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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Febrile Seizure & My Grievance

Okay, so I took an even longer break. I hope everyone had a wonderful Chinese New Year. I was so busy with the preparation, pineapple tarts sale, cake orders and tending to a sick child, I didn't really get to enjoy my break. At the busiest time of the year, Ah Boy fell sick. Just first week of February, it started out with a mild grade fever in the morning. When I was about to leave office for home in the evening, I received a panic call from IH. Ah Boy's fever escalated suddenly and went into seizure. Ambulance was called in and Ah Boy was sent to hospital. The journey from office to the hospital was torturous. What happened to my mischievous and active boy?

Being afraid and uncooperative in an unfamiliar environment is normal for a toddler. Even more scary for him as he was in the isolation ward. Fortunately 1 of us was allowed to accompany him. While he was still very alert after the seizure, he was afraid of the masks and medication time. Later, the paediatrician explained to me that what occurred was Febrile Seizure . It is a type of seizure that usually lasts less than 15 minutes and is caused by a sudden rise in temperature. As the child's brain is not fully developed, it is unable to handle this and thus shut down. Usually, after the seizure, some children will fall asleep. After Febrile seizure, the child will appear normal and alert. According to the doctors, Febrile seizure is unlikely to cause developmental problems or impairment of intelligence. However, when seizures occur, it is important to send the child to hospital to rule out other possiblities such as Meningitis and Encephalitis and to identify the cause of fever. In Ah Boy's case, I was worried about Dengue Fever. Just a day ago before Ah Boy's seizure, I was informed by the people from NEA that there is 1 case of Dengue Fever in my block, just 2 levels below me. Then there is H1N1. Dengue Fever was ruled out. It was diagnosed as viral fever and since Ah Boy was alert, he was discharged that night.

Unexpectedly, the next morning, Ah Boy had another seizure and fell alseep after that. According to the doctor, the recurrence of Febrile seizure is not uncommon (about 30%) but it is not common for it recurr again in 24 hours. We had no choice but to send him back to hospital for another check. He was admitted and tested for H1N1 but was cleared. Still, he had to stay in the hospital for observation. He was alert and played with his toys. Ah Girl was rather shaken by the experience and cried when Ah Boy had to stay in the hospital. Due to my earlier commitment, I had to stay home that night to finish my order. My helper stayed the night with him in the hospital. For once, I hated myself for having to bake and decorate.

I would like to share my experience of handling seizure at home. Not that I have lots of experience but what was taught by the doctors. My hope is none of the parents has to go through this frightening and dreadful experience but it is important to know what to do if it does happen. First, when seizure occurs, turn the baby/toddler to his/her side. Do not attempt to stuff anything into his/her mouth, including your own fingers. Try to stay calm. I tried to talk to Ah Boy in an assuring voice and pat gently on his back. Meantime, observe the duration of the seizure, the child's response such as, clenched fist, twitching body, eyes staring forward or rolled back. Did the child let go of his bladder? What happened after the seizure? These are the questions doctors will ask you when you bring the child in.

The worse was yet to come as after being discharged from the hospital as you have to monitor the child's temperature. Besides Panamol, he was also given Ibuprofen. These 2 medication will manage the fever but will not stop seizure from recurring. I was given some anticonvulsants to be administered through the anus should the seizure last more than 15 minutes. In Ah Boy's 2 instances, they lasted less than a minute. Ah Boy was really cranky and refused fever medication which was understandable. My helper and I took turns to carry him throughout the nights so that he could catch some sleep. What was unacceptable was an adult, acting like a kid throwing tantrums at the slightest thing. I believe that a child can sense the emotions of his/her parents. It is important to remain calm and assuring. It is no wonder, throughout the entire time, Ah Boy refused to be carried by IH. And especially at times like these, I find that a helper is more valuable than a husband. Usually, it took me 2 hours to cook pineapple jam. But having to take care of Ah Boy intermittenly, I took 6 hours. I received no help from him except he kept pressing us to administer medication. Just minutes after I started sponging Ah Boy, IH measured took his temperature again and said sponging didn't work. Then IH blamed me for not being there when the first seizure occurred. I was exasperated. I did not have the energy to deal with IH. A leopard will never change its spots. 狗,始终改不了吃屎。 Ah Boy cried at the sight of medicine. My helper and I wept when he hugged us and cried, 'Please, please, no more medicine.'

