Croup, Febrile Seizure, Two Hospitals and One Ambulance Later

It was all in a day's work. 19th of June 2017, Monday, Black Monday. I mark this day with a black splotch of ink and wish no one will ever experience what I had today.

My Monday started with Faye not being able to breathe. She cried for Mommy to pick her up from bed with all the voice she could possibly garner. Faye lost her voice on Sunday and was not speaking much. Even if she could, we had to place our ears next to her mouth to make out what she was trying to say. Ewan had been running to our room in the middle of the night to inform me, "妹妹 needs you" whenever she had difficulties breathing. What a bro!

It was 0430 hours and we decided to send her to Gleneagles Walk-In Clinic to have her checked. Who wouldn't when your child looked like she was desperately gasping for air and clutching her chest with her hands? She looked like she could've stopped breathing if we hadn't done something!

Meyer stayed home with Ewan while I went with Faye. My husband started school already [he is pursuing an EMBA degree] which meant he will be out most parts of the day. Our plan was to have Ewan sent to childcare while I child-minded our daughter at home. 

Alas. It was not meant to be. When I returned home from the hospital with Faye, daddy told me that Ewan's feverish. Oh great! I am exhausted and still have to tend to two sick kids. Oh no biggie really because well, not like I've never done it before. 

What happened to Faye? 

She was diagnosed with Croup; Stridor Croup. 

We had just seen a general practitioner the day before and administered her liquid Ventolin as one of her daily medication. She had been ill since Friday night, making today her fourth day. We stayed clear of antibiotics because unless her fever persists over six days, we should try all means to let her body fight [with paracetamol and/or oiling]. I know I've been talking much about Young Living in the early stages of Ewan's life but I still turn to medication when illnesses takes a turn for the worst.  

Give Antibiotics Only For Bacterial Infections. 
It Is A Bacterial Infection Should Fever Persists After Day Six.

This was not told to me by one doctor but four. Clearly, Faye was suffering from a viral infection [concurred by two doctors]. We always wait it out and I was not concern about her high fever through the weekend but more about whether her lungs were clear. 

I haven't suspected it to be croup though.

What is croup? 

It is a virus that makes airways swell. The coughing sounds like a seal's bark with a high-pitched, squeaky noise when they breathe called stridor. Faye had the stridor; a croup symptom. The same viruses that cause the common cold also cause croup! Most often seen in the fall, croup can affect kids up to age 5.

The A&E doctor advised me on two home remedies:

ONE: Turn The Hot Water On In The Bathroom And Let The Child Breathe In The Mist.

TWO: Take The Child Outside To Breathe In The Morning Cool Air.

If only I knew.

Back in the hospital, Faye was nebulised and put on a small dosage of steroid to reduce inflammation. After which, we were sent home.

Ewan was energetic when we met him at home even though he was on the onset of fever. Faye and I were spent and we fell asleep on the couch with Ewan hovering around us. He was playing with his toys and doesn't seemed like he was terribly ill. 

We spent the morning with books and games, TV and lunch. Then I fed them their respective medications and tucked all three of us in bed for a nap. We shared the master bed and we were all in la la land within five minutes! I was thankful there was no fuss. 

Deep in slumber, I felt rigorous jerks on my right. I thought Ewan was kicking up a fuss and throwing a tantrum. I turned and gave him a pat on his chest hoping to put him back to sleep. Took a look at him and realised he was in the midst of a seizure attack! Timestamped: 1440 hours

I panicked and berated myself for not reading up more about child illnesses, brushing it off as something my children will never get. I had no idea what to do. I cannot remember all the things my friends had told me before when their kids had seizure and I felt like slapping myself in the face.

I carried him from the bed while he was still in the heat of fits. WRONG.
He might get hurt in my embrace [falling out] or choke on his own saliva with his head tilted backwards.

I forced his clenched teeth apart and stuck my finger in for him to bite. WRONG.
Somewhere in my long-term memory I remember hearing people say to stuff things in the mouth of a victim to prevent them from biting their tongue. Paramedics say this isn't the tradition [trend] anymore! He could have bitten off my finger because it wasn't him anymore during the seizure! It was really very painful but I realised it only after he was attended to. Tells a lot about a parent's love for his/her child.

My finger slipped out and I shouted for him to open his mouth to bite a cloth.  WRONG.
The paramedic was on the phone with me when I called 995 for emergency help. I sounded deranged I believe and he had to shout over the phone to stop me from doing that. Thank goodness I had medical help on the phone to guide me though that frightening episode. 

I am always in control. This time, I lost it. I cried when I couldn't wake him up after he lost consciousness. I really thought I had lost him for good. He suddenly stopped moving and his eyes continued to stare blankly ahead. He could not respond to me and my heart was in my mouth. I cradled him and cried, kissed him on the forehead and begged for him to wake up.

