Febrile Seizures – Dangerous? Or Just Scary?

A few weeks ago Logan came down with a fever. He was fine at bedtime, but when I went to take him to the toilet a few hours later, he was burning up. That was the beginning of a very long night.

Logan woke a lot, calling for water, cuddles, blankets, etc. At one point it seemed he had been calling for a while but I was so tired I didn’t hear him. He wet his bed and I had to change him and the bed while he fussed about feeling cold. Just as he was settled, he yelled again and told me, “The castle is rising!” I should have realized then that his temperature was high, but my tired state had fogged my brain and I made him go back to sleep.

At 5:30 a.m. his yelling woke me out of a sound sleep. I dragged myself to his bed again and asked what he needed. It took a minute for me to realize that he was freaking out because he was having a febrile seizure. His body was shaking, his muscles were tense, and he was scared. It wasn’t the first time this had happened, so I was able to keep him calm by talking to him until the seizure stopped.

The commotion in the kids’ room had woken everyone except Scarlett by this time. Lila was asking what was going on and why Logan’s body was shaking like that. After what seemed like a few minutes, but probably wasn’t more than a minute, the seizure stopped. Glad and I got Logan cleaned up (he had wet himself, normal during a seizure) and back into bed. We gave him some paracetamol and put a cool cloth on his forehead to help bring the fever down.

Daddy lay down with Logan while I tried to get Lila to go back to sleep in my bed. Logan was delirious and kept talking nonsense. (Later in the day he told me his bed had been rising off the floor and he thought he had been dreaming while awake.) Once the medicine kicked in and he was cooler, I took his temperature and it was still 103F. I can’t imagine how high it was during the seizure!

This is the second or third time Logan has had a febrile seizure. Had I not read about them shortly before it happened the first time, it would have freaked me out.  Febrile seizures are generally not dangerous to a child’s health. They are usually caused by a rapid rise in the temperature of the fever. They occur in children between the ages of 6 months – 6 years, and are more common in boys than girls.  In most cases, a medical exam afterwards is not necessary, unless you notice that your child doesn’t seem like themselves after an hour or more, or the fever doesn’t go down after you’ve given them something for it, or if the seizure happens again during the same illness.

Some tips to remember if it happens to your child:

1. Breathe and stay calm- it is scary but not dangerous.

2. Make sure they can’t hurt themselves while their body jerks around. Don’t hold them, but stay close until it ends.

3. They may or may not lose consciousness during the seizure (Logan didn’t).

4. A seizure normally lasts between a few second and 5 minutes, but can go as long as 15 minutes.

5. The child may wet or throw up while it is happening. If they throw up, make sure they are lying on their side so they don’t gag on the vomit.

6. Once the seizure is over and your child is cleaned up and calm, you can give them whichever OTC fever-reducing medication you normally use. Make sure to follow the body weight dosage listed on the bottle and measure out carefully. A cool cloth on the forehead helps too.

This is only a rough listing of things to remember. I suggest you read more on febrile seizures so you can be well-informed and prepared should they ever happen to your child.

Medline Plus – Febrile Seizures

MayoClinic.com -this link has a lot of information on them, spread over several pages. Click the link at the bottom of each section to make sure you get all the pages.

Has your child ever had a febrile seizure? What was your experience?

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September Weight Check-in

Last year when I started on my weight loss journey, I went into it not knowing where I was headed or how I was going to get there. I only knew it was time for me to lose the excess weight I had been lugging around since Scarlett’s birth.

When I made my diet changes back in February of this year and began losing weight right away, I was elated, not to mention sure that it would only take 5 months to get to my normal weight, since I began by losing two kilos in one month. But as the months passed, the weight loss slowed down, which I think is normal. I realized it was going to take longer to get back into shape. (You can go here to see my fitness plan and find links to my monthly check-in posts.)

And now here it is September, and I’m still fighting with myself to get rid of the last few kilos. These are the hardest to shed. Sometimes I catch myself thinking, “Well, I lost 8 kilos already. I look and feel better. Why push for the last 7?” Why, self? I’ll tell you why. I want to look and feel my best!

