Saturday, January 10, 2015

Meri Mae

Our life has been a touch on the crazy side lately. New baby on the way, two preschooler who realize something is changing, Chris putting the final touches on his master's thesis…you think that would be enough right? 

Nope. Let's pile a little more on for funsies. 

At Halloween we noticed a small red dot on Meredith's cheek between her nose and eye. It was really small, pen dot sized, and flat to the surface of her skin. Moles run in both sides of our family and we assumed she was getting a beauty mark. 

At Thanksgiving it had doubled in size, but was still small and flat. 
Thanksgiving, meeting baby Michael
Two weeks later, doubled again. At this point we caught on to the possibility that this wasn't your typical mole and I called her pediatrician for a referral to a dermatologist.
Week before Christmas
After bedtime one night before Christmas, I heard fussing on the monitor and Chris went to check her. She was still sleeping, but was covered in blood. Somehow she had bumped it while sleeping and it was bleeding aggressively. I'll spare you the pictures, but it. was. awful. After a bath, and washing her hair a few times, we finally got the bleeding to stop with two bandaids applying pressure. Over the next few days we noticed it had doubled in size again. 

At our scheduled appointment with the pediatric dermatologist, it was diagnosed as being a pyogenic granuloma. The doctor didn't feel comfortable with removing it, and frankly I wasn't happy with how he would remove it. His method of removal had the potential to leave a more noticeable scar, but my main concern was that wrapping my awake, medical personnel fearing, two year old in a sheet and holding her to a table, before treating something right in her line of vision would mentally scar her for life. Me too. You would think that a practice specializing in children would have a more compassionate treatment option…but no. 

We got another referral, this time to a pediatric plastic surgeon at Dallas Childrens, and left. 

The plastic surgeon agreed with the diagnosis and was SO kind to Meri. It was the first time we've gone to a doctor, for her appointment or someone else's, where she hasn't burst into hysterical tears. It was very reassuring that this was the right place and the right doctor. We scheduled the first appointment on January 2nd to have her spot surgically removed. General anesthetic was an intimidating thought for Chris and I, but would be so much kinder to our little girl. We went home to nervously wait, but were happy to be getting this behind us. 

Cue December 31st. 

Meri woke up about 2:30am and was cheerfully yelling from her room, "I come with you, Mom. I sleep in your bed!" Being pregnant and appreciating sleep, I scooped her up and stuck her between Chris and I. She was super cheerful, but kept trying to get closer and closer to me. After a few minutes I realized that her core temperature was low, and even with both her Dad and I sandwiching her with blankets on top, she wasn't warming up. 

We did what parents do. Wrapped our still grinning two year old in a warm blanket, handed her the iPad, then started Googling all the horrible things that could cause low body temperature. Bad, bad things come up you guys. When she started asking for water, the option of Type 1 diabetes made me worry. So we pulled out the blood sugar meter. It was normal (80), but the finger stick made her mad which led to crying, then coughing, then vomit. It was almost a relief to see something we'd dealt with before. Vomit and a now rapidly increasing temperature? This is just a virus, we can handle it. 

But then we couldn't. Her temperature went from too low, to far too hot in about five minutes. I was holding her, towel at the ready waiting for more of a mess, while Chris cleaned up from the first incidence of vomit. One moment she was sad and tired, and the next she just wasn't there. Her eyes were still open, but she wouldn't respond, and she had stopped breathing. My immediate thought was that she had aspirated something and was choking, but after flipping her over and a round of back blows I realized her jaw had locked. Seizure. 

The most panicked version of Chris I have ever seen called 911 while I continued to try to revive her. From somewhere in my freaked out brain came the idea to take her outside. It was cold out, right at freezing, maybe the temperature would shock her into taking a breath. I laid her on the front porch, my pointer finger still trapped between her teeth, and thankfully she started gasping every two or three seconds. Such a relief. HUGE relief. 

I handed her to Chris, who was still reporting a play by play to the EMS dispatcher, and ran to find presentable clothes, my id, and shoes. Meri was conscious, but disoriented and her breathing still wasn't in a normal rhythm. 

The paramedics arrived quickly, and because she still wasn't truly there, we decided a trip to Children's Emergency room via ambulance was the best call. Meri and I left with the crew, and Chris went to wake Otto and follow us.
Poor girl slowly came back to her senses on the ride, but had a temperature of 104 and continued to vomit. She was miserable, but when she started fighting the very kind paramedic and then the triage nurse, I knew she was really back to our Meri. After a heavy dose of Motrin we sat in the waiting room to wait for it to bring her fever down. She instantly fell asleep and didn't even wake when her very pregnant Mom took a trip to the bathroom while holding her. (Classic sign of a febrile seizure, deep sleep immediately following.)

It took two hours for her to cool off and then wake up, but she was so much better. The doctors and staff were wonderful, and did a great job being compassionate to our nervous girl (seriously, props to Children's). She tested negative for the flu, and after rehydrating with juice and popsicles, we were released to go home.
Our sweet girl enjoying her second purple popsicle.
Sadly, this could happen again. Apparently some children are more prone to febrile seizures and can experience them anytime they have a fever. Most children outgrow them by five or six.

So. Here's the plan if it happens again, or if it happens to your child. Trust me, even if you have CPR training (I do, I've even used it on a two year old after pulling him out of a pool), recalling it during an emergency with your own child doesn't happen.

1. Roll the seizing person to their side to help their airway remain clear if they vomit. CALL 911.
2. Don't put anything between their teeth or in their mouth. (I had a bruised nail bed for several days and it didn't help her in the slightest.)
3. Watch them. Most kids will recover on their own in 1-2 minutes, but febrile seizures can last 15 minutes.
4. If you notice bluing of the lips or nail beds, begin CPR and continue until help arrives. (<---- link="" p="" refresher="" to="" video="">


A week (and another yucky bleed) later, she had recovered from the virus that triggered the seizure and we got to take her back to Children's for her rescheduled surgery. They were excellent, and really did a wonderful job keeping us informed and Meri calm. One more selfie with the parents before going back; you can see how much her spot had grown. 
Post surgery, we picked Otto up from a good friend's and headed home to chill, thankful that all the crazy was behind us.
She is healing well and has a follow up on January 30th, Third Little Weldy's due date! 

We are so glad this girl is back to her normal antics. Video of her performing a spot on rendition of Twinkle Twinkle using one of Otto's ninja weapons as a microphone?  I thought you'd never ask.  

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