It started out to be a very normal day. I was supposed to meet a friend for coffee in Santa Monica but at the last minute she changed her mind and wanted to meet in West Hollywood instead. I was pretty pissed because it was out of my way and somewhat inconsiderate of her to change the locale last minute. We met up anyway and had a great time. She was quite smitten with Lila and Lila with her. Around 1:30 I fed Lila and then she fell asleep in my arms. I placed Lila in her stroller and we all said our good-byes. As my friend was saying good-bye to Lila I noticed that she had spit-up. I wiped her mouth and then noticed that Lila's eyes were rolling in back of her head and her arms were flailing. I wasn't exactly sure what was happening but I was pretty confident it was a seizure. I had a fucking heart attack. I quickly picked her up from her stroller and held her sideways in my arms (so she wouldn't choke). My friend called 911 and I did my best to remain calm. After a minute, Lila was back to her normal smiley self. I thought that maybe I was over-reacting so I cancelled the ambulance and called my pediatrician. I was only a five minute drive from the pediatrician's office (this is where I insert a HUMONGOUS thank you to my friend for changing locations). The ride to the pediatrician's office was uneventful. I walked into an exam room to wait for our pediatrician. I took Lila out of her stroller and BOOM! another seizure. I ran into the hall with Lila in my arms to find the pediatrician or a nurse. Dr. Weiner came running around the corner and took Lila from my arms. She told me that it was in fact a seizure and told a nurse to call the paramedics. At this point I completely lost it. I was scared and I just wanted it all to stop. It seemed so surreal. Dr. Weiner brought out some oxygen to wave in front of Lila's face while she and her staff noted everything about the seizure. This seizure was slightly different form the first, her eyes rolled in back of her head but this time only her right arm was flailing and the right side of her face was twitching. Dr. Weiner and her staff took Lila's temperature to make sure the seizure wasn't caused by a fever. Her temp was 98.1 so that ruled out that theory. Again, immediately following her seizure she was completely fine and happy making eye contact and smiling. The paramedics came pretty quickly and rushed us to the emergency room at Cedars Sinai. The moment we entered the emergency room Brett met us. I was so happy to see him. An emergency room nurse took Lila's vitals and a doctor examined her. About an hour into our ER visit, Lila had her third seizure. It was exactly the same as her second. Brett ran out and grabbed the doctor while I sat with Lila. The doctor ordered more lab work, a CT scan and an intravenous dose of phenobarbital. The worst part was watching the nurses try to find a vein for Lila's IV. My poor baby cried real tears. The nurses warned me that it would be traumatic to watch and that I should leave the room. I wish I had listened or at the very least turned my head. Then we had a CT Scan and it showed nothing abnormal. Huge sigh of relief. All of the labs came back normal. She didn't have a fever, virus, or meningitis. She hadn't had any recent vaccinations or head trauma. We were left scratching our heads. The pediatric neurologist came in to exam Lila, review her labs and scan. She said that Lila seemed like very healthy, precocious little girl. She recommended that Lila spend the night in the pediatric NICU for observation. Poor Lila, now she had to spend the night in an unfamiliar place with only IV fluids for nutrition. She was so upset and not at all her normal self. Every time she drifted off into sleep she would quiver as if she were crying. It was horrible and left me with the worst feeling and ache in my heart. We left the hospital at about 11:15. I couldn't sleep at all and I got up several times to look in her bassinet. We returned to the hospital early the next morning. Dr. Weiner's colleague was there examining Lila. She told us that Lila had not had another seizure and that we could feed her. Hooray! Lila ate 10 0z like a champ. She may have a career in competitive eating after all this. The rest of the day went well. Lila started a different version and dose of phenobarbital and kept down all of her meals. We were released around 5 PM and Lila has been her old self since then. Dr. Weiner and the pediatric neurologist will both be contacting us tomorrow for exams and to schedule an EEG and MRI.
I learned a few things from this scenario I would like to pass on to other parents.
1. Never get sick on a Friday afternoon because the more experienced Medical professionals have the weekend off. This is what the neurologist told us. Hence, the reason why our EEG and MRI will be this week.
2. Lila will have no memory of this. Unfortunately for me, I will never forget this.
3. Seizures don't kill people (except almost killing me). They are just scary to witness (extreme understatement).
4. If you happen to witness your baby having a seizure move them over to their side, make sure their airway is clear. Document how long the seizure is. I was asked this question no fewer than 2000 times.
I'm keeping my fingers, eyes, toes and legs crossed that all of the tests go well this week.