And who would have ever thought that the day after I was convinced my other son was dying in my living room, I'd be thinking about Flavor Flav?
Everything was fine yesterday. At one point I thought Jules was acting funny when he crawled into my lap & just laid on me to watch Elmo, but otherwise he was fine all day. In the evening as I was cooking dinner he was a bit fussy, but it happens. He wouldn't eat dinner, but if you've ever been around a toddler you know that sometimes they survive on nothing but air & excitement. Adam & I sat down to eat, I'd been taking pictures of things for a new blog I was planing on writing (two actually, which are still to come obviously). Jules is sitting near the doorway of the dining room, watching Elmo. I forgot what we'd been saying, nothing important as usual, we may have been discussing a kitten machine or the fact that I'd just found cotton candy from April, but then I was convinced my son was dead & that's all that mattered.
Out of no where, he fell over (I'm pretty sure he was just sitting there), got totally stiff, started shaking, eyes rolled back in his head. Adam jump down in the floor with him & being the person who does the phone calls & things like that normally, I grabbed my phone & dialed 911.
After ringing about 15 times as I asked Adam if he was breathing, which he told me he wasn't, a woman finally answered, I told her I needed an ambulance. She asked me "why?" with a somewhat doubtful way. I tell her my son just had a seizure & he's not breathing. She ask the address, I tell her. She gets it wrong, I correct her. She ask me how old he is, I tell her. She then ask who it is, I tell her. AGAIN, she ask how old he is. Again, I tell her, then she brings back the doubtful tone again & ask, "and WHO is this who isn't breathing?" I screamed out that it was my son, then he's turning blue. She then ask me what my name is, I tell her & I sit down in the floor waiting on her directions about what to do for our son who is limp, blue, & not breathing or responding. She then says, "OK, I've got the fire department & ambulance on the way...bye!" & hung up.
Ummm...side rant here...WTF? Seriously, isn't 911 suppose to HELP you? Aren't they suppose to tell you what to do for your turning blue son whose having a seizure? The woman told me NOTHING to do for him. I was in total fucking shock. Thankfully, we knew what to do & Adam was doing it, but she didn't know that. She never asked if we knew CPR, knew to get him on his side...none of that.
So yeah, 911 is a fucking joke.
I then call my parents, just because. My mom answers & as usual in a crisis, she's clueless. When she answers I blurt out "mom, the baby had a seizure, you need to get over here now, I've called 911." My moms response was, "Who is this?" Then I tell her it's me, her daughter, & tell her again whats going on. And AGAIN, she is confused. This time she says, "Jessie? Who is this?" I then start cussing like a crazy person, I think I remember "god dammit" being said several times before she finally got with it. When she finally got that it was me, I told her yet again what happened & that they needed to come now. She said they were on their way.
I'm still checking on if he's breathing, at this point he kinda is & he's less blue. I go out to the front porch to see if I can see or hear anything. At this point, a crowd is gathering in the street. I finally hear the sirens, I yelled in the door to Adam that I hear them, then I walk down to the gate to be able to let them in & get the dog out of their way. At this point, one of the women says, "Are you OK?" I don't want to get into some big long story with this stranger but I don't want her to freak out thinking I've been raped or something since I'm outside crying hysterically, so I say, "the sirens are for us...it's my son...we called 911, so it's alright." She then says something that made me want to punch her...
"Oh yeah, I know that. We heard it on the scanner!"
...then why the fuck are you asking me? It's bad enough that you've come out to spy to be a nosey cunt, but why are you asking me fucking questions if you already know the answer? Trying to see if you'd get another story or something?
At that point about 48 cars with lights are in our street (alright, not that many, but about 6) & I have about 10 people in my little living room. At that point Jules is alert with his eyes, looking around & things, but not moving. They ask about 10 times if he's on medications, any medical problems, blah blah blah. Finally they are going to load him up & tell us that one of us needs to write down his name, social security number, date of birth, & any medications he's on or conditions he has on a piece of paper for them to take with them. I make that my job since, well, I know all of that stuff. Of course it was then I realized I've thrown away or loss the paper in my wallet with his social security number on it, so then I go back in our office cabinet & go through it like a mad woman for his SS card. At that point, I decided in my head that his social security number was like a magical code they needed to save his life. I remember thinking "this isn't THAT important, why am I so freaked out about this number?" but that didn't stop me, I was going to find that fucking number. I finally found our large envelope labeled "important papers good parents doesn't lose." Yes, that's really what it's labeled. I could just just opened the tab, but in my hysterics I remember thinking "fuck this!" & just ripped it to shreds. I got his number, threw it all back in the cabinet, & gave it to someone. I sent Adam to ride with him so I could lock the house & call my parents back to tell them what hospital we were going to. I also threw on some clothes since I was wearing my open crotch pants. OK, that sounds bad, but there is a tear in the crotch & I thought it best not to even chance flashing anyone in the hospital with my semi crotchless pants. I call my parents, who offer to pick me up, I say yes & tell them I'll be in the driveway. Lock all the doors, throw on the clothes I'd wore out to Wal Mart earlier in the evening, & went outside.
