Friday, May 17, 2013

Eliah Looks Death in the Face Once Again

Friday, November 4, 2011

I knew Eliah was going to have a seizure yesterday, I just didn't know how bad it would be.  I had a feeling all day that he was going to seize at some point, so I told the home health aide to keep an eye out.  Around 8:20pm, I was vacuuming my bedroom when the aide came in and said, "I think he's having a seizure".

By the time I got to the living room, he was in a full grand mal seizure (his whole body).  He was turning from pink to white and was gasping for breath.  I ran to get the oxygen and hooked him up.  Normally the oxygen works within about 10 seconds, but it didn't this time.  I held him in my arms and watched his breathing stop and lips turn a light blue.

My heart was racing and I felt like I was panicking, not knowing what to do.  It wasn't working like in the past.  I pulled him closer to me, and when I did, it pulled the tubing out of the oxygen tank and I started yelling, "Help me! Help me!".  The aide was able to find the end and hook it back up.  I turned the oxygen rate up to hopefully force air into his lungs and brain.

I looked down again and Eliah's face was blue and his lips were dark blue .  His tongue was sticking out and he hadn't taken a breath in what felt like forever.  Then, as I watched him and prayed for the oxygen to work this time, he went limp in my arms.  Dread washed over me, and I looked at him and thought, "Oh my God, did he just die? I think he just died!"

I started to put him down; I needed to try CPR and see if I could get him breathing again.  I laid him down and tilted his head back.  And as I was trying to determine if I'm supposed to take the cannula out of his nose, he took a tiny breath...and then another.  I picked him up again and held him close as he started breathing a little more normal.  His color soon returned to pink.

As I sat there holding him, and now knowing he was okay, it sunk in.  I thought I was going to be sick several times.  But I kept my composure until Natalie was asleep in bed and the aide left for the night.  Then I cried.  Even this morning, I still have a knot in my stomach.  

Natalie was strong last night, but she was very traumatized by the whole thing.  She explained this morning that she thought he had died like I had thought.  And we hugged Eliah tight this morning until he shoved us away and screamed in defiance (which didn't take long).

I was thinking back over the whole near death experience, and what exactly happened, and what I could do differently.  I don't have a lot of answers, but I did figure one thing out.  The seizure caused him to stop breathing.  When Eliah went limp in my arms, it was him passing out.  When he passed out, it stopped the seizure, allowing him to breathe again.  If feels like Russian Roulette, but if he passes out, it could save his life.  Ugh.

I would rather not have to do this again.  

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