My 2 Year-Old’s 2nd Febrile Seizure, Sort Of

2 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

It seems like only a year ago that you had your febrile seizure.

And it seems like only two days ago on your 2.333rd birthday that I said this:

You haven’t had another [febrile seizure] since; in fact, the last time you were even sick at all was last July.

As your dad, I am so grateful and thankful for your health, safety, and general well-being.

I don’t worry about you, but I am constantly aware of what precious cargo you are and how I responsible I need to be for you.”

With that being said, I had to take you to the ER today at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital because you were slipping into another febrile seizure.

I’m more of a romanticized, big picture, spare-me-the-technical-details kind of storyteller, so I’ll just regurgitate the highlights as best as I remember them happening over the past 24 hours:

Mommy had already left late for work due to a tornado warning, you had a fever of 105, I gave you fever-reducing medicine, we were watching Hard Hat Harry’s All About Monster Trucks, you starting shivering, I took off your clothes, your lips looked like they were going numb…

As I held you while talking to the nurse on the phone, you started convulsing like you did in last year’s febrile seizure…

When you did that it scared me, which then scared you, which caused you to wake up from the first three seconds of this year’s febrile seizure…

The nurse on the phone said to bring you to the ER instead of the pediatrician’s office, I threw your clothes in a Kroger bag, I by default imagined myself as Bruce Willis in the Die Hard movies as we drove through the post-tornado warning weather to the hospital…

I remember snapping my fingers a lot to keep you awake as I drove you there, saying, “Stay with me, son! Wake up! Don’t fall asleep! Listen, I’m snapping my fingers like Hard Hat Harry does…”.

When we got there, I found out you had caught a case of Roseola, which had caused your temperature to spike, setting your body up to go into seizure mode.

Thank God, you’re okay… again.

It was scarier for me this 2nd time because I didn’t have Mommy or an ambulance. I kept telling you, “You’re going to be okay, son. Daddy’s taking care of you. Hang with me…”.

I knew what I was saying was true, but at the same time my trust was in God, not myself.

Navigating my way to the ER in post-tornadic weather, trying to find out where to park once I got there (!), and keeping you from falling into another seizure because I hated the thought of your seizing while I drove 65 mph on the interstate in the wind and rain…

Well, I really do feel like Bruce Willis in a Die Hard movie right now.

As for you having another febrile seizure, A) I’m becoming a pro at what to do now and B) I’ll going ahead and mark my calendar for next March, so hopefully I can jinx it.




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  1. by Susan

    On March 18, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    Omg, how scary! Thank God he is all right! I bet you have a few new grey hairs :(

  2. by Stephanie

    On March 19, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Seizures are scary! I’m glad that your son is ok.

    I had an especially difficult time with the pediatric ER (more specifically the ER doctor) at Vanderbilt with my son and his seizure!

  3. by The Orange Rhino

    On March 19, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    Oh, I have the shivers reading this. My 20 month old has now had 4 febrile seizures. They are the scariest things ever and the words you wrote “Stay with me” well I’ve said those too. I hope for both of us our boys have no more seizures and I really hope that your jinxing works. Maybe I’ll give it a try!

  4. by Vanessa

    On March 19, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    My son had 2 febrile seizures before the age of 1 it was the scariest moments of my life. I teared up reading your story, knowing the feeling of watching your child slip into a seizure and yelling the words “stay with me”! Ill pray for you and your family as I pray never to see my son seize again.

  5. by Christie

    On March 20, 2013 at 1:31 am

    Let me start out by saying I’m glad things worked out in y’alls favor . Febrile seizures are EXTREMELY scary, especially when it comes to your own child(ren)! No one should ever have to see their child turn blue in their arms. Reading this brought back all the emotions that went on and I know exactly how you feel. My son also has Febrile seizures. He had his first set(5 big seizures, not including the smaller ones)when he was only 10 1/2 months. What a nightmare that was. A week in the hospital, spinal tap, cat scan and multiple other tests. This was all so new to me and i didn’t know if my ” MIRACLE ” baby was going to make it due to the high fever ( went from 98 – 105.8 in under 8 sec.). When his second set came along, he was almost 2 yrs old. This time it was different. He had 2 within a 24 hr. period( 2 hrs. apart) and then 1 more followed. Now his condition is called complex febrile seizures. Like you i also have become a ” pro ” at recognizing the very small changes in him and it’s almost like i turn into “SUPER MOMMY”. I call 911 and explain to them what i have done already ,then i begin to sing the ABC’s and every other song we love to sing together while we wait for the ambulance. Being prepared helped a lot. The good thing is that our children will grow out of this. Most children that only have one will never have another. On the other hand if they have multiple seizures they should grow out of them by age 5. My son will be 3 yrs old in a few months and i PRAY that it does not follow the same pattern. Even though i found out that febrile seizures are very common, I would have never known about them if it wouldn’t have been for my son. I thank God everyday for my precious little man!I will pray that things work out for all of our sweet angels !!

  6. by Gerber

    On March 20, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    My almost five-year-old son has had seven of them. One of them was while we were on vacation in Quebec City. The next three happened in one day while we were at Versailles outside Paris. My wife is a pro at them by now. But I’m still not. Thankfully, he was diagnosed with Epilepsy of Childhood and we now have a medication for him if he goes for number eight. But they are terrifying, even if you’ve been there before.

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