From last November until this June, I exercised 6 days a week with very few missed days. Perhaps that is why when July came I began to feel a need for a break from this intense exercise push. I spent most of July resting, doing a little swimming here or a little walking there, but nothing like the intense running and toning I had been doing. In August I meant to pick it up again, but each time I’d start, after a day or two I’d be too tired to get up in the morning and I’d miss the rest of my workouts for the week.

Then we all got sick with the kind of colds that knock you out. Myself and the kids were all so sick all we could do was watch t.v. Of course they began to recover faster than me, since I still had to care for them. If you have kids then you know what I’m talking about. Thankfully we had just hired a maid to help with the housework, so things didn’t get too dirty while I was sick. It’s been 18 days, and we all still have some lingering sniffles, sore throats, coughs, etc. I think it had to do with the weather changes, or perhaps we caught it from the little girl at Logan and Lila’s art class who had a real bad cough and cold. We were at the class on a Saturday and by Monday we were all sick.

Last Sunday, September 1st, was my weigh-in day. I only weigh in once a month. Since I don’t have a scale at home I go to a local (but still not too close) pharmacy that has a digital scale. I don’t really like daily weigh-in’s anyway. The fluctuations would frustrate me. Up until now, each month I’ve gone with trepidation, wondering if I had really lost anything, or worse, had I gained anything back! Each time I was happy to see loss, though the amount did go down over time.

This time, though, I had gained. I guess I wasn’t too surprised. Less exercise and more rest for me equals weight gain. I’m one of those people who has to exercise regularly to keep my weight down. The gain wasn’t much, only 400 grams. I went from being 72.4 kgs. at the beginning of August to 72.8 kgs. at the beginning of September.

I could have let this little gain get me down, but I remembered to be positive and decided that this was just the push I needed to get back to my workouts. Monday I picked up again by going for a run. It was tough. But I’ve done 4 days so far this week and I feel good. I just have to keep telling myself that I CAN do this. I CAN lose the weight and I CAN get down to my goal weight. Only 7 kilos to go!

The One Gift a Mother Can’t Return

I’m feeling awful right now. My kids have done it again. There is a gift they love to share, no matter how much I refuse it. Not that I have much choice in the matter.

They begin by getting feverish and wanting to be held, each breath spreading sickness-laden germs onto my body. Then the coughing and sneezing start. They make sure they aim for my face each time a cough or sneeze comes. I turn, I try to hide. I actually do hide. I tuck them into bed to keep myself safe. But it doesn’t work.

Like clockwork, as soon as their colds are ending, mine is just beginning. And it hits me hard. You know, as in drippy nose, painful sinus hard. I can’t work, can’t breathe. Yet they continue on as ever: “Mama, I want a story!” “He won’t share his toys.” “She’s taking my animals!” “No, Lila, don’t!” Hit, smack, cry, scream. “Mama!”

I bury my head and try to plug my ears as the noise continues. (And it is’t just them. Some guys are tearing down a house behind us using sledgehammers and a jackhammer.The noise has been going on for two days. Hello? Haven’t you guys ever heard of a wrecking ball? Just smash the place and be done with it!)

Yesterday I knew the cold was coming. By the evening it was here in full force. Logan and Lila didn’t nap, so bedtime was early, as in they were in bed and asleep before 9 p.m. I showered, just to try to relax, but my nose wouldn’t stop running and the pain in my sinus was growing. I had some vodka to try to knock myself out and went to bed.

Glad offered to get up with the kids so I could sleep in, so I turned my alarm off and tried to will myself to sleep even though I could hardly breathe. Around 4:30 I woke up so uncomfortable. Logan had squished himself in bed between us and Glad was taking up more than his share of the bed so I had no space to sleep in.

I carried Logan back to his bed, only to find Scarlett wide awake and up. I asked her what she was doing and she ran to the kitchen, asking for milk. Huh? It’s the middle of the night, girl! Gave her some, which she gulped down, then she ran to my bed. I tried to protest but felt to sick to do so. There I was, squished again. But it didn’t last long. As soon as she was asleep I moved her.