Ewan finally came to and responded to my pleas to say something. He did not have the energy to speak but kind of nodded and acknowledged my presence. I felt his chest rising and falling. He is breathing! I turned him on his side [Thanks Janice] and he fell into sleep. I was afraid he was falling back to unconsciousness so I kept checking on him and getting him to respond. 

Those 15 minutes before the ambulance arrived seemed like a lifetime. I began to worry about the next seizure that may come. I started imagining things like foam out of the mouth. I paced up and down, packing my backpack with essentials like water bottles, wallet and his health booklet. 

The knock on my front door made me jumped with joy! I ran to the door and got them to attend to Ewan immediately. He was himself by then and wailed like crazy when he saw paramedics surrounding him at our bed. He was clearly frightened by the notion - hospitals, ambulance, doctors and injections. 

We had him whisked off to the hospital in no time and he could now say, "I rode in an ambulance with the siren on!" Isn't that awesome? *hahaha* Well, not really. It was very nerve-recking! Especially when I had to do this myself. I only had time to make one call and that was to 995 [and a message to the family group which sent my dad and Meyer rushing to A&E to round up with me].

Faye woke up from all the commotion and looked at us calmly. She was the calm in the storm. I don't think she knows what was happening though. 

At the A&E, his temperature measured 40.8 degree celcius. 

Ewan was diagnosed with febrile seizure.

Febril seizures are convulsions triggered by high fever of about 40 degree celcius but can occur at any temperature especially when there is a rise in temperature. They are generally harmless although it didn't look harmless at all to me when it happened! 

That is why this educational piece is important. 

Each febrile seizure usually lasts 1 to 10 minutes without any treatment. I had been asked several times how long the seizure lasted but hey, it was impossible for me to answer them because I was on the brink of breakdown myself. Time, at that moment, just stood still. I do know that it was less than five minutes for certain. 

Febrile Seizures Do Not Cause Brain Damage.

What should I have done to bring down the temperature as quickly as possible to shorten the seizure?- Remove his clothing
- Apply lukewarm washcloths to the face and neck
- Sponge the rest of the body with tepid water
- Administer paracetamol or ibuprofen when he is awake
- Drink cool fluids

The whole time at A&E, Ewan was administer ibuprofen and paracetamol to bring his temperature down. They released him only two hours later when they managed to get his 40.8 degree celcius to 38.4. For insurance purposes, it would have been better for us to admit but we did not want to waste any public resources as well. Furthermore, he would rather be home.

Do Not Try To Restrain Your Child Or Stop The Seizure Movements. Let The Seizure Run Its Course No Matter What You Do.

Do Not Try To Force Anything Into Your Child's Mouth.

Do Not Try to Hold his Tongue

It is unnecessary to force anything into his mouth because it can cut his mouth or injure a tooth, cause vomiting or result in a serious bite to your finger. Any broken tooth, object of blood may also cause him to choke. Although children may bite their tongue during a convulsion, this is a rare occurrence and usually not severe, and they cannot "swallow their tongue".

The biggest concern is choking and the reason why they should be turned on their side for any saliva or vomit to flow out.

Now when should we bring our child to the hospital?
- Your child's first episode of febrile seizure
- Your child's neck becomes stiff
- Your child becomes confused or delirious
- Your child becomes difficult to awake [usually your child will be drowsy immediately after a seizure, but should be awaken within 30 minutes]
- You child has more than one seizure in a day
- Your child's seizure lasts more than 10 minutes. 

There are informative videos put together by Dr Jade Kua [Read: Facts and Figures About Fever Fits by Dr Jade Kua]

Our children are back home now and Faye had surprisingly sprung back to normalcy. Her fever is gone but there's still that cough which sounds a lot better from the last few days. 

Ewan measured 37.9 degrees before sleep and I am not risking non-medication this time. Gave him his paracetamol and sent him to bed. I should be bringing him over to sleep with us for the night. Seizures come silently and with us in different rooms, we won't be able to catch it if it happened.

First aiding knowledge is so very important. Please do take in all that there is here with regards to croup and febrile seizure. It is crucial to stay calm and confident while waiting for paramedics to arrive.

I am sorry Meyer had to go through one such episode with me when I went into seizure for postpartum haemorrhaging after giving birth to Ewan. Why haven't I learnt the basics of seizure care back then? My mistake. Please learn from my ignorance and take this piece seriously for you wouldn't know when these tips may come in handy.

Other medical points to note from today's meet with the doctor:
- when your child's fever is not suppressed even after alternating ibuprofen and paracetamol, it simply means your child's immunity is strong and his rising temperatures is a sign of his body fighting the virus

- ibuprofen causes dehydration if your child does not drink enough water and will in turn cause kidney problems. If it isn't necessary to administer ibuprofen, steer clear of it and stick only to paracetamol

- febrile seizures usually stop occurring by five or six yeas old and croup occurs in children aged zero to five

Like Us on Facebook if you enjoyed the read!
A stay at home mum, blogging to widen her social life. 
We want to echo the sound of love through our lives to inspire other mothers alike.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts