Most 40th birthdays are memorable. You get rude cards, thank you Wiz, Jimbly and Hanno in particular. You get lovely presents, flowers, messages, you feel loved. Particularly when one of your cards has come from @StephenFry because your best friend had queued up and shoved it under his nose to sign.
You do not expect to be in an emergency room with your son after watching him have a seizure for over twenty minutes.
Before I start this, you need to know that Peanut is fine. He is fine. He woke up well from the whole thing, the attending doctor at the Royal Children’s hospital was very happy with how he was sitting up in bed chattering away like a good ‘un this morning. But waiting mot of the night for him to wake up in the interim was horrible.
Popping my head round his door to check on him before we went to bed, it sounded like he was snoring, but it didn’t sound right. I looked a bit closer, put the light on and called for Hubs. He called for an ambulance as I sat on the edge of Peanut’s bed. Having spent a lifetime first aid trained, I went into auto-pilot. It wasn’t until the ambulance crew arrived, assessed what was going on and calmly told us they needed another crew to help, that I dissolved. I took a picture of the two ambulances outside our house, Peanut loves them and I knew he would want to see them (I was right he loves the picture – but yes it felt odd).
At one point in and around his bedroom we had two paramedics, two MICA paramedics and two fretting parents. It was a bit crowded. They initially thought about taking him to our local hospital, but decided against it as it was his first known seizure and also given the length of time it had lasted, so the decision was made to take him to the specialist Children’s Hospital in the City.
The drive to the hospital seemed to take forever; time doing that thing where it slows down and speeds up at the same time. I veered between talking like a normal person to the paramedic, to a gibbering wreck with tears flooding down my cheeks. Hubs had arrived before the ambulance, texting me ‘Where are you?’ as we were pulling into the ambulance bay, we got settled into resus. The ward-round had started just as we’d arrived, so our doctor got taken away, but was back within a few minutes. In the interim, our nurse quizzed us on what had happened, took Peanut’s observations and was generally calm, kind, beautiful and a credit to her profession. Likewise with the doctor who talked us through everything, reminded us that we had done everything right, sometimes seizures just happen, but sometimes it’s got to start somewhere. They’d know more over-night, primarily based on if he had any more or how he was waking up.
At 0:01, Hubs stood up and wished me Happy Birthday. The nurse who was doing another round of obs and wished me one too. Then mum did via text from the UK, then some people on twitter, but I’ve never felt less like a birthday girl in my life. And believe me, I’ve had some odd ones. Ranging from organising a night out for my 21st, but to have person after person drop out as they had ‘no money after Christmas’. Going to a nightclub to celebrate a big birthday with just your flat-mate and your mum, makes you feel really festive and loved.
A piece of advice here, if you know someone who has either a December or January birthday. Do NOT give them a joint present; unless it is truly awe-inspiring. How would you like it for your birthday in any of the other ten months of the year if you were handed a card with ‘I gave you a present in December’ to see how that makes you feel.
The nurse woke up him every half hour, then every hour to see how his neurological response was going. He was grumpy and incoherent, not least because he’d been given a tranquilliser and it was the middle of the night, then suddenly at 2:30 when she was doing his observations, he opened his eyes and wondered who on earth she was, where was he and what the heck was going on. We did our best to tell him what was going on, but he was still very dopey. We were then moved to an observation ward and snatched a couple of hours sleep before we were discharged at 6:30 this morning.
We had no idea what to do, our plans for the day had to change, we’d had barely any sleep for one thing. But what to do? After we’d spoken with family members, had epically long showers (sorry planet), we kept to our original plan of going to Brickvention with Hubs’ brother and our nephew. We’d been talking about seeing the Lego all week. The tickets were non-refundable (seriously, promoters do you think that a child being whizzed to Emergency is so beneath you giving us $15 back?) I didn’t want to let our nevvy down, I wanted some semblance of the plan to happen and I’m so glad we went.
We’re now waiting for an EEG appointment and a follow-up through the Out-Patients with a Paediatric Consultant. We’re to take Peanut to his GP, coincidentally he’s got his 3.5 year old check on Wednesday morning with the Maternal Nurse this week too. As our doctor last night said, this is either the end of the journey with what happened as a one off, or the beginning. We need to speak with his nursery, his swimming lessons and his gymnastics class to put plans in place. But we’re not to become helicopter parents.
The birthday hotel stay at a winery with just the two of us has been deferred to next weekend. They couldn’t have been more helpful, offering us the option of taking Peanut with us tonight or moving it back. I decided that I would really like a spa weekend with Hubs and a decent night sleep on the horizon. I have a feeling, it’s going to be a long week.