Thursday, September 20, 2012

Her Face A Cadaver-like Gray

Thursday - Entry 3:

Earlier yesterday, as I settled down to turn keywords into scintillating text that would entertain not only Google but web users for generations to come, I got a call from Nana. The school had called her to let her know that the Brownie was having a seizure. For some reason Nana’s number was at the top of the schools contact list. For a moment, that concerned me more than the seizure. The Brownie has had seizures at school before. They’ve become an infrequent but routine part of life with her, but this time she had stopped breathing. Not quite a tonic-clonic, but scary nonetheless. She loses control with her head and body perpetually turning to the side; she often loses her vision; and sometimes she stops breathing. When that happens her lips turn blue, her face a cadaver-like gray. It isn’t a good look for her and fills us with more than a little fear as we give her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. We have diazepam on hand for times like that. The school rightly called for an ambulance. I called the school back and let them know I was on my way, and then I bolted out the door.

When I arrived, I met four firemen, two paramedics, and four very scared teachers. The Brownie’s seizure had passed, but she was still crying. This is normal behavior after a bad seizure: she will often cry and shiver. She had already fallen asleep for about ten minutes, also normal, but now she was disorientated and scared. Seizures are frightening things, but being surrounded by ten concerned adults while an oxygen mask is applied to your face is quite another thing, especially if you are eleven.

As I comforted her, I fielded questions from the paramedics while pumping the teachers for information. I was surprised how calm I was. In a way, it is sadly tragic that these sort of traumatic events are old hat for me now. Yet, if they weren’t, I wouldn’t have been so calm. I thanked the emergency response team, I thanked the teachers, and I drove the Brownie over to her mum’s. My turn with the girls ended last Sunday.

I didn’t enjoy leaving my girl at her mum’s, but that, too, has become routine. The calm confidence from before carried with me throughout the rest of the day. I quickly did my errands without distraction, then got back to my apartment and started working. Everything was back to normal. Four hours after the last seizure, however, the Brownie had another one. This was very unusual. Again, it was severe and an ambulance was called. Again the seizure was over when the ambulance arrived. Again she was safe at home.

So much drama. After this second call, I was calm, but no longer collected. I didn’t relax again until after eleven o’clock. As I move into today, I am on edge, worrying about my little girl. But this is normal for us, so we press on.