Maria’s Second 911 Call

It’s been four and a half years since her first 911 call and now she’s had two.

I went to see Maria today, my usual Saturday visit. When I got there she was asleep on the floor and she was shivering. I asked Cathy, “Why is Maria vibrating?” I thought she was having a weird dream or lying on one of her vibrating toys or something but Cathy realized that (duh!) it was probably a seizure.

We sat her up. Her entire body was shivering like she was cold. It was mostly in her arms but I could feel it in her core and at one point her teeth were chattering. She didn’t feel cold though. She was kind of responsive but still half-asleep so it was hard to tell. Cathy gave her a Clonaizpam, her emergency seizure medicine, and it did nothing. After five minutes we talked about calling 911; when I realized her lips were blue that pretty much decided it.

The ambulance came and these very nice guys came in and started checking her out. It’s a little bit of a blur at this point but her oxygen was OK by the time they got there. Her blood sugar was low but they figured that was because of the seizure — her muscles were working overtime and burning up her fuel. The biggest surprise was that she had a fever. Cathy and Manolis have been sick all week but have been careful to stay away from Maria. She hasn’t been sick at all.

I rode along in the ambulance while Cathy followed in the wheelchair van. Manolis had to go to work since he doesn’t really get time off, and it was probably better for him to stay busy instead of fretting at the hospital. Maria had stopped shaking by the time they got her in the ambulance but she was still kind of sleepy and cranky. I figured she was just worn out from whatever had happened but Cathy was more worried. In the ER it took us a good hour or more but we finally got them to give her some Tylenol, which calmed her down but didn’t break the fever, and then they gave her Motrin and that finally took care of the fever.

They took blood — took them a LONG time to get it but the nurse was really careful not to hurt her and Maria was very quiet and cooperative. They swabbed her nose to check for flu and they sent her for an MRI and a shunt series just to be sure it wasn’t her shunt.

Good news: her shunt is fine. Bad news: positive for flu. Great news: they sent her home! We figured for sure they’d hospitalize her, but they sent her home with a prescription for Tamiflu and instructions to keep a close eye on her and give her plenty of Tylenol and Motrin to make sure the fever doesn’t come back, which could bring back the seizures. She’ll probably be out of school the whole week though.

It was 8 hours all told from the time I got there and noticed it until the time we got back home. Long day but it could have been worse.

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