I tried to fall asleep again but my nose wouldn’t let me, not to mention that I was now wide awake and my brain was busy thinking up stuff to keep me from sleeping. Of course it wasn’t long before I felt someone crawl into bed by my feet. Lila. Great. Ok, I’m destined to not sleep. And to top it off, I started getting hungry and dreaming of hot soup that we didn’t have.

At some point I did sleep and slept until 8:30. Of course Glad getting up with the kids only meant that he kept them away from me for the short time they were awake. They hadn’t had breakfast and had to leave for school in 1/2 an hour. Right. So I made them a quick breakfast, got them ready to go, packed their snacks, etc. … and plopped down on the couch to watch t.v. just a soon as they left. No housework today.

Well, I did make myself some soup. I had some frozen chicken broth, and I used that along with some roughly chopped veggies to make a soothing, nourishing vegetable soup. Once cooked I blended the whole thing, since I wanted to drink it and not chew it. It’s lovely and I’m finally feeling a little better.

Oh, and I gave in and tried Glad’s cure: brandy. I hate the taste but it is soothing so I endured through maybe 4 mouth fulls, taken in tiny sips, of course.

Now the kids are in bed for naps – hopefully they will actually sleep – and I’m off to chill in front of the t.v. until I’m needed again. 🙂 Cool. I never get to do this. Maybe I should get sick more often. After all, this is what the rest of them do when they are sick.

 

What do you do when you get sick but can’t stop to rest? How do you handle it?

November Birthdays and More

I can’t believe that I missed blogging about my kids birthday’s. Well, maybe I can. All of last week they were sick with some sort of tummy bug that had them vomiting for about 12 hours straight, each of them. It started on Tuesday morning with Logan. He spent 2 days on the couch watching t.v., not getting up for anything. The evening of his second day sick, both girls came down with it at the same time – both vomiting, both wanting comfort, both needing me to rush to them as they almost simultaneously threw up for hours on end.

Once the vomiting ended their bowels were hit. Everything coming out that end for over a week now has been liquid. Gross I know, but now you know what I’ve been dealing with. Poor Scarlett woke up several times with bigger diaper blowouts than she ever had as a baby, and she hated it. She is already toilet trained, so it scared her to be such a mess. I had to reasure her she was ok and clean her up while holding my breath and trying not to gag. It was that bad.

Snuggling with daddy while she was sick.

Somewhere around here Glad got it too (no, it didn’t touch me), so no one was eating much of anything. By Friday they were feeling slightly better, not perfectly, but enough to go to school. Lila had a Diwali party and Logan was having his class birthday party. Scarlett and I passed out muffins (carrot rasin, yum recipe) and small gifts for each of the kids in his class.

Saturday morning Glad’s mom arrived. I spent all of Friday afternoon and evening cleaning the house, then Saturday morning after my walk, I took down all the screens and washed them before she showed up. Glad and the kids were still taking it easy, not eating much, resting, watching lots of t.v. I spent the day making Logan’s cake for his birthday.

Sunday was Logan’s 5th birthday. We don’t make a big deal out of our kids birthday’s. There is never any plan or order to them. The only constants are a cake of their choice and gifts. Sometimes there are guests, sometimes not. Sometimes we do special activities, sometimes not. So when I got home in the evening (I work a few hours on Sunday), we had the cake right away together. I had picked up Logan’s requested gift, more plastic animals. I offered to wrap his gift but he said just give it to me, so I did.

Our neighbors daughter, who sometimes plays with my kids, dropped in, so we invited her to stay for cake. It was very informal but just right for us. Logan was very happy with his cake, even though my attempt at a farmyard was pitiful.



Click here to see more pics.