While waiting forever my annoying neighbor pokes her head out her door & calls for me asking "Is everything alright?" I tell her, she continues to stand there I guess waiting on me to keep talking before she finally gets the clue that I'm not in the mood to chat.
While waiting on my parents I think about alot of things. I think about how I'm convinced that my son is dead. I can't believe that in less than 4 months I'm losing both of my sons. I mean really, isn't enough enough at some point? I also can't believe how much I sucked. Seriously, I threw myself into calling & looking up his SS card number, but I sucked as a mother. I couldn't be there. I'll admit, as the mom of a dead baby I've been somewhat jealous of parents who've at least had a small amount of time with their babies. I mean, not only do they count as people unlike Joel does, but I'd convinced myself it would have been wonderful just to see him open his eyes, just to allow him to experience a small part of life. But at that moment I realized that I don't think I could have handled it. People have told me how strong I am for what we went through with Joel, but honestly I'm nothing compared to those mothers who hold their babies, knowing they aren't going to live much longer. I don't think I could have done that. I couldn't even be in the living room with Jules when this was going on.
Anyway, I get to the hospital & encounter Mr. Security. Who is Mr. Security you ask? The next person I wanted to punch. Mr. Securityis the guy who works hospital security at the information desk. I tell him what I need, he tells me Jules isn't in the computer so he's not at the hospital. I tell him yes he is. He, again, tells me I'm wrong & that maybe whoever called me told me the wrong hospital. I tell him, "listen, I was just at my house, the fire department told me he was coming here, I KNOW he is here, I don't have the wrong hospital." He then takes my info & tells me when it's in the computer he'll call for me. This guy is like the boss in office space, only fat & more upbeat sounding. About that time my dad comes in alone, I tell him what I've been told. He then says, "Well, your mom went back with them." So I get pissed at that point & my dad tells me to call my mom, which I do. She tells me they have been in a room. I hang up & tell Chad that they ARE in a room, I want to be with my son, I'm not visiting, I'm his mother & I want to be there. He then tells me, "Oh, well, sorry, but I need to know the room number. Until it's confirmed in the computer that he's in a room, I can't let you back. You know, we have to protect the confidentiality of all our patients!" I look at my father & with my wonderful wit exclaim, "Well he caught me! I've made up this sad story JUST so get back into the ER so I can spy on patients." At that point I call my mother again & tell her Mr. Security won't let me back until it's in the computer that he is in fact in a room. At taht point my mother has someone just come out & get me. I refrained from telling Chad to fuck himself...be proud of me.
Oh, btw, I later found out I shouldn't have asked anything. Anytime I wanted buzzed back, by anyone, I never had to tell them who I was, who I was with, or what room I wanted. I should have just said "I need buzzed back!" instead of asking questions. Later on I saw him giving someone else the same "I'll call for you when she's in the computer" bullshit & I had to try very hard to stop myself from yelling "He lies! He won't do shit for you!"
Anyway, back to the story. It's interesting on the walk back because the guy who is walking me through all the locked doors ask, "You do get along with dad still, right?" I look at him confused & ask if he's talking about my dad, he tells me no, my sons dad. I look at him even more confused & says, "We're married. So I guess that means no, we don't get along." He laughed & said he always ask because he doesn't want to have to deal with a scene from parents who don't get along. Um, alright.
I walk into room 6 (there you go Mr. Security, it's room 6!) & see my son strapped down with tons of wires, an IV, oxygen mask, a neck brace...the works. He's freaking the fuck out & really, can you blame him? Of course I'm just happy he's freaking out. I have someone yelling behind a curtain asking info about his shots, his medical conditions, etc., who we also have to explain to that he didn't fall off of everything. For whatever reason, everyone is assuming he fell from something & then the seizure happened. Finally a doctor comes in & gets the story & tell us it sounds like a febrile seizure since he's not been sick or anything. And since we'd been at the hospital, he had a fever of 102.something another. At the house, he wasn't even warm. We're told they'll do a flu test, blood work, chest x-ray (which I didn't understand, but alright), get a urine sample, & a CT scan since we weren't sure if he bumped his head or not when he fell over. We also get the join of ripping out some of his hair because when they taped him to the backboard to support his head, they used tape. To get it all off, we had to remove the tape. Fun.
I go out to tell my parents & by the time I come back they've already taken him to x-ray & CT. I wait outside the x-ray room, hearing his screams of course. Next we go to CT, where we have to have him strapped down & put into a spinning tube like thing. Just watching freaks me out because I've had one myself & had a panic attack with it, so it wasn't fun for even me...imagine him. And the lady doing it was the 3rd person I wanted to punch because she just kept saying "Just a couple more pictures! We're taking your pictures! Almost done!"
OK, first of all he's way too young to understand the "taking pictures" concept. And second, you said 10 minutes ago we were almost done, stop lying. She stopped & then started again. I'm trying to keep myself calm because I'm wanting to tell her she's got fucking enough, but the only thing stopping me is that I know how serious a head injury could be. But once she stopped the machine again she announced, "OK, we might be done!" to which point I loudly told Jules, "We're done, no matter what, we're all done, no more of this." I'd reached my limit.
Then the waiting starts. Sweet, sweet waiting. First, we were waiting on pee. They didn't cath him, which was good because I would have hated to threaten to punch someone if they attempted to retract his foreskin to cath him. Plus, really, who wants a cath? They attached a bag at like 8:45 & we waited. Of course, he wasn't allowed anything to drink until the CT scan came back, so I knew he was thirsty & I knew if you wanted urine you may want to put something in.
Oh, speaking of that, I'd asked early on if he could have something to drink. I was eventually told no, they wanted to wait until they got the CT back. A couple hours passed & we were never told anything. I asked again & the nurse says he doesn't know still, he'll check. But then he said, "Hey, wait, can he have popsicles? He can have those."
...why didn't someone mention that a couple hours ago when I asked about something to drink for him? I would have taken a fucking popsicle then, thank you very much.
I wanted to punch that guy at that point, too. I think he was the 4th one.
While we waited I made bathroom trips. I heard something about a cardiac arrest coming in, someone in their 30's. While in the bathroom I heard something about "she's 33 week along." At that point I also go out to update my parents that we're still waiting on pee. This was like 10. On my way out, I'm almost run over my machines as they are preparing the trauma for the arrest coming in. I'd hoped I was wrong about what I had already figured out, but the machine I was almost run over with were fetal monitors. After my experiences, I know those things well. I had a bad sinking feeling.
BTW, we're at the same hospital where Joel was confirmed dead. So, yeah, enough memories there anyway.
Eventually they lock down the ER, we aren't allowed to leave the room, no one can come back in if they go out. It was in fact because of the pregnant cardiac arrest. Just a few doors down, so I made out alot of the noises going on. Thanks to my former viewing of the show ER, of course. Hours went by with no one telling us anything. No pee either. Finally at the stroke of midnight we had pee, I alerted a nurse. She finally came & got it, told me I was allowed to go to the bathroom if I needed to. I did, I went, & on my way back to room 6 I could see the trauma room & it was clear the results of the trauma weren't good. I thought they were even worse, but Adam told me later on he heard them telling people "the baby is fine" & someone talking on the phone about how fact the doctor got the baby out was "just sick!" I think the term used was. I commented to Adam that, well yeah it was fast, when the mom is dead you don't have to worry about how you preform a c-section. We had some back & forth on if she had in fact died, but I assured him she had because on another trip to tell my parents everything was fine but we were just waiting on the doctor to release us I could again clearly see the room & saw regularly dressed people in the room upset, laying over the bed onto her.
At this point Jules was asleep & with my headache I was stuck in my own misery. I felt safe with Jules, I knew he was going to be fine, so I moved onto depressing myself about a total strangers death. I thought about myself, feeling the guilt I had when it came to Joel. As I was pregnant with him, I felt like it was my job to make sure he was alright. I failed at that. I wondered how being on the other side of that felt, as that child grew what would they think? Would they feel at fault? How would it complicate your life knowing that your mother gave her life when she was pregnant with you. Even if it wasn't anything related to pregnancy that caused her to pass, I find it hard to believe someone can separate those things. I know I can't separate them when it comes to our lose with Joel. I hoped that baby grew up knowing what I know myself as a mother...we much rather have it be us than our children.
