Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Firehouse Tour Turned Hospital Visit...

We had a little more excitement in the past couple days than we bargained for.

We were touring the fire station down the street so Evan could finish his requirements for a Cub Scout badge. Without warning, Evan passed out and fell on the floor. We at first thought he had tripped, but then realized he was unconscious. He came to pretty quickly and the firefighter that was giving the tour slipped into his role as a first responder. His blood sugar was low- 48. (It was about 6:45pm- we hadn’t yet had dinner, but he had a normal breakfast and lunch and had also eaten a sandwich around 4pm.) The rescue squad arrived about that time and they gave him some oral glucose. They re-checked his sugar and it was back into the normal range. At that point he seemed to be feeling better and our plan was to take him home and call his doctor from there. Then he said he was feeling dizzy again and that his stomach hurt and the EMTs recommended we go ahead and take him into the ER. Evan and I rode in the ambulance and Curt went home to grab a few things and then met us there with Emma & Eli. They took blood, urine and ran a CT. They gave him some IV fluids then IV dextrose. He was feeling better, with a little stomach pain and queasiness off and on. Bloodwork showed that he was a little dehydrated, everything else was fine, but they wanted to admit him and keep him overnight.

They moved us to a room and we were settling in. The nurse went to hook his IV back up to the pump and needed to flush it with saline. I think it burned and Evan whimpered a bit. When I looked up at him he was very pale and I thought he looked like he needed to vomit. Then he had what we are calling, for lack of a better word, an “episode.” It happened so fast and was over very quickly, bit he had passed out again. I haven’t seen lots of people pass out, but whereas I imagine that your body just goes limp when you pass out, he pulled his arms up to his chest and his hands curled up. To me, and pardon my lack of medical terminology, it seemed mildly seizure-like. But what do I know? The nurse talked to the pediatrician on call about it over the phone, but no one seemed alarmed. Everything was normal from then on and they discharged him just before noon today. We have an appointment with his regular pediatrician first thing tomorrow. He has been completely normal all afternoon, and has his Cub Scout award ceremony tonight.

I'm suffering from sleep deprivation, so I hope this account is clear. And if anyone has any personal experience or other insight onto what could have been going on, I'd be happy to hear about it.We're hoping this was just a crazy, one-time thing, but if anything new comes up, I'll post an update.


  1. How scary. I certainly hope it was just some random virus and nothing that will happen again. Poor guy.
    We've been through an EEG, so if one is suggested, and you have any questions, LMK.


  2. please see a neurologist....this sounds very neuro based, probably nothing, but it wouldn't take much to see a neuro doc and rule seizures out....
    an old memphis mom with a kid who has seizures

  3. I bet that was scary! I had several seizures between the ages of 4 and 8, usually in response to trauma. I had a battery of tests, blood sugar, heart, EEG ect. even had a seizure during the blood sugar test but no cause was ever found. I guess I grew out of them.
    Anyway, I hope they find out what the issue is and that it's not too serious!

  4. I agree with the above comments, Keely. It sounds like a neurologic evaluation is in order, especially given the otherwise normal labs etc and your description of the second "event." And I know how scary it is to see your child in the hospital. Even as a doctor, nothing could have prepared me for seeing them put an IV in my own son and him looking so tiny in the hospital bed. Good luck!

  5. Keely,
    I'm so sorry that happened. I know it must be scary--we're all thinking of you! Keep us posted as you can, but don't feel badly if you can't.

  6. Keely, my dad alerted me to this most alarming post - have you heard of vasovagal syncope? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasovagal_syncope

    My cousin has had several episodes of this that in her case are usually dehydration, stress, exhaustion based. But it LOOKS really scary - we are all thinking good thoughts for Evan and you and the fam (xo)

  7. Barbara MarshallMay 18, 2009 at 6:26 AM

    Hi Keely, just checking in to see if you'd posted any more. Thinking about Evan, and hoping all is well. Give us an update when you can.