 Monday and Tuesday were school holidays because of Diwali, so everyone was home. Glad had those two days off work, but rest had to wait as Monday was the kid’s passport application appointment. We were there from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. – a long time for little kids. I had packed up snacks, books, coloring books, and Logan’s new animals to keep them busy the whole time. Glad had to take each of the kids in separately to do each application, which is one reason it took so long. Also, the place was packed, but they had a good processing system, unlike most Indian legal venus, and the kids had priority entry. Once we got home they were tired and napped and we rested for the rest of the day.

Heading out to the passport office.

While there were firecrackers most every night since Friday, Tuesday was the big day so they began early, at 6:30 a.m. My kids do not enjoy firecrackers and fireworks. So with them going off all day long around us it was rather chaotic and there were lots of tears and freakouts when some of the louder ones would go off.

Tuesday was also Scarlett’s 2nd birthday. She was so excited, saying “It my boofday” all day long. We took the kids to the mall that morning for a family outing. Nana had given each of them (Lila too) some birthday money so they bought some gifts and treats. Then they had fun on the rides at the arcade. All too soon they were hungry and tired so we had lunch at KFC and Glad and his mom took the kids home while I stayed to do the grocery shopping.

In the afternoon I gave Scarlett her big gift, a baby doll. She loves it and has carried it around all day ever since. At the mall she had picked out an alphabet animal wooden puzzle and a Minnie Mouse stuffed toy, and she got some clothes and books. Logan’s gifts were a large floor puzzle, the animals, a shirt with cows on it, some “big boy” cologne, and a Winnie the Pooh finger puppet theater game, which we have yet to put together and use.

Click here to see more birthday pics.

Oh, and Wednesday was Children’s Day so both kids had special activities at school and today, Logan had a costume party. He wanted to be a dancer, but had to wear track pants (his favorite) so he went as a rapper with his tracks, t-shirt, and oversized hoodie. I even gelled his hair and he looked good.

Lila dressed up for Children’s Day, and playing with Scarlett’s new toys.

Happy girl with her new baby doll and her favorites of Logan’s new animals – the cow and cat.

Now I’m tired just thinking of it all. Until next time.

Sickness and Lila’s Annual Day

Oh, what a week. Sickness is no fun, especially when it hits everyone. Sometime last week Glad caught something and it slowly spread, including to a guest who was here over the weekend. It must have been some sort of flu virus as it brought fevers, coughs and congestion. I was out for 2 days, could hardly get up, and I am still not over it. The kids still have runny noses and coughs and Logan is still getting fevers off and on. I think this is because he just doesn’t like to rest when he starts to feel a little better. I don’t know if he will be able to make it to school tomorrow.

This weird thing has reduced our appetities to next to nothing. I eat a tiny amount and can’t eat more for almost the entire day. I can’t finish my morning coffee any more and don’t look for one later as usual. Maybe with all the rest I’ve been getting I just don’t need it. Last night was the first night I cooked since I got sick on Tuesday. I just made hamburgers with veggie sticks and guess what the kids ate? The veggie sticks and the buns! They all left the meat. Even Glad’s appetite isn’t back to normal yet and he had it last weekend.

The only plus I see in the appetite loss, well just for me, is weight loss. I’ve spent almost this entire year trying to lose weight, going up and down, trimming down but keeping my weight steady. Maybe being sick is the way to do it. 🙂 Ha. I’m sure I must have lost something by now. I should stop by the pharmacy on my way out today and see.

Ok, mom, don’t freak out. I’m not going to starve myself to lose weight. I could never give up food. But maybe I will be able to continue to eat smaller amounts instead of the large portions I normally have. And I’m sure all appetites will be back to normal soon enough.

Friday was Lila’s Annual Day show with her school and her first ever public dance performance. Lila actually got the least sick (if that is possible) and she felt well enough to go. I wasn’t sure about Logan and myself but Logan was so desperate to go and of course, I didn’t want to miss seeing Lila dance, so we all went, even though we weren’t up to snuff healthwise.

