Thursday, April 15, 2010

Two ER Trips for April (knock wood)

Well, it's only April 15, and already the Curran girls have had a trip each to the ER. Mine was less dramatic, so I'll get to that in a minute. Unfortunately, Jenelle went to the ER today via ambulance from school because of a status seizure that didn't stop with Diastat. The good news is that we are home now and Jenelle is acting fine and is playing with her toys.

Shortly after she woke up this morning, Jenelle had a couple of big seizures that were a little out of the norm, but not too concerning. By "big" I mean the seizure went for more than a minute - not "big" as in a grand mal. Daycare later told me that she too had noticed that Jenelle had had a couple "big" seizures while being loaded onto her bus. Apparently, Jenelle was fine at school, participated in "square dancing" and had a snack, but then started having some noticeable seizures. The nurse called me around 10:30 to inform me that Jenelle had been curled up on the floor during circle time and was really unresponsive. I asked the nurse if Jenelle had had any noticeable seizures, and she said she had seen some seizures, but wasn't sure if she was still having them. There were no other symptoms like fever or vomiting - just that Jenelle was very lethargic and not really her self. I decided to go pick her up from school. The nurse said she's wait to give her Diastat (valium - Jenelle's emergency seizure medication) until I got there. Luckily, there was no traffic on the 55 and I got there in 15 minutes.

When I saw Jenelle at school, I realized she was seizing and was in status (i.e. she was in a constant seizure state). At this point, Jenelle had been seizing (or having clusters of small seizure) for over an hour. The nurse gave her some Diastat, but she really didn't come out of it like she normally does after Diastat. After a minute, the nurse checked her heart rate and it was dropping after the valium so we called 911.

When the paramedics arrived, they put her on oxygen. After a few minutes, she was still unresponsive and from what I could tell was still seizing. We then took her to the ER by ambulance. I wanted them to transport her to keep an eye on her oxygen and heart rate. Brett met us at the ER.

At the ER they ran blood work, a CT scan and urine culture. Because she was still unresponsive and seizing, they gave her an IV dose of Dilantin. We spoke with the ER doctor, and explained how it is common for Jenelle to go into status, and what her seizures usually look like. Although she looked like she was sleeping, or in a "post ictal" state (i.e. not seizing), we could tell she was still seizing because of subtle jerks in her arms and legs, and because of her eyes were fixed.

About a half an hour after the Dilantin, we could tell that she had stopped seizing, and was finally in a post-ictal state; mostly sleeping. We still did not have a good feeling that she was 100%, so the doctor decided to call UCLA for advice. If we didn't have a positive feeling that she wasn't seizing, we were going to admit her. Finally, just as a nurse from CHOC came in with ID badges for admission, Jenelle woke up, sat up in bed and started acting like her normal self. With that, we felt better about taking her home instead of admitting her. (The photo above is Jenelle just after waking up in the ER.)

Before leaving, the ER doctor had all of the test results back. Her CT was fine as was her blood work. We won't know on cultures for a few more days. She did have some bacteria in her urine, so they gave us a prescription for an anti-biotic, and told us to wait for a call from them confirming a UTI before giving her the anti-biotic.

Like I said, Jenelle is home now and playing with toys. Hopefully things are back to normal for a while.

Now for me... I had an unexpected trip last week to the ER myself. I really didn't want to mention it because I feel really silly for the reason I had to go. Last week, I had an asthma attack at work - the first asthma attack I'd had in over a year and a half. I reached for the inhaler I keep in my purse and took a dose. After a few minutes, and a second dose - I realized it wasn't working and my chest was getting tighter. Then I realized, the inhaler in my purse had expired in March 2009. Oops!

I waited for a few more minutes to see if the expired inhaler would help, but only seemed to be getting worse. Eventually, I got a co-worker to drive me to the ER where they saw me right away. We had a couple of delays at the ER. First, because I was 40, and was having "tightness in my chest", they had to run an EKG to rule out heart attack. Once they determined my heart was fine, they learned that I was a cancer survivor still on maintenance chemo. Because of my chemo, they had to do a blood test to get a platelet count before administering any steroids to help my breathing. Luckily (or unluckily), they were allowed to give me Predisone, and after 30 minutes I began to feel as if I could breathe better. After confirming my platelet count was OK, they gave me two abuterol treatments and I was on my way home in time to get the kids from school.

As I thought about it, I realized that all of last year during my cancer and chemo, we had been so proactive in keeping me inside and away from germs that it probably helped my asthma at the same time. When I was initially diagnosed with Leukemia, they immediately took me off all of my maintenance asthma medications because of the steroids involved. It was like I forgot I had asthma. That attack came out of no where last week, and once again I am reminded of the limits of my own health. Thankfully, I have a new inhaler and hopefully will prevent any future trips to the ER.

So, as Brett says, the Curran girls like to compete with each other with medical drama. Thankfully, we are both fine now and hopefully we won't compete any time soon. Thanks for thoughts and prayers - and don't forget to knock on some wood after reading this! We don't want to push our luck!

1 comment:

ANewKindOfPerfect said...

I'm glad that you are both doing better now! Status seizures are so scary. CHOC is great, but it's always good to NOT be admitted. :)