A Tale of Two Seizures

What a week!

Monday started as every Oct 24th does. Nicole in the kitchen early, making a wonderful breakfast-in-bed. Presents wrapped and candles ready to be lit. It was Malia Bear’s birthday.

The smell of freshly cooked eggs wafted into my nostrils as I passed through the dining room. I quickly, yet quietly sped down the stairs to the twins room in the basement. I opened the door, flipped on the lights, and scratched Taylor’s and then Austin’s back while I hurried them upstairs to sing a rousing morning rendition of “Happy Birthday” for our Baby Bear – Malia.

They responded uncharacteristically fast and followed me back up to the kitchen where Nicole was putting the final touches on breakfast. Austin wandered around the kitchen with a peculiar wide-eyed look of befuddlement. Nicole asked him clairvoyantly, “What’s wrong?” A mumbled dismissal is all I heard. Taylor stood groggily with his comforter wrapped around his shoulders. I noticed the clock and said, “Let’s hurry. It’s 6:59 and I have to get to my weekly meeting on time.”

That is when it all started.

Austin shuffled past Taylor and I into the family room. I really didn’t think anything of it, besides having a tired teenager. Nicole screamed, dropped what she was working on and zoomed past us so quickly that she nearly created a Doppler effect. The only noise loud enough to trump her screaming was the house shaking thud of Austin hitting the floor. In the half second it took me to realize what was going on Nicole had knelt by our son and lifted Austin’s head onto her lap. I rushed to his side as well just as Nicole yelled again , “Taylor.” I looked back just as Taylor was doing a face plant into the chairs of the dining room table. I left Austin in Nicole’s capable hands and jumped over to Taylor. When I reached him I threw the chairs off of him and tried to roll him over to his back. I say tried because my first attempt wasn’t successful. The amount of force I exerted wasn’t enough. I was surprised because I’m a fairly strong guy and a 140 pd limp body should be easy to roll. That is when I realized that he wasn’t limp but rather completely rigid with his fists clenched and head back.

It struck me that I would have to put my knee in his back and use much more force to get him on his back, otherwise, he would just slide like a plank on the hardwood. I did so and was startled again. Not only was his body rigid but his neck was craned back farther than I thought humanly possible. Because of the rigidity in his entire body and neck, when I rolled him over, his full body weight was being supported, from the crown of his head to his feet, by his neck. I quickly pulled him onto my lap to relieve him from being a human bridge.

A quick glance back into the family room showed that Austin was also stiff as a board. Nicole was calling his name and saying, “Wake up, wake up, wake up.” I was doing the same with no result. We both repeated their names and futilely said anything we could think of to awaken them. Each just lay frozen with eyes wide open staring straight out with a blank focus. One of the worst parts was the horrendous raspy wheezing sound of them choking on their tongues. We continued with this routine of calling their names, pleading with them to return to reality, quick bursts of breath in their nose and eyes to evoke a startled reflex – until the sounds stopped. Each in turn had stopped breathing.

The previous panic seemed mild compared to what I was now experiencing. Panic was now terror. We blew in their faces with all the power and breathe we had to get them to gasp. Nicole was screaming and crying. Austin finally gasped for breathe after about 15-30 seconds and became conscious. Taylor did not. I was blowing and yelling his name and shaking him. Nicole screamed slap him, so I slapped him and still no response. Nicole scrambled over on the floor and said to Taylor, “Austin is awake Taylor. It’s time for you to wake up too.” Then Taylor closed his eyes and inhaled to fill his lungs again.

I held him tightly. He peered around for a second trying to get his bearings and then looked up at me with wondering eyes. I just held him. After a minute he asked, “What’s going on?” I briefly described what happened. Again, I looked at the clock above the stove and it read 7:05. It may have been the longest  five minutes of my life, especially those last 45 seconds.

I called work to let them know I wouldn’t be coming in, we sang Happy Birthday with a peppier tempo than usual, gave Malia presents and hugs, cleaned up the twins, rushed Brooke and Isaac out the door to school, dropped Malia off at our good friends house, and sped to the E.R. The doctor was great and confirmed that they were indeed seizures. Each of the twins have a history of passing out but in the past they would go limp with eyes closed or rolled back. Even though this was such a different experience the doctor said that those were most likely mini-seizures.

Thursday we took the boys back to UVRMC for an EEG and should hear back next week.

Written by curtism in: My Experiences |

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