I wish you could have seen her dance. (It was filmed so we will eventually get the video.) Even though she missed the last few days of practice, she had no trouble recalling the steps and she really got into it. She was as bold as Logan was shy last year when he was the one on stage. And her hip moves! My God, we don’t know where she learned those. 🙂

These photos aren’t the best, but they are the best I could do with my 1.3mp phone camera. It can’t handle motion at all. First a few outside before the show.

She picked the dress and made sure I fixed her hair when I did Lila’s. She even wanted to wear the same pink ribbons as Lila.

This was her outfit for the show.

Lila is the one in front. The song was something about colors.

The whole class.

 You can see her energy in the photos. She was so into it. Hopefully the professional photographer who was there was able to get some good ones for us.

Update: Here are some of the photos from the photographer.

Keeping Sick Kids Happy – and Busy

This past week was a real doozy for us – all 5 of us got quite sick with some kind of flu or something. Thankfully though, my hubby got it first and then was well enough to care for the kids when I couldn’t move.

Caring for kids with fevers and getting them to rest is never easy, especially when they continue to be active. I think this is why it takes them so long to get well – they don’t want to rest. When the fever hit me I slept for almost 2 days straight, as did my husband, but the kids? When they had fevers (one at a time, no less) they would lie in my bed or on the couch and rest – for a while. Then as soon as the fever would go, they would be up and about, playing, coloring, etc. I just get tired thinking about it. And this is why Logan still is having fevers off and on, and why the girls are still coughing and why I’m still cleaning thick mucus from their noses.

As a child, I recall my mom sending us to bed when we had more than a cold, and making us stay. But it is hard to keep a kid in bed, no matter how sick they are. So here are a few things you may like to try the next time you have to keep your kid in bed but they aren’t so sick that they just want to be held. Note that none of these ideas are guarenteed to keep them down but they may buy you a few minutes of peace or a chance to use the toilet.

– Videos, movies, t.v.: a favorite show or movie will probably keep them down for a while. They can lie on the couch or in your bed. Use a laptop if you don’t keep a t.v. in the bedroom.

– Books: For kids who can’t read, many will be content to flip through picturebooks. If your child can read, then provied a new story that will interest them, or perhaps an old favorite.

– Coloring, drawing, dot-to-dot: Any of these kinds of activities are good. Provide a lapboard or a breakfast tray for them to use as support. And make sure the crayons/markers etc. are washable, just in case they end up on the sheets or p.j.’s.

A breakfast tray like this would be great for holding books and art supplies.

– Games: board or card games can be fun, especially if you have more than one child to occupy.

– Puzzles: use the tray for support.

– Play with dolls: dressing and undressing, fixing their hair.

– Surprising them with a small new toy, something you know they will love, may help keep them down awhile.

– If they are a little older and want to be up, an arts and crafts box at a table may keep them busy. They won’t be lying down but will still be resting.

So what are your favorite tricks for keeping sick kids happy?

Updates

Just a few updates, ok, well maybe just two.

While the girls recovered quickly from whatever this sickness was, it hit Logan harder. He has been up and down all week – some days he just lay down and didn’t move, not eating, hardly drinking. Other days he ate a little but would then cry off and on for hours and finally throw up.
Today was the first day in a week that he has wanted to eat and has had more energy. As usual, he lost weight rapidly and I can see all his bones again. It’s amazing how fast that happens with him. Convincing him to eat during recovery is not easy as it takes him time to regain his appetite and all he wants is fruit and proteins; nothing that will make him gain weight. He is skinny as a rail and it takes him time to regain what he has lost.

The other big thing this week is that my yahoo e-mail address got messed up this week and I still can’t access it. So if you sent me something and I didn’t reply, that is the reason. My new gmail address can be found on my profile if you need it.

That’s it for now. I’m too tired to write anything more.

