"The Dreadful Day" ~ As our son, Nathan, now calls it.

It didn’t start out as a dreadful day… but I can agree with Nathan – there were quite a few hours of this past Tuesday that he’ll remember as dreadful for years to come.  But as his mom, when I look back on what happened this week, I will be forever grateful to the Lord for how He took care of us all on that “dreadful day”. 

When Nathan got home from football practice on Tuesday, he looked especially hot and tired.  It was Open House Night at the high school, so while I was getting ready, I was talking with Nathan about his homework.  James ran an errand and was on his way to pick me up.  Out of the blue, Nathan started stuttering.  Almost immediately, he said he hurt all over and couldn’t feel his legs.  It seemed like he was panicking (which I’ve never seen him do before), so I rolled him onto the den floor.  He started screaming in pain.  Then his arms and legs became stiff and he started jerking violently.  I didn’t know it at the time, but he was having seizures.

I thought he was dehydrated from football, so I tried to give him some water.  He couldn’t swallow it.  Then, I thought he must be having severe muscle cramps.  I knew that my friend, Deanna (a PT) was about 2 minutes away {one of the beauties of life in a small town}, so I called her and asked her to come over and do something with his legs.  While we were on the phone, though, she heard him screaming and said that we needed to get to the hospital asap.  At that point, I think that I went into a state of shock.  I knew that I couldn’t lift or move Nathan by myself (226 lbs of thrashing man-child) so Deanna said she’d be right over.  She calmly assessed Nathan, and took over what went on in our home from that point on.

Within minutes, Nathan went from stuttering to being unable to speak at all. Deanna calmly said that we needed to call 911, and even though I was holding my phone in my hand, I couldn’t process how to do it.  Sounds silly now, but I honestly couldn’t think of how to call 911.  James came in the house at about that time and called.  As we waited, I watched Deanna several times tell Nathan something like “Stay with me, Nathan.  Stay with me…”  I was praying, trying to think of what we needed to grab for the hospital, trying to calm and assure Abigail, and trying not to fall apart.

The ambulance came. I headed to the hospital, James rode in the ambulance with Nathan, and Abigail went home with Deanna.  I had never been to the hospital in this town, and couldn’t find the ER entrance.  I ended up in the ambulance garage at first. Then I turned around and was going the wrong way down a one way lane.  A kind stranger realized that I didn’t know where to go, so she turned her van around and led me to the ER.   As moms are adept in doing, I got out a lot of tears in the few minutes it took to get to the hospital.

Nathan continued to have seizure episodes on and off until around10 pm that night. After lots of fluids and some anti-seizure medicine in his system, his body relaxed and his speech returned.  We were preparing to be transported to LeBonheur Children’s Medical Hospital in Memphis, but when his speech returned, the seizures stopped, and his test/scan results were normal, we ended up staying in our local hospital.

It was around 11 pm before Nathan could have a conversation with us.  It was Wednesday morning before he could use his legs.  By lunch time on Wednesday, though, he was eating, smiling, talking, standing, and getting back to the “old Nathan” that we know and love – and missed terribly!  To relieve some of the stress, and to make him laugh, we hung a McDonalds bag on his IV pole and posted this picture and caption on Facebook:

Nathan is in the hospital right now- Seizures caused by medicine. We knew he was better today when he asked for his IV bag to be replaced with one from McDonalds! 😉

 (I edited it once I got home – hehe)

We are awaiting an appointment with a pediatric neurologist, who we feel will confirm the suspicions that the seizures were brought on by a new medication he started taking that very morning.  Something similar happened to him when he was in the 1st grade.  We learned that certain medications can lower thresholds for seizures.  Between the medicine, a recent growth spurt, and the Mississippi heat, Tuesday offered a perfect storm for Nathan to have a seizure.

We checked out of the hospital 24 hours later.  By then, the total “goofiness” had returned to our son.  He asked if he could stay another day – since he felt better.  He decided that hospital life was pretty good – having his meals delivered to him, everyone catering to his every need, and being able to sit up in bed while watching anything he wanted to on TV, texting his friends, and playing his DS.  😉  What a man! (haha – just kidding, men!) 

Until we can see the neurologist, Nate can’t play or practice football, or take any medicine that could elevate his heart rate.  For football, he can wear his jersey and stand with the team, but that’s all.  So he’ll be on the sidelines tonight, and we’ll be cheering him on from the stands.  All is well.

Would you please pray with us about several things?
1.  That we can get a quick appointment with the right doctor for Nathan
2.  That we would have Godly wisdom in making the many decisions that are ahead of us
3.  That Nathan would be able to focus in school and do his work to the best of His God-given ability.  I meet with his teachers this morning to see how we can help him succeed in the days ahead.

Nathan has dubbed this “The Dreadful Day” – but to me… I’m calling it “The Grateful Day”!  We saw God’s hand in SO many details, and we are praising God for how He orchestrated everything. 

  • Had there not been Open House Night at the high school, he would have been on the football field when this happened.  As it was, they got out early because of open house, and he was home.
  • Had I been ready ON TIME – when I wanted to be, Nathan would have been at home without any parents.  Abigail was here, but she had her headphones in, and she wouldn’t have heard him, nor would she have known what to do.  {I guess this one time, my propensity toward tardiness ended up being a blessing!}
  • Deanna was just a minute or two down the road.  Had she been home, it would have taken her longer to get here.  She is the one who knew what Nathan needed, and what we needed to do.  She also took Abigail home with her for the night.
  • James was here – not out of town (as he easily could have been if we were still living/working in Nashville)
  • We were the only patients in the emergency room at first – so our help was swift
  • My neighbor ran over to check on us and followed me to the hospital and sat with me.  As I was searching for the ER, I noticed another friend walking toward the parking lot.  She also came and sat with us. Then others came.  It was such a blessing to know that we weren’t physically alone.
  • Every need – I mean every one… even the need for coffee… was taken care of by loving friends.  We had visits, food, prayers, and love showered on each of us.
  • The fact that our son’s tests and scans were normal is the biggest blessing of all.  I don’t take that lightly.  We have too many friends who have received different results for either themselves or their children.

So, Nathan’s “Dreadful” day is my “Grateful” one.  What a blessing it is to know the Lord and to have His obvious presence in my daily life.  I don’t know what I’d do without Him.  Even if the outcome of the day had been different, God would have still been present, and good.  And somehow, eventually, He’d help us to be grateful. 

Thank you for your prayers, my friends.  As we move forward in our search for answers and help, I’ll let you know.

With much love and a grateful heart~

About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two college kids, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at SmellingCoffee.com