And I wonder why I had a migraine at this point?
As I mentioned in passing in my off topic story above, we were finally told by nurses that all the results had come back normal but the doctor still had to come tell us that himself & release us. I was annoyed it took so long for someone to tell us anything because as the mom of one dead son, I want to know if I can stop worrying about this one dying, too. I mean, he was acting fine, but I was just waiting on the ball to drop...to be hold he has a brain tumor or something. I'm not a patient person in general, in this situation I was even less patient. They were behind, so they had to catch up, so that was what was taking so long. By catching up we think they meant updating his facebook status & eating pizza.
Yes, I'm serious. We saw him. At that point I'm wishing I did in fact wear my crotchless pants, I was willing to do anything to lure someone in our room.
Eventually he came in the room...& by that I mean he stuck his head in the door & told us, "Yeah, we're going to page peds to come down, since he's little I want them to give the OK to release him." I then wanted to punch him (the 5th person I believe) because if you were going to have peds make the decision on it, why not do that a long ass time ago? A nurse comes in (same one who I wanted to punch over the drink earlier) & explains to us that they have 30 minutes to respond to an ER page, so at least that gave us a timeline. At the end of 30 minutes, we saw a couple people we hadn't seen. Finally they started walking to our door, then a foot away from it they looked at each other, said something, then walked away. Great, huh? Finally they come back. We go over everything. Ask if we are comfortable taking him home. She goes over a febrile seizure with us, tells us she's going to call the doctor on call for peds to get the OK to send him home. About a few more minutes, she tells us we can take him home. We wait on discharge, hooray.
Of course, that's too easy. People in the ER don't talk I guess. The nurse comes in & says "what'd they say?" Well tell him. He tells us as soon as the discharge icon comes up on the screen, he'll give us our paperwork & take out the IV. We wait some more. Finally the doctor comes back in & also ask "what'd they say?" We tell him, too. He puts the discharge in & eventually some guy I hadn't seen comes in to give us our paperwork & take out the IV. Jules has a low fever again, so we ask for him to go ahead & give him some more meds so we didn't have to wait until we got home. He did & he also had to re-bandage his arm because Jules fought the IV so much his arm was bleeding pretty bad & had bled through the bandage he'd already put on his arm. He was also all puffy from all the IV fluids.
Finally, at 4am, we were discharged & made our way home.
I learned various things from this experience...
-911 is fucking useless
-Ask for popsicles even if they say you can't drink anything
-I'm useless in an emergency unless you want paperwork done, then I'm good
-I hate myself for being useless
-Chad the security guy sucks
-Strangers assume we're divorced
-Interweb friends really are better than real life friends
-My neighbors are nosey as all hell
-I would like to have a break from bad things
Turns out, I had one of these as a child, too. My mom tells Adam...today. Not when this is happening, not even me. She's never told me that before. That's as bad as when I was about to tell her how sick I got from codeine once she interrupted me & said, "Oh god, if you took that you got sick...they gave that to you as a kid & you got so sick!" Oh, that's another thing I learned, my mom really needs to learn when to tell me these things.
So now we wait & live in fear. He may never have another, he may have them everytime he has a fever. He may have them BEFORE a fever. So basically, I'll now live in fear. Because, you know, I didn't fear enough already!
And now I bring you pictures. Because I'm lame & take pictures even in situations like this. Babys first ER trip. We almost made it until he was 2 until we had to go, woohoo I guess?
Yay for popsicles!
Monitors & tubes, oh my!
He finally crashed out...
And drooled. Alot.
Our doctor ignoring us behind our glass wall...
We seriously felt like we were in a people zoo or something.
Not sure if you can see it, but he had tape on his forehead. :(
Awaiting his discharge papers...
Next time you have a bad hair day or you can't find a good parking spot, just remember that at that moment, chances are, my life sucks worse. I'm not bragging, I wish it wasn't, but try to take comfort in the fact that it could be worse.
I have several other things to share, like I said above, & I'll be sharing those all over the next week. That is including but not limited to the angry hospital update I spoke about above, the fact that I got detained at Wal Mart accused of stealing potting soil, planting things around the house, & a picture blog about an average day in my life. So look forward to those in the next several days. Thank you for reading if you actually got this far. Leave a comment, I'll mail you a gold star.