Finally, Ah Boy has fully recovered after Chinese New Year, gained back the 1.3kg he lost during his sickness. What I got in return is a healthy and active boy and a cough which tormented me for 5 weeks. Thank you for reading this lengthy and pictureless post. I can't promise that I will be more regular in my posts but I'm glad to be back.


Blessed Homemaker said...

OMG! It sounded so scary! You must be traumatised.

And thanks for sharing your experience.

ant said...

rei, how thoughtful of you to write down such delicate article for sharing with us as a parent. thank you and wishing all the best to you.

kitlaura said...

so sorry to hear that you and your 'treasure' ah boy had gone through so much in such a short time. Thank God, he is up and running now. Well done, Mummy, keep up your good work, your dear children love you. forget some noisy fellow fussing around, i think i understand cos i have some kind of noisy fellow at home too. patience and deep breathing helps. take care of yourself now as the storm had passed.
best regards

Anonymous said...

Glad to know that your boy is OK, you take care too !

Lilee Ng said...

Hi Rei, so sorry to read about what you had to go through. But glad to hear all is well with Ah Boy. You sound like such a strong woman and sure you would overcome any obstacles that come your way. Keep blogging and baking as you know you have lots of supporters out there! Cheers, Lilee

Noob Cook said...

I'm so sorry to hear what you have gone thru, I can imagine your anxiety during that period. Glad to hear that Ah Boy has recovered fully. Take care!

Edith said...

A mother's love is always the greatest and I am sure Ah Boy will appreciate that.

Be strong and stay healthy. Hugs.

WendyinKK said...

Oh..... glad that it's over now.
Stay strong ya!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Rei

So sorry to hear abt what u went thru. That's how it is for mum... fix all, cure all, find all, mend all... But you are doing a good job!

Sulin... silent reader

Passionate About Baking said...

Hi Rei,
Thanks very much for sharing your experience. I'm glad to know that your boy has recovered and back to his usual self again. Being a mother myself, I can truly understand the worry and the anxiety you felt. Especially when he had to stay in the hospital. I've also gone through that, I can empathise with you. Most importantly, we must take good care of ourselves, so that we can give them our care when the need arise.
Take care.

Anonymous said...

It's a very sad thing that a supposedly better half is not able to give the support needed. 加油!Hope that your boy will be happy and healthy for the year of Tiger.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rei,

Thank you for your information regarding the seizure & thank God your Ah Boy is fine now... Whenever our child is not well, usually the mommy is the one who suffer the most.... anyway, i wish you All the Best & GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU! 你一定要加油哦!


Mool said...

Hi Rei,

Had been your silent supporter for the past yr. So sorry to hear abt what happened to your boy. Glad that he is well now. Thanks for the info. It's very imformative.

Hope to see more beautiful cakes coming in.


mj said...

Hi Rei

I'm a relatively silent fan of yr blog.
I am so sorry to read abt the ordeal your boy and u had to go thru, but i m happy for u that he has recovered!

Cookie said...

I am sorry you have to go thru all these by yourself. 世上只有妈妈好 - your kids will remember your selfless love forever!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I can fully understand what you had been through... my boy had seizure too. So now, as long as he has fever, we are very alert as we do not want seizure to occur.... As for our spouses, all i can say is, they are still learning how to handle kids and kids' problems and they do not have the motherly instinct so they are at a loss during these times. :) Let just say that I had my fair share of such situations too. Before we employ a helper, he had no choice but to help me at the slightest thing... now that we have one, he conveniently pushes everything to us, including taking care of his children.(commonly used phrase : I employ her for what? of course to help out lah...) So don't despair, you are not alone. jia jia you ben nan nien the jing. Cheer up> =)


Anonymous said...

