phones and I wasn't taking any chances on losing the call) and dialed 911. Hysterically I told the operator our address and what was happening. I have never become this "unglued" before in my life. Once the seizure was over (1 min) her breathing seemed to stabilize and she went completely limp but was breathing. As the ambulance was on its way I called Ed's parents to come up with Blake and again I was extremely emotional so I was glad that Bud (Ed's dad) answered the phone. Clara (Ed's mom) was at our house in 5 seconds (yes, they leave next door, but she is 74 years old) panicked too. Once the ambulance came I went with Ava to the hospital where my mom greeted us as they opened the ambulance door. I registered Ava then went to her side (really they need a better system for registering I should have been with my daughter). She was awake and asking for me which did my heart wonders. She was pale and looked sick, but alert. They took blood (very difficult to get and the vein "exploded") and did a urine test to make sure she didn't have a urinary tract infection. Ed soon joined us (he was a few minutes behind ambulance) and we had Dr. Mc telling us that her tests came back normal for the most part, sodium was a little low but not alarming. He was about to send us home with the thought that it really wasn't a seizure she experienced.
Ava had a little of my water and then said she had to "potty" on the "big potty". So I took her to the bathroom with a diaper and wipes in toe. We waited our turn and when I walked in I was looking for a place to put my things and Ava leaned backwards. I thought she was trying to get down to go to the potty and I was saying, "just a minute Ava" when looked at her and she started to seize. I ran out of the bathroom yelling, "Help ME, She's having a Seizure". Six people helped me and Ava to the nearest room and my mom and Ed came running down the hall. She had a lot of facial twitching with this seizure and it was very hard to watch, in fact at one point I turned away. I asked if that was a seizure when it was confirmed I said that is what happened earlier at our house. Now they decided to get an IV inserted in her foot so that in case she would seize again they would administered seizure medicine immediately. We also went downstairs for a cat scan because she was in a sleep like state, which we have come to find out is typical after a seizure. During a seizure your brain is extremely active and "out of control" and directly after such activity your brain needs to rest so a person goes into a deep sleep to rest the brain from the trauma.
We now were meeting with Dr. C (highly recommend this doctor) and he wanted every single detail and he composed her write up and was in contact with a pediatric neurologist in a large hospital. As I was sitting talking with Dr. C and holding Ava I said, "This is not my daughter", she had a blank stare (in fact she didn't seem to know her Daddy either) and he agreed this was abnormal and this is a type of seizure and watched her closely because it appeared it may happen again. At this time he decided to do a spinal tap to rule out major things like meningitis and once again I became hysterical and out of control with tears. The one nurse came out in the hall while I cried holding Ava and she got in my face to look me in the eye and said if this needed to be down this is the doctor I want. At the time I thought she was saying this to calm me down, but since have heard great things about this doctor (my gut told me he was good as well). Due to the emotional toll of the day the nurses and doctor advised Ed and I to leave the room for this procedure, although we were both willing to be there for her. We took their advise and took a moment to walk outside and cry and PRAY like I have never prayed before in my life. The EMT Mark came out to say it was over and the fluid looked clear (great). We went to her side and the nurses told me she may bruise because they had to hold her tight (it took 2 females and 1 man). Ed had stressed that she was a very strong little girl, sick or not be prepared because she is a fighter. They certainly were impressed with her strength. Within minutes they were able to rule out any major problems. They started her IV of fluids and she rested on my chest while I was in the bed. Ed and my mom went home to get things for Ava and I because we were now being admitted overnight, it was 5pm or a little after when they left. Ed had to drive home with a sick feeling in his stomach and the question: "why am I leaving my daughter at this time". I knew unless there was an emergency I wouldn't see him until the next day. We both knew Blake, although doing well, would need Daddy and when he got home Blake clinged to him. Clara later told me that Blake would go to the window saying he was waiting for the ambulance to bring Ava and I home. Ava napped and when she woke up she had a look that told me she was more herself. The nurses had just gotten new stuffed animals and brought a soft doggy in to her and she beamed like a Christmas tree. It made both the nurses and me smile to see this precious girl smile. The nurse then gave her an orange Popsicle and she again she smiled her beautiful smile and gobbled down the delicious Popsicle. I sent pictures to Ed and called him so she could say, "Hi, Daddy". Daddy became emotional when he heard his baby girl's voice and knew she was okay. I sent pictures to some family because they were all praying for her.
At 6:30pm Ava and I had a room in the ICU and went through all the questions that are routine. One that I was blessed to answer was, "Do you need to be up for work tomorrow?" I am so fortunate to be a stay home mom and be available for Ava. Some time after 7pm my Mom came to the room with a much needed meal for me and some essentials for us both. At 8pm we gave Ava another Popsicle so that I could gobble down a quick bite. Ava wasn't allowed food only liquids and she is my eater so I didn't want to eat in front of her and have to tell her no she could not eat. My heart couldn't take it. The food definitely gave me the strength I desperately needed to get through the night. Mom left around 8:30pm and Ava read, sang and played peek a boo. From about 10 til 11pm Ava was crying and so frustrated (kicking, crying, biting, scratching) because she wanted and needed sleep, but here we were in a strange place with just each other. Around 11pm our nurse came in and said maybe if we went for a walk she would fall asleep. The nurse graciously pulled all the machines Ava was hooked up to and we talked and walked the halls and finally by 11:30pm Ava was asleep. I kept her on my chest for a while then moved her next to me on the bed. I watched the Steelers play Monday night football, but I can't say that I really payed attention, but it was a nice distraction for me. My body did get rest that night, but I can't say that I slept that night. At one point she woke up, looked over at me, was happy to see me (familiar face), grabbed tight to my arm (saying, please don't leave me), snuggled in tight so that her face was touching mine and feel back to sleep.
Tuesday, December 20th at 4:30am Ava woke up for the day! I was so anxious to get home, but we were not sure when Dr. R would be in hospital to release us. She came around 10am and Ava started to throw another major fit (kicking, screaming, crying, biting, scratching). Dr. R asked if this was typical and I told that she was exhausted, in a strange place and poked and prodded by too many strangers. I just wanted to get home and back to normal. I wasn't having any success getting Ava calmed down so Dr. R took her and walked the halls. Later Dr. R said it took her 10 Christmas trees to get her settled and she wasn't sure if she would! I know one day this independent side will serve her well. Needless to say my body was very sore, remember how I wrote how strong she is, well you can't put her down on hospital floor so I would hold her during these fits and my arms ached! Ed soon came in and we were home by 1pm. Ava, Blake and I took a much needed nap. Ed needed one too but offered to stay up and keep the monitors next to him so that I could rest.