What started out as a regular school day quickly turned into one of the scariest days of my life. When Mommy Instincts Don’t Kick In
In January, I received a call from Genell’s school. “Melanie, we think Genell just had a seizure”. Now, Genell has some GI issues and the way they described what she did (for lack of better words) sounded like she was “letting nature do it’s thing”. Fast forward a couple of weeks, and on Feb 20, it was déjà vu. “Melanie, we think Genell just had a seizure”. This time, the school let me know that I needed to come and get her. On the way, I made a call to her Neurologist, but had to leave him a message.
If you’ve ever been a guest in my home, you’ve heard the wonderful tunes of Mother Goose Club playing while Genell sits and watches cheerfully. She was pretty comfortable so I propped open my work laptop and started knocking out some things. I sent off a few emails and then boom! things turned for the worse! Genell’s body stiffened like a board and she made a loud screech that I had never heard before! I was only a few steps away, but by the time I got to her, the episode had come to an end. She was out of it. Not very responsive, but she finally “came to” after a few minutes, but still was not herself.
New Home for the Night
Whenever I go to the E.R. with Genell, I always pack an overnight bag. That is something I learned a few years ago and that habit has stuck with me. I got myself together (both mentally and physically), got Genell in the car, and we headed to the hospital. After 2.5 hours, we were admitted and got sent to the NeuroScience floor. But just our luck, we got admitted at 6:45pm. For anyone that either works in the hospital or has been a patient, you know (or should know) that 6:30-7:30 is a crucial window of time for nurses. It’s Shift Change. Not unless it’s a dire emergency, I almost never search for a nurse or push that “beloved” red nurse button. The nurse that is leaving is updating the nurse that’s starting his or her shift with super important information (not just about you, but about all of their patients). And if I am just looking for an extra blanket, trying to locate the room phone number or trying to get directions to the snack machine…that can wait.
Later, we found out the plan for the night. Genell had an order for an EEG, which is a test that looks at your brain activity. She was very restless and fidgety, so they were only able to keep it on for a couple of hours.
When a GI issue is a good thing
If you follow my Instagram Page, @TwinMomMel, you may have seen some of my stories. Genell was extremely restless! She did not go to sleep until after 3am, and this was even after all those cords and stickers were taken off her head. She more than likely was restless because she slept so much during the day after her 2 episodes.
Later that morning, the doctors made their rounds. If you’ve ever been in a research hospital, you may get excited like me because it is a very large team of individuals that come and talk to you. It’s not to intimidate you, but it’s a group full of resident students, fellows, and other specialists that are all there to help. The head fellow let me know that Genell’s EEG came back normal and that they didn’t think she was having seizures.
My mommy instinct was kicking in and I just didn’t think he was right. I knew something was wrong. The only downfall to this was I didn’t have any video of her episodes. He only had my words of the description and the normal EEG to go off of.
If you recall earlier in the post when I mentioned Genell has some GI issues, the nurse mentioned to the team that she was concerned about Genell’s belly. It was pretty distended (bloated), so they put a plan in place to get that resolved before she could be discharged. Well on this day, her GI issue ended up being a blessing in disguise. Genell had another episode and I quickly grabbed my phone. I recorded it! I now had proof to show to the doctors.
Mommy Instincts Fight Back
I had the video and pushed that “beloved” red nurse button. She came in and I showed it to her. She immediately called that same fellow that said everything was ok. It took him a few hours to come to our room, but when he saw the video he said “Hmm….now this is interesting! I think those just might be seizures” This of course was the only video that I had of the episode, so he still only had 1 example. But needless to say, my mommy instincts were right. There was something wrong, and the video proved it.
We ended up getting discharged that day, and Genell now has a new medication and diagnosis (seizures) added to her current list.