Hi Rei, glad to hear that your son has recovered and all is well. Take care and hope to see your baking again :)


Dianne said...

Hi Rei,
just thought you would like to know that i'm still reading. glad to know your boy's all better. very informative post as far as i'm concerned. though 've been missing your regular posts. nice to have you back!

Anonymous said...

Rei...Sorry to hear about AB's recent illness, glad he has recovered and is back to his own self. Female always seem to have it tough.... having to juggle career & family, more difficult when a child is sick. Now that AB's better, take good care of yourself. Ange

Tricia said...

Rei, I must say after reading your post, I had a flashed back. My son, now 5 used to have Febrile Seizures.

He had his 1st Seizure when he was just over 1 yr old. The 2nd time he had his seizure was when he was about 2yrs (while we were vacationing in KL).

Everytime he has a fever I get so stressed because his fever can jump from low to high within minutes.

One thing to look forward to is, Febrile Seizures normally stops at age 6.

After my son was diagnose with Febrile Seizure, his pediatrician suggested to get immunized against Meningitis.

Every year he gets his flu shots (now H1N1 shots, too) to avoid complications.

I wish you all the best. Seeing ones child in that situation can be very stressing.

God knows I have cried like a hysterical woman in the front of strangers when incompetent doctors in KL refuse to help when my son had his 2nd seizure while in the clinic because they didn't know what to do.

We as mothers has to stay strong and calm for their sake!

Take Care!

颜姨 said...

Hi Rei,

Glad that you're back and really helpful to read about your painful experience (My frnd's nephew had seizure & foaming form mouth due to high fever too). My heart goes out to you and felt for you. Being a woman its really not easy cox we got to juggle many area in life and carry many burden/emotion that man may not fully understand. Jia You!


adrianne said...

hey rei,
i'm sorry to hear all that but thank god your boy has recovered now. it's very scary nowadays that we often hear more and more uncommon health conditions happening to the people around us. you hang in there rei and do take care of yourself becoz you have to be there for ah boy.gambatte!

Leen (Australia) said...

Dear Rei
You are a wonderful mom and An Boy is lucky he has a mom like you!
My little girl had the febrile seizure when she was 4 years old (we are in Melbourne) and we were told by the Royal Children's Hospital it usually happens to children under ages of 5. So we couldn't wait for her to turn 5. There is no developmental problem with her and she's a normal child who just turned 8.
You are right with turning the child on the side and not to put anything in the mouth. Also, it is important to call the ambulance rather than drive to the hospital yourself unless you have 2 adults. At the hospital, after the seizure they gave her an electrolyte block (sort of like an icypole but with electrolytes).
Take care, Leen

Family First said...

Im a silent reader of yours and I am so glad all ended well. Do take care of yourself too. Cos the kids need you.

myfirsttripwithoutyew said...

All the best and I am glad that your boy has recovered. forget abt your spouse and it is better to be independent ourselves..

Rei said...

Thank you all so much for your support and sharing your experiences. I believe that men can make you feel incompetent and vulnerable but as a mother, the kids will make you feel invincible. They are our source of strength. Let's all 'ganbatte' for our kids!

terri@adailyobsession said...

u poor thing, it must've been so distressing. my MIL said her boys all had seizures when they had high temp. she made ssure they bite onto smthing so tt they don't bite their tongue. also tt you must tmake sure to keep their temp down when they hav a fever. hope this helps, but so good of you to inform us what to do.

chocolatelover said...

Glad to hear your boy is doing well after the seizure!!! Dont bother about what your spouse had said to you during your son's seizure. It is not important at all as long as your boy is ok..