Sunday, 20 May 2012

Febrile Convulsion

Whilst on holiday hubbie and I had the biggest scare of our lives, I have decided to write about it to try and come to terms with it all, otherwise I will replay the moment again and again in my head.   Hopefully this post will help make more people aware about it. 

I knew fits happened from high temperature (although I had no idea what like looked like) and was like a woman possessed for keeping them down for this reason, windows would be opened, quilts exchanged for thin sheets, calpol given at regular intervals… but on holiday the day before youngest had seemed fine, he had enjoyed a fun packed day at Greenwood, we then went swimming when we got back to our caravan park.  In the night he stirred so I put him in bed with us, I did not want him to wake eldest as they were sharing a room.  He was being cheeky but did not appear ill.

I awoke around 5am and then my heart sank, the blood drained from my face, seeing my youngest, my little baby having a fit… I did not know what to think, it honestly looked like he was dying, it was horrible to watch, I hope most of you avoid seeing it (although sadly the statistics say one in thirty children have one before the age of 5).  His arms and legs were flaying, his tongue rolled differently in his mouth and his eyes rolled upwards .  The fit seemed to go on forever, time stood still but in reality hubbie says it was less than a minute.  We rang the ambulance and were rushed straight in.

It transpired after a number of tests he had tonsillitis (worryingly this was only found after the THIRD doctor examined inside his mouth!) and his temperature had spiked.

They gave me a leaflet at the hospital that helped; it says what to do in case of another fit, as sadly the odds are higher after the first (between 3 or 4 out of 10 children will have another).  It explained how even though the fit looks awful children generally recover quickly with no lasting consequences.  Children are unconscious so have no memory of the experience; so as traumatic as it is for the parents, the main thing is your little ones have no knowledge of what happened.  I know this is true, as when he was playing the next night with his brother in our bed, he seemed quite happy, laughing and saying he liked our bedroom.  All I kept doing was having a mini panic attack when he was in almost the same position on the bed again.  But I did not show my alarm to him.

If your child does have a fit the leaflet tells you to wait for the convulsion to stop do not shake them, just make sure they are in a safe position so nothing can hurt them.  They should lay flat on their side with their head at the same level as their body.  We did not know this so did not change his position luckily he was in bed so surrounded by softness and did not hurt himself.  The risk of fits falls after the age three, so I am praying it does not happen again.

12 comments:

  1. Ahhh bless you! It must have been such a shock!!! I love being a mother but by heck it has give me grey hairs! I will have a look out for more info as I would never have a clue what to do it that situation!  Well done for being so brave and thank you for blogging about it and alerting us to what any of us might experience in the future!

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  2. So sorry to hear that hun, must of been very scary especially because it has never happened before. Sharing the information from the leaflet was a good idea & may help other parent's. x

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  3. Really sympathise,my daughter had a fit when she was just over a year old and it was terrifying. Wish they would warn parents more about them. They say they are really common but dont give much information about them. Not a nice experience x

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  4. would have hated to have seen my son going through this.  my oldest son when aged 6 had one of these fits, but was at school.  i was in tears before i had put the phone down to go and collect him.  an over night stay in hospital and he was fine, no reason for his high temp was found.

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  5. Katherine De Riera21 May 2012 at 08:20

    I remember when my eldest son had a febrile convulsion when he was about 1 year old, it is such a horrible scary thing to see and being inexperienced parents we didn't know what was happening, we took him to hospital and he had an infection which caused the convulsion. I work with people who have epilepsy and so see people having seizures all the time so I should have felt more calm about it, but nothing can prepare you for the shock of seeing your own child have a fit X

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  6. Well done for raising the awareness... as someone else has said, it is quite common but I don't ever remember being told about fits by a healthcare professional when my children were born.  However, my sister suffered from them when she was young so knew what to expect if it did ever happen... Hope all is OK now though - xxx

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  7. Sorry that you had to go through this, good that he is better now and hopefully after you have written this post, you feel better as well. xxx

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  8. My oldest went through this 
    http://www.susankmann.com/2011/02/fevers-febrile-convulsions.html It's the scariest thing I've ever had to see. Hopefully you don't have to go through it again. Hugs xx

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  9. I used to have these as a child, my mum said she actually thought I'd died when she held me and I went stiff and my eyes rolled back. I can't imagine the horror of having to go through something like that. My nephew now suffers with them too, such a scary thing for a parent. I've always been worried about my little boy having them but as of yet we've been fortunate. Got my fingers crossed for you that it won't happen again x

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  10. Hi,
    I wanted to thank you for writing this. I went through this only a week ago with my one year old and it was the most horrific experience of my life. My husband was in Afganistan so I was on my own with my two girls. She ended up having two more seizures while we are in hospital so they classed it as Complex Febrile Convulsions. She is fine now and back at home but has just developed a heavy cold and I feel so sick with worry, I just can take my eyes off her! I was wondering if you still feel frightened whenever your son gets poorly and if or how you have learnt to cope with it? I really don't want to live in fear but just can't relax especially after reading up on the possibility of reoccuranc

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  11. Hi Frances, so sorry to hear you went through it too, it is very scary and I still worry, I checked like mad and kept accidently waking him with all my frantic checking, but we are trying to relax more now, as he needs us to stop fussing over him, so he can sleep peacefully. Just make sure you have calpol and children ibuprofen in to alternate if it gets really high. I feel for you having to have gone through this on your own, the memories of the awful moment do ease a little, but it is still always on my mind and I struggle if I see fits on television programs, I have to look away x

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