Thursday, August 19, 2010

In Which Connor Scares The Bejeezus Out Of Me

Well this morning was not particularly fun.

Connor and I were supposed to be meeting some friends at Northwest Trek; a large wildlife park in the area with free roaming native fauna.  We were about halfway there and stopped at a red light, where we were chatting about what animals we were going to see when Connor went abruptly limp. 

We were in the center lane, with cars on either side of us. 

I jabbed the button for the warning lights and mashed the horn, waving frantically to the guy in the lane to the right (who didn't have anyone behind him and could easily back up) that I needed to get over.  He glanced over at me a couple of times and then stared straight ahead, ignoring me, his eyes fixed on the steering wheel despite all my pleading.  Just in front of him, and twenty feet from my van was the turn-in for the parking lot to a grocery store.  It might have well have been 100 miles away.  The guy in the car directly in front of me began honking back.  The guy directly behind me started flipping me the bird. 

Connor's body slumped completely still, hanging against his wheelchair harness.  His face was blue.

So I made the decision to throw on the parking brake and just get out of the car in the middle of traffic, open up the back and do mouth-to-mouth on my son in the middle of the road.  My hand was on the door handle when the light turned green and the cars around me started to move.  I slammed the parking brake off, threw the car into drive and shot over just behind the guy who had refused to back up and then straight into the parking lot, where I parked across three parking spaces and leaped out of the car, hitting the button to open the back door at the same time.  I unbuckled Connor, laid him down on the floor of the van and gave him three breaths.  He shuddered back to life and threw up into the parking lot.

So that was my morning.

Instead of going to Northwest Trek I drove us back home, where Connor went down for a nap and I had a small fit of hysterics in our living room and then consumed my weight in cookies, after which I felt much better.  He slept until 11:40, which is when I woke him up to go to his occupational therapy session. 

I used to cancel everything for the day whenever the little guy had a seizure, but the sad fact of the matter is that if I did that now he'd be missing way too many appointments.  As it is he's having a hard time physically due to all the seizures-- he's actually losing muscle tone on his left side because it's paralyzed so often right now.  So I took him to OT, which he did initially did not enjoy despite there being a swing involved, (usually a favorite activity) but he perked up by the end of the session.  He was feeling well enough afterwards that we joined a friend for lunch; something that Connor may have been relatively indifferent about but that I desperately needed. 

And the rest of the day was much better.  Connor's asleep right now (and still adorable, as you can see), none the worse for wear.  But I'd really like him to cut this sort of thing out.  Seriously, if the major adrenaline rushes I keep having didn't burn so many calories, I'd probably be 300 pounds by now.




Julia O'C said...

I wish that the guy who wouldn't move his car for you would see this post.

Jessie, what you went through sounds HORRIBLE. I'm so, so sorry. And let me guess, no call back from the neurologist?

I hope today is a better day.

krlr said...

People suck. I think you're completely OK leaving your car stopped at the intersection - no risk of getting hit since everyone's already stopped & after the lite turns there'd be a cushion of traffic behind you. Plus there'd be the perverse satisfaction of the other random honkers/bird wavers knowing that there was a real emergency and they were the jerks. Or is that weird?

leah said...

I can't believe the people on the road- seriously- if there is someone with a medical emergency, they should all jump out of their cars to help! I just don't get people sometimes.

I really, really hope Connor's neurologist can get a handle on these seizures. Have you heard back from him yet?

Julia said...

Maybe you should have a big neon sign on either side of the car that you can light up that says, "Child having seizure, get the **** out of my way NOW!!!" Okay, it's true that the idea of someone having seizures or other medical emergencies in traffic is not on most people's radar screens, but if someone were honking and gesturing next to me during a red light, I'd like to think I'd apply a little creative imagination to the situation, give the person the benefit of the doubt, and move the hell over.

Anyway, I'm so sorry you had such a rough morning. Those big, chewy Pepperidge Farm cookies with chocolate chunks can do therapeutic wonders. Go fill a prescription on my orders. Or just bypass the cookie dough and go straight for the large bar of dark chocolate.

Elizabeth said...

I'm so sorry to hear about this -- I hope and pray that Connor's seizures become less intense and disappear. As for the adrenaline, I always say that each seizure puts a few ounces on me, and after fifteen years of them is the reason for my far-too-many pounds. It has something to do with metabolism and the constant release of cortisol that comes with chronic stress...

Katy said...


Gosh, I know I've asked, but have they said anything about adjusting his diet? I can't remember if you've already answered me. I HATE that the guy is having this many issues with seizures.

Also, glad I believe in karma because that guy is SO getting his fair share.

Jess said...

Thanks everybody. It's situations like these that make me really wish we could accelerate our velociraptor breeding program. I bet releasing a couple of those would move traffic along pretty effectively.

Katy, we haven't tried the ketogenic diet yet-- I think the docs wanted to exhaust med options first. Also they were a little concerned about potential side effects given the little guy's heart defect, single kidney, growth restriction, history of hypercalcemia, etc. But that may be next on the list; we'll just have to see what they want to do.


Anonymous said...

Evil not looking guy notwithstanding I personal would wait about 2 seconds after 4 way flashers were on before jumping out of car and dragging whomever out onto street for CPR. Some things are just way more important.

As for the traffic and such, screw em.

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