Monday, June 1

When life flashes before your eyes.

The events of this weekend are still etched in my mind. I keep questioning myself...What could I or should I have done differently? Why didn't I do something sooner? Could I have prevented this? Everytime Ava does something that is in disobedience of me or just really bratty, I go back to the moment I thought I lost her and the moment that is still giving me nightmares.

We were at the Columbus Zoo when it happened, when Ava had a seizure. Those words still make me shake and my eyes water.

She had been fine all week, no signs of sickness anywhere. And she had been on amoxicillan for a week for bronchitis. So when Saturday morning came we decided we would go to the zoo since our plans had changed the week before. I should have known when Ava showed no excitement over the rhinos or the baby elephant, Beco, that she was sick. She started to feel a little warm but nothing out of the ordinary. When we go to the manatees she felt much warmer and seemed so miserable. I am still kicking myself for not bringing Motrin with us. What an IDIOT!

I went into the gift shop at the manatee cove and asked for children's Tylenol. She called all of the gift shops at the zoo but nobody had any. We set out for the first aid tent, Justin carrying Ava and me pushing the stroller. We hadn't gotten far when Justin called out to me...Ava was shaking and her eyes were rolling back in her head. An image I can't get out of my head.

I grabbed her convulsing body from him and shouted her name hoping that I could get her to come back to me. Since that wasn't working I started calling out to people around me begging, pleading for help. I was hysterical. It felt like I stood there for five minutes before anyone would help me. Most of the next few moments are a blur to me because I thought I was losing her. I read horror stories all the time and that's all I could think of. I remember a couple people thinking she was choking but I knew she wasn't, she hadn't eaten anything. A lady came over to help and said that Ava was having a seizure and needed to be on side. I sat there on my knees in that tunnel at the zoo begging her to stay with me, begging God not to take her, to keep her safe, and bring her back to me. I am so grateful for that woman that sat there rubbing Ava's head talking to me, telling me to talk to Ava and that she was going to be okay.

The medics arrived, and even though it feels like I sat there for a decade, they responded very quickly. The man held her tightly and jumped on the back of that golf cart and gave her oxygen. Justin and I followed the golf cart to a building hidden away and by the time we got there we could already hear the sirens. Apparently one of the bystanders had called 9-1-1. Ava and I got in the ambulance and a man gave Justin directions to Nationwide Children's Hospital. I was worried about Justin driving there because I knew he was worried about Ava and he doesn't know his way around Columbus very well. I was worried about Ava lying there unconscious with monitors hooked up to her.

The medics in the ambulance were so nice and made me feel a lot better about the situation. They assured me that Ava was okay and all of her vitals were good, other than the obvious fever. Everyone responded so quickly and I am very thankful for the kind people that helped us that scary day.

Ava suffered from a febrile seizure which is very common in children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years. Unfortunately she is at a higher risk of having another one because of having one already. The seizure lasted about a minute and was caused by the quick rise in her temperature. Often these type of seizures can be caused by a high fever but for Ava, going from normal to 101.7 in a short amount of time is what did it for her. All of the doctors tell me that even though this is very scary for the parents to witness, it is not harmful to the child.

At the hospital Ava was checked for strep which was negative and also given a catheter to check for a uti, which was also negative. They gave her Motrin and chalked it up to just being a virus and sent us on our way. She slept the who way home and once at home was acting like herself again. She was funny and playful and seemed back to normal. Her fever started spiking again and went up to 104. I was losing my mind with fear that she was going to have another seizure. I was doing everything I knew to get her fever to come down. I alternated between giving her Tylenol and Motrin for a day and a half. I sat in the cold watered bath tub sponging her overheated body. It seemed like a never-ending fight.

I was able to get Ava into her pediatrician today to find out what the cause of her temperature is. It turns out that she has herpangina. It sounds a lot more disgusting than it actually is. It is mouth blisters. They looked in her throat Saturday at the hospital but she must not have had any blisters yet. Her mouth was pretty full of them today and it is obvious. She lets out a wail anytime she tries to eat or drink. Unfortunately it is a virus that has to run it's course which means that Ava will have to suffer until the blisters go away. My poor girl is miserable and I feel awful for her. But I am so so so very thankful that it is just a virus and nothing serious. She will get better, and God willing she won't have any more seizures. I will be tracking her temperatures like a hawk until we are out of the woods..which isn't until she is 5.

Hug your little ones a bit tighter from now on, because you just never know.

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