Thursday, August 03, 2006

Life Happens

Been a bad week.

Last Friday, my wife and daughter were in a car accident (they're fine, the car is not). Some idiot concentrating on their Blizzard drove straight out of Dairy Queen into them as they drove by.

On Sunday my daughter woke us up with a scary-as-hell seizure that took us to the hospital in an ambulance and two days in the hospital. They don't know what happened, and may never know for sure. They ruled out the accident, which is good and bad. No injury (good). But lots of unknowns and possible epilepsy or other condition (bad).

Back home now, and Ruby is finally back to her delightful self. She's doing great, but we are not out of the woods yet. The neurologist estimates she has a 25-50% chance of a recurrence, and if it happens we have to give her a shot, call 911 and we're back in the hospital.

We've had to cancel our vacation next week because we would be too far from a hospital.

All I can say at this point is thank God we live five minutes from U-M's terrific Mott Children's Hospital. I've spent way too much time there (it's never good to have memorized where the good vending machines at the hospital are), but everyone there has always been great.

Oh, when we got back from the hospital, the fridge had died and we lost all of our food. Fan-fucking-tastic. Just what I wanted to deal with.

If bad stuff happens in threes, I'm considering myself paid up. Does that mean I get a job offer now?


Smitty said...

The best of the bad news is indeed U of M and their amazing hospital system; best in the country. Hang in, and we will wish good karma on you.

Mike said...

Jeez, Furious, that's a tough week.

Here's to your daughter's health.

And I hope that job you've been wanting comes into port.


S.W. Anderson said...

I'm sure sorry to hear about the seizure and the uncertainty. The car and food loss too.

At such times I've taken pains to remind myself it's got to start getting better, soon if not right now. Invariably, it has gotten better.

I'll echo smitty and mike's good wishes and throw in a small prayer at no extra charge.

Keep us posted on how it's going.

Mr Furious said...

Thanks, guys.

We're hangin' in there. It's been especially tough on my wife who doesn't have the benefit of going to work to distract her, and that fact that she's on the hormonal roller coaster of being three months pregnant.

Trying to do some research online has been a mixed bag. You can find best- and worst-case scenarios for everything, and even the excellent site we were looking at last night was tough to boil down..."So, is status epilepticus better or worse than the other one...?"

I debated about posting on it here, as it's somewhat of a departure, and personal, but I figured it's all-consuming for me right now, and you never know who might stumble in with experience and advice.

S.W. Anderson said...

Mr. F., I can tell you a few things that might be of help.

In kids, seizures can be caused by high fever, head injury or chemical imbalance and a few other things, but the precise cause is often never determined for sure.

Fortunately, even when the exact cause can't be determined, effective treatment is usually possible.

People tend to think of seizures as dramatic events: passing out on the floor and shaking uncontrollably, tongue-biting, etc. A seizure can also be quiet and subtle, a matter of simply being out of it for a second to a few seconds. Watch for subtle episodes and report any to your child's doctor.

It's not unheard of for a kid to outgrow a seizure disorder.

In evaluating the quality of care your daughter is getting, here's an excellent yardstick.

Physical examination and laboratory tests are obviously very important. But getting a good, thorough history is critical. A really good doctor or physician's assistant will take the time to carefully elicit a complete medical history or your daughter, along with a history of the seizure problem. That usually means questions about the medical history of family members on both sides and getting hold of all you child's previous medical records.

This isn't much, but I hope it helps.

Otto Man said...

So sorry to hear about it all, MF. I can't imagine how scary that must have been for you. Hope things improve with Ruby.

Mr Furious said...

Thanks again, s.w.

That's part of the mystery here. No fever, an exhaustive process basically eiminated the accident/head injury. And there is NO family history of this.

Her seizure was not particularly subtle—it seemed almost as if she had died—completely lifeless and non-responsive. I suppose if it happened for a minute or two, it might go unnoticed, but she was basically checked out for over an hour, and didn't really come out of it until her spinal tap in the hospital [cringe].

The danger with Ruby is that this lasted a long time, and her oxygen level dropped precipitously because her breathing was so shallow.

That makes any episode a "medical emergency" unlike what people think of as a "normal" epileptic seizure.

In fact, unless she has another episode, she isn't really even dignosed as epileptic or anything else.

The worst part for us now is the unknown aspect to all of this. Will it happen again? What caused the first one? If it happens in her sleep will we know?...

Punchy said...

Hey Mr., here's hoping things are good from here on out. Pretty sure things will work out. Kids tend to be quite malleable.

That said, I can't help but comment on this hour long siezure. I've never heard of such a thing. And a spinal tap? I'm sure UM hospital has some of the best docs, so don't worry.

Best of luck, buddy.

Matt Tierney said...

Thanks, Punchy. Just for you I'll throw up the baseball post I've had simmering for a while...