Sunday, March 21, 2010


I can't say this weekend has been our best, but some good has definitely come out of the very stressful couple of days we've had. Thursday night we had quite a scare when I went in to check Meredith. Around midnight, I heard her crying so I went in and picked her up for a hug. Shortly after, she started twitching. It started on the right side of her body and then spread to the left. It got more severe as it continued. She was breathing and semi-alert. In the car on the way to the ER, Meredith stopped seizing - it lasted 10 minutes start to finish. When we got to the ER, they drew some blood, put in an IV and catheter (poor thing did NOT like that part). Urine and blood tests were normal. Shortly after we got to the ER, Meredith started vomiting and losing some color. This is when they decided we really needed to be at Children's for more intensive monitoring. So off we went, Meredith and I in the ambulance and Greg following closely behind to Children's Hospital. Meredith was seizing again when we arrived at around 2am. The staff was able to witness this one and gave her Ativan to stop the seizure. She was stable for a few hours and it appeared that she was taking a turn for the better. Unfortunately, she was not as stable as she appeared and over the next couple hours, she had 4 instances where she was unable to breathe on her own. The staff needed to use the "bag" to get her breathing again. It's a little mask and a balloon-like bag they use to puff air into her lungs. I can easily say, we have never been so scared in all our lives. We stood there feeling helpless and watched the doctors and nurses try to get our baby breathing again and each time, they did. We were informed later that the drug Ativan can cause respitory difficulties in some children. We met with several doctors and a neurologist. They thought we should get her hooked up to an EEG immediately to try to capture a seizure on the machine. If they could capture just one, it would provide valuable information on what exactly is going on and how to go about treating it. While waiting for the EEG people to get to our room, which felt like an eternity, they also did an EKG and chest X-Ray. They did finally get there around 9am and after the 40 minute process of attaching all the leads for the EEG, we were ready to roll. Soon after being hooked up, Meredith actually did start to round the corner and become more alert. We were thrilled that she was feeling better, but nervous that we were losing our window of opportunity to catch one of these seizures on the EEG. We were instructed to push a red button if we saw any unusual or seizure-like activity. Throughout the 30 hour EEG monitoring, we only pushed the button one time - it was at the very beginning, Meredith was staring off a little funny. We pushed the button, not feeling too hopeful that we actually "caught" something. During the next several hours, Meredith seemed to recover rapidly and a visit from Grandma and Buddah around 2:30 had her smiling and talking and seemed to cheer her up quite a bit. The day was long, but visits from family helped the hours tick by. By the time Grandma and Grandpa Donovan got there at 5ish, she was all smiles and laughs. And both Greg and I got to sneak outside and enjoy some of the fresh air - it was probably the most beautiful day we've had this year! She stayed connected to the EEG all day and overnight. At around 2pm on Saturday, the neuro's came in with some preliminary results and to our good fortune, the one time we pushed that button WAS a seizure. We learned that it was a focal seizure that lasted 90 seconds. Meredith was prescribed an anti-seizure medication, Trileptal, which is designed to work well with this type of seizure and is very well-tolerated. We got to come home Saturday night and we spent Sunday enjoying just being with Meredith on such a warm, beautiful day. We went for a walk, went to the park, played on the swings and soaked in some sun. We actually feel a great sense of relief that we have some information on these seizures and something to treat. And best of all, Meredith was a trooper, has come through it with amazing strength and is home with us and HAPPY! Meredith has been smiley and extremely vocal! She has quite a story to tell I guess : )

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