"Febrile Convulsion"

I had one of the most horrible experiences of my life this week. I should prefix this story by saying that everything turned out ok!! I should also say that this is a potentially traumatic story if you have kids!

On Tuesday we went out to the Stray to line the route of the Torch (see my last post), which was all very exciting and uplifting – and we even got a free bottle of coke out of it.

When we got back home, it was a lovely hot afternoon, so the boys and I played about in the garden while Mum went shopping. We sat in the sun for a bit (hard to believe it was sunny, given the non-stop rain we’ve had since then), bounced on the trampoline, and then careered around the garden on the tricycle. Well, that is to say the younger one sat on the trike while I pushed and the elder dived out of the way with amazing feats of bravery and acrobatics.

I’d strapped in the little one, as we were zooming around, and I stopped zooming for a moment to catch my breath. The boy then sort of leant over sideways, as if he was trying to get out, and hung there by the seatbelt. I assumed he was messing about, so went round to see what he was up to, and he was just hanging there, eyes unfocussed not moving.

I unplugged him and picked him up, and he started shaking and convulsing – still staring blankly, and sort of making a horrible gagging noise and choking on his tongue. I ran inside, still holding him, and dialled 999 for an ambulance (not knowing what else to do). The ambulance lady told me a crew was on the way, and that I had to put him in the recovery position, or hold him if that was more comfortable for us both. The convulsions stopped, and turned into a sort of shaking quivering, and his breathing became ragged, and his checks started to become tinged with purple.

His then stopped moving altogether, and his breathing became shallower and shallower, and his eyes started to close. He hadn’t responded to me in any way the whole time, and eventually his eyes closed completely and his breathing had almost stopped.

While this was going on, I’d asked the elder boy to phone mum on her mobile, but no answer!

At this point I was sure he was dying. If he was to be taken away from me, I would probably choose it to be with him in my arms, cuddling him, but I wouldn’t choose it all, and certainly not with his mother away.

Anyway, the ambulance crew turned up, closely followed by mum (who had been on her way home). The paramedic assessed the situation, and took his temperature, and decided that he’d had a febrile convulsion, had gone off to sleep (!!), but needed to go into hospital to be checked over.

These convulsions are pretty common (something like 1 in 20 kids), have no long term effect, no particular increased risk of reoccurance. It may or may not be temperature related – although it seems to coincide with high temperatures (and his was raging).

Hospital checked him over, all fine, and was back home that evening. A bit tired and groggy, but no worse for wear. In retrospect, not a ‘touch-and-go’ situation at all, but it felt like it at the time.