It was a long night…

I’m tired. Most of the night I spent up and down with sick kids – vomiting, runs. Scarlett had it about 2 days ago but we chalked it up to possible teething. Then last night both Logan and Lila started throwing up, and Logan was on the toilet multiple times. Poor kid. He has a terror of vomiting, either doing it himself or hearing someone else. It scares him and he just cries and freaks out.
My guess is it was something they all ate or some sort of tummy bug that is messing with them. I don’t know what else it could be. So today will be about rest, juice, books and cartoons. Scarlett went a good 24 hours with only a little nursing and she is still not eating like she normally does. I hope the others will pick up again soon. Logan gets so skinny when he stops eating, even if for just a day.
Pray for them.

Yes, I’m Still Alive

I can’t believe it has been so long since my last post, but I have a good excuse, honest I do. The kids all got colds, one at a time, then I got it, and just now are we starting to get over them. I’ve spent the better part of ten days covered in coughs, snot, pee, and sneezes, plus holding feverish kids, putting on countless videos or t.v. shows, blowing noses, and more.
I think I really lost it when I was going to blow Lila’s nose, but instead ended up at Scarlett and told her to blow. She can’t do that yet and I wondered what was wrong with Lila before I realized I was holding the hankey by the wrong nose.
To top it off, the rain has continued, relentlessly. Every day, all day it’s rain, rain, rain. Don’t get me wrong, I like rain. But it’s almost been two weeks and shows no signs of stopping yet. I can’t take the kids anywhere, so fights have escalated since no one can go outside to run and play. Logan was finally well enough on thursday to go back to school, so he got out for a short while, but the rest of us are beginning to feel like caged chickens.
Yesterday I took the girls out for a short walk and we got hit with a sudden downpour. You don’t know heavy rain until you have been in monsoon rain. Fortunately it wasn’t cold and we were close to home, but wow, wading through streets-turned-rivers while carrying both girls and trying to keep us semi-dry with the umbrella is not my idea of fun.
So today when mom’s parcel arrived, two wild chidren sat quietly on the couch looking at the new books she sent. They hadn’t been that quiet all morning. Thanks, mom. The books were a success.

Nov 02
Nov 03
Nov 01

And you haven’t heard about the laundry yet. (Maybe you don’t want to. It’s ok.) Because it is normally so hot, no one here owns a dryer. It would be an unnecessary expense since it would sit idle for most of the year, only to be used during the rains. If I had one now it would be getting me my money’s worth, cause with all this rain, nothing is drying. I have the rack under a fan 24/7 and it still takes up to 48 hours for things to dry through.
With little kids though, daily laundry is a must, just to keep up. So that fan is going to keep spinning until the end of the year if it has to, or at least until the end of monsoon. At least we no longer need the air conditioners. 

"Mommy, My Tummy Hurts"

I’m sure you have heard this one before, and if you haven’t yet, you will. There comes a point, usually during the toddler years, that a child becomes more aware of bodily pain. The problem is that, since they are too young to identify what could have caused or is causing the pain, they tend to freak out and just cry.
Here is a little tip for when your child comes crying that their tummy is hurting – ask them where the pain is. They can’t tell the difference between stomach pain and lower abdominal pain, and the different causes for each one. Even if your child can’t talk yet, they can point to where it hurts.
If they point to their stomach, it could be hunger, nausea, or pain from overeating. You should be able to figure it out depending on when they last ate, what they had, and how they have been acting since then. Often a child who is about to throw up will whine and fuss, want to lie down, or be with you. My son is scared of throwing up, and will cry about it more once it happens than before. Lots of comfort and emphasizing that it is all over is needed to calm him down.
If they point to the lower abdomen, the most likely cause is a need empty the bowel. This one happens to Logan almost daily. He will fuss and cry about how much his tummy hurts, then within minutes, he will be on the toilet and then everything is ok. Other causes could be gas, or, more rarely. appendicitis. This last one can be serious and will require medical attention. (Read this link if you want to know the symptoms.)
With Logan, each time he says his tummy hurts, I talk to him and find out where the pain is, and I explain to him what it might mean. Of course, I don’t say everything I listed above, only what applies to him at the moment. This helps him to learn the difference in hunger pangs and needing to use the toilet, or feeling sick in his stomach.

What do you do when your child says his tummy hurts? How do you handle it?

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