Friday, July 29, 2011


Having a child with seizures means out of the blue 911 calls, ambulance trips, and a one time airplane ride to the closest Emergency Room.

Having frequent trips to the ER, starts off with us being an emotional mess, then we become an anxiety apprentice, then we move up to a composed looking adrenalin running junkie. Now, with all the ER madness, there is of course room for the inappropriate awkward funnies that we realize only in hindsight when seizure shenanigans have settled down.

Here are some of our ER bloopers....

The This is Not Social Hour
While the ER medical team was in the middle of trying to control Isabella's first grand mal seizure, I realized that I knew one of the nurses taking care of her, as she was the parent of one of my former students. In the middle of the serious stressnesses going on I blurted out, "Hey, I know you. You're one of my student's parents. How have you been and how is your son?"
What? You want to catch up right now, when she's busy intubating your daughter?

The Famous Dr Potter
On one of our more settled moments in the ER (if there is such a thing), the ER doctor asked us about issues that our daughter has. When we got to the part wherein we mentioned she has renal issues, the doctor and I then had this conversation...
ER Doc: So who is your nephrologist over at Packard?
Me: Dr. Potter
ER Doc: Oh you are so lucky. Your doctor is world famous.
Me enthusiastically: Oh yeah really? Just like Harry Potter?
Connected? Duh, I don't think so? Makes for some really intelligent conversation.

The Unnecessary Trivia Time
When Isay's seizures were finally controlled, the ER doc gave us  a run down of medicines that they gave Isabella.
ER Doc: We gave her doses of Verced, Ativan, and Phenobarbital. But even while she looked like she was still, she was still seizing in her brain. So we need to make her go into a really deep sleep to stop the seizures, so we gave her some Propofol.
Husband in a very enthusiastic manner: Oh! That's the medicine that killed Michael Jackson!
What? Is it trivia time? Was that the daily double?

The Hugger
Isay had a seizure when we were vacationing in Oregon so we had to call 911. We were taken to a hospital in Florence, Oregon. Being a small town, the hospital was not well equipped to handle cases such as my daughter so they called Doernbecher hospital up in Portland and they flew in to help. The Portland OHSU team has taken over the care of Isabella and was able to finally stop the seizure activity. As we were getting to ready to leave (which was an ambulance trip + a small plane ride + another ambulance trip to get to OHSU, Portland), the ER nurse that stayed with Isabella the whole time while she was seizing (4 hours total), touched my shoulder, and I immediately leaned in to give the nurse a hug. Somewhere there I also managed to do a hug with a head leaned on the shoulder, only to realize that what the nurse was actually doing was reaching behind me to reach for the chart in the cramped ER space where I was standing at.
Now, this was a man nurse... an old man nurse. I thought he was being kind that I even leaned my head on his shoulder. Now, I don't recall specifically if I even wrapped my arms around his waist, but there is a good chance that I did. No wonder he stiffened up!

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