Wednesday, October 28, 2009

In Which We Have Some Huge Ups And Downs

What a roller coaster of a day.

This morning I dropped Jer off for his hospital appointment and took Connor to his physical therapy. The little guy has been hovering right on the edge of sitting on his own. He's to the point where he can sit very well as long as you keep your hands on his thighs to stabilize him. Our fantastic PT, Laura, had the great idea of taking a weighted pillow and placing it on his lap to mimic hand pressure, and with it the little guy sat by himself for fifteen minutes! His previous record was two minutes. This is the kid who was never supposed to move his arms and legs with purpose, remember? I was so proud I almost burst at the seams. He finally had to stop sitting not because he lost his balance, but because he tired himself out. He was literally falling asleep and still trying to sit up; nothing wrong with the kid's work ethic, that's for sure!

We're borrowing the pillow from our therapy center until I can make my own-- it's a simple pillow filled about half-full of beans, so it shouldn't be too hard for me to toss together. I can't wait until he can sit by himself at circle time just like a typical kid-- what an accomplishment!

After that fantastic therapy session I drove back to the hospital, picked Jer up, and we went back to the apartment for some lunch and so Connor could have a well-earned nap. Once he woke up I loaded him back into the car and we went over to the new house to continue sorting out the garbage while Jer stayed at the apartment and took a nap of his own.

Today's finds include:

-48 cans of old paint, stain, or varnish.
-16 different types of poisons for various unwanted living things, including weeds, ants, insects, mice, and moles. Eight of those were for the moles, which were evidently particularly unwelcome here previously.
-1 half-full can of outboard motor gasoline from 1994.
-One wet king sized mattress, 9 more cans of paint, a breast self-examination kit and a bag full of broken glass under the tarp in the driveway labeled "Salvation Army Pickup."

I'm mostly finished with the house now. Two-thirds of the garage left to go!

After Connor and I finished up at the new house for the day we stopped by the grocery store near our apartment complex to pick up some more cozy winter pajamas for him and some other odds and ends.

Connor had a massive seizure in the middle of the clothing aisle.

I immediately set him down on the floor, shouted for help, and started mouth-to-mouth. 30 seconds went by. Nobody came. I shouted for help again and went back to doing resuscitation. A minute went by. Nobody came. I shouted for help again.

I could hear a man talking on his cell phone less than fifteen feet away. He said loudly to the person on the end of the line: "Some @$^* is shouting for help in the middle of the store."

By this point Connor had been unresponsive and not breathing for a minute and 45 seconds. I shouted for help again, and added "He's not breathing!" Within five seconds I had fifteen people in a circle around us, including three store employees, all of whom had been within earshot and had chosen to ignore my earlier shouts for help. The man who'd been on his cell phone was down on the floor next to Connor and me yelling "Breathe, baby! Breathe!" Connor's seizure finally ended at just after the two-minute mark-- less than thirty seconds away from when I would have needed to use his emergency medication.

It was the longest seizure he's ever had while on seizure medication, and one of the scariest not just because of how long it lasted, but also because I couldn't seem to get anyone's attention despite being able to hear people talking all around me. In the future I'll remember to shout "Help, he's not breathing!" the first time instead of just "Help, help, I need help!" I also hope that in the future if those fifteen people hear someone repeatedly shouting for help at the top of their lungs they'll try to make an effort to see if the person, might, you know, actually have an emergency and need help rather than just ignoring them.

By the time someone called 911 Connor's seizure was over, and I told them we wouldn't need the ambulance as there's not really anything they can do for him once he's breathing again. I bought the things already in my cart and drove home with an extremely sad, limp little guy in the back seat. He was scared, sobbing hysterically, and totally exhausted. I calmed him down, gave him his evening medication, and put him to bed. Then half an hour later he had another, smaller seizure. This one only lasted about 20 seconds-- I only had to give him a few breaths-- but it was very scary because he doesn't normally have seizures so close to each other and so it caught me totally off guard. The typical period between his seizures is 2-4 months.

He came up from the seizure disoriented and scared again, but calmed down and went back to sleep once I gave him some oxygen; it always seems to make him feel better. I'd imagine he probably wakes up with one heck of a headache because of oxygen deprivation. I'll be calling his doctor tomorrow, and I'll have to watch Connor very closely over the next few days. The last time he had seizures that fell closer and closer together, he ended up in status epilepticus. This could easily be fatal for him, and at the very least he'd end up in intensive care again, so we tend to fall on the paranoid side with these things. It's not something we want to mess around with.

So it was a roller coaster of a day. Some days are like that, I guess.



Anonymous said...

Well, the category 'horror story' is apt for this post.

Thinking of you all in prayer.

Can you get some haz-mat gear for your cleaning?


Wherever HE Leads We'll Go said...

Oh my word! That sounds incredibly scary! How frustrating to be surrounded by people and no one came to help! I will definitely be praying for Connor and you guys as you seek some answers from his doc.

Barbara said...

What a day. I don't even know what to say. I'm sitting here in disbelief that no one even came to investigate after your initial shout for help. Wow...

Niksmom said...

I am stunned at the apathy of my fellow human beings. I'm so thankful that Connor recovered but understand the fears and anxieties you must be feeling right now.

I hope the doctor can help keep the seizures under control. I'm keeping you all in my prayers.

leah said...

Thank God Connor finally came out of that seizure- how amazingly terrifying.

Shouting "help" is all I would have been able to do- it is sad that people wouldn't come running when you were crying out for help.

Kristine said...

People just disgust me when I hear a story like this. I saw an older woman fall down the other day and 15 people must have walked by and looked the other way before I got there. It is revolting. WHAT is wrong with people.

I'm so sorry Connor had such a scary seizure. I can't imagine how frightened you must have been. I wish I were there to help in some way.

xraevision said...

How appalling that all of those nearby people ignored your cries for help, especially since a mother's panicked shouting is so startling and genuine. Maybe because I've been through similar circumstances so many times, I am prone to interrupt certain situations as crises and am ready to give rescue breathing or call 911 at a second's notice. So thankful that Connor came out of it and didn't need the paramedics. I hope you all get some rest. Lots of love.

Julia O'C said...

Oh, my God, Jess. Oh, my God. I can't imagine. It sounds horrible - absolutely terrifying. I'm so, so sorry.

Katy said...

roller coaster indeed! I felt it just reading the post.

I heard somewhere that if you're being attacked you should yell "fire" and not "help" because people don't want to help, but they all want to see a fire. Kind of sick, huh?

psychologizer said...

I agree. Appalling, but not surprising. For any of you psychology majors out there, two words: Kitty Genovese. Don't look it up unless you feel like you need more righteous anger in your life.

Kristin said...

I'm so glad that Connor is okay now.

With all the good that has been coming the way of your family lately, its hard to say people suck. but, man, sometimes people really suck.

Bronx Cataldo's said...

Its scary thoes seizures. The thought that nobody came to help when you first shouted thats un...... believable.
We've had to change our protocal for thoes exact seizures. Now when he has one if its longer than 6o seconds we have to give the diastat and check his O2 levels. We don't go anywhere with out his back pack now. Hopefully it will be 4 months + before he gets another one.

Lin said...

I remember from my CPR class that you aren't supposed to yell "Help" because people tend to not take it seriously. You should yell "someone call 911" Then they know it is a medical emergency. I don't know if that applies to you or not. Just a thought. On another note, I hope that jackass on the phone feels guilty to this minute and beyond.

Anonymous said...

It sickens me so that people would consciously keep themselves at a distance from someone who needed help.


Do they know why he had such quick seizures? I'm glad he's okay. I'm sorry for the fear it puts in your soul.

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