Thursday, March 30, 2006

Scary Kid Stuff

First, there was the dream I had this morning that went ON and ON and ON... that I lost Sweet Pea in an airport - actually it was worse than that - we were already on the plane, but the door was open like it would be on a bus. As we were taxiing through the tunnels (?) to the runway, Sweet Pea got out and ran behind the plane. The driver (did I mention that the plane was like a bus?) said that we'd go back and get her, or something. But he kept going and the plane took off! I think I jumped off the plane before it took off and ran EVERYWHERE looking for Sweet Pea but couldn't find her, and had all kinds of horrible thoughts about never seeing her again because she could have gotten lost ANYWHERE in the airport or taken by ANYONE and sold into child slavery or what have you. It was truly awful. Then I think somehow we were at our next destination, and a nice old couple had taken her with them and bought her a whole new wardrobe and suitcase and jacket, etc. and left her tied to a railing on some nice stairs in front of a food joint in the next airport for her parents to find. WEIRD!

And now for the real-life scary stuff...

About four times in Sweet Pea's life she has nearly (or maybe actually) passed out after a fall. The last two times I remember clearly. The first of those times was months ago and she was in her room with the door closed, playing with Lois the cat. Unbeknownst to me, Sweet Pea had climbed from her bed onto her changing table - and yes, she fell off her changing table to the floor. I heard her scream once and could tell from her tone that it was a bad situation, so I ran to her room and when I got there she was lying on the floor on her right side with her right arm straight up from the shoulder, under her head, and she looked like she was really spaced out. I picked her up and she didn't say anything or cry. She was completely limp and did not respond to me for quite some time. Less than a minute, but still, it was VERY scary. Then she took a huge breath and started crying really hard. After that she just wanted me to hold her, and she wanted to go to sleep. Of course I did NOT want her to go to sleep. I didn't know if she had hit her head at all, and I was worried because her arm was still limp. I kept waking her when she fell asleep on me, and shined a flashlight in her eyes to make sure that her pupils were dilating correctly. I called our doctor's office but our regular doctor was not in (he only works Mon-Thurs, and OF COURSE this occurred on a Friday - she only gets go-see-the-doctor sick on Fridays too). I left a message with his physician's assistant and she sounded pretty concerned but had to check with another doctor. That other doctor didn't call back for 4 or 5 hours and by then Sweet Pea was back to normal, so he passed it off as normal.

We had another fall and recurrence of the freakiness last month. This time, for the first time, there were other witnesses besides me. Sweet Pea and I were visiting my sister and brother-in-law. It was before dinner and Sweet Pea was on a dining room chair next to my brother-in-law while he drew her hilarious pictures and told her funny stories about them. I was sitting in the next chair over, though she and Uncle were sitting at the side of the table and I was in the chair at the end of the table. I was not paying attention to how close to the edge of her chair Sweat Pea was, and wouldn't you know it, she was squatting right on the edge with her feet and over she went, backward onto the floor. She fell on her back and shortly after that her head bonked on the floor and the wall a little bit. But it didn't look like a huge fall from that height, and it didn't look like she hit very hard either. Her face screwed up like she was going to scream and I got between the chairs, table and wall and picked her up. By the time I had her in my arms and lap she had gone white as a sheet and was not breathing. I called her name repeatedly and told her to breathe, and was getting really panicked.

My sister, who is a Physical Therapist (and as such has dealt with serious situations, including acute wound care, and old people dying while she's walking with them in a gait belt during their therapy), took Sweet Pea from me and held her so that she was lying on her back, and she put her feet up in the air, I think to get some blood to Sweet Pea's head. Then Sweet Pea took a huge breath and started crying really hard. My sister held her until Sweet Pea realized that it was Auntie, not Mommy, holding her, and then she came back to my lap. She cried some more and went to sleep. We woke her up a little bit so Uncle could check her eyes and they dilated fine (both directions - getting small in reaction to light, and expanding again after the light was no longer shining in them). But she was in and out napping and stuff, very clingy, as you might imagine, and it was a good hour before she was up and running around and cheerfully chattering nonstop again.

My sister is a very strong person in situations like this and does not freak out like I do, yet she told me later that she was getting freaked out too. I had talked with our doctor about the previous experience but not in great detail because I think I mentioned it to him quite a bit later, and he had told me a couple other things to look for that were bad after a fall, such as the child sticking her tongue in and out of her mouth, and her hands grabbing at nothing in the air. It didn't occur to me until later this time, but Sweet Pea had been sticking her tongue out of her mouth after she came to, and I just thought she was thirsty and tried to give her a drink. But she didn't drink.

Well, that night we debated about what to do. My sister said that she would not trust her local hospital and since Sweet Pea had been through this before and we watched her closely and she *did* return to normal after a while, I decided just to call our doctor the next day. Upon doing so, however, I learned that he was on vacation for another week. Two members of our play group gave me their pediatricians' phone numbers, which I greatly appreciate, but since our family physician has known Sweet Pea since birth, I waited until he was back from vacation to do anymore follow-up.

Last week (or maybe the week before, I can't remember now) I called the doctor and described the situation to him over the phone and he said, "yeah, that's not normal; we should have her checked out," so he gave me a verbal referral and said that if the other doctor's office requires paperwork, he'll be glad to see her and write up an official referral. It seems our insurance does not require a written referral, though, so I went ahead and made an appointment with the pediatric neurologist for April 24th (the soonest time they had open).

We are on the cancellation call list, so we may get in sooner, although yesterday they called and offered me an appointment that had just opened up 15 minutes from then, and what with Sweet Pea and I both still in our pajamas AND the drive to the doctor's office being a 15-minute drive itself, that wasn't an option.

So that's one of the things going on around here... our doctor said that the tests may very well come back not showing anything amiss, but I'm glad that we're getting this checked out. I have not talked with ANY other moms who have had this happen with their children - and I've polled a lot of moms, from at least three different generations (but mostly ones with kids around Sweet Pea's age).


Queen of Spain said...

Oh my. Oh my. Oh my. Oh my.

Sending happy vibes your way.

The Pizzitola Family said...

Gosh, that's scary...but I'm sure all with check out fine. Sending good wishes your way!