/> a mother's heart » Blog Archive » what a weekend…!

We thought it was going to be a slow weekend. Unh-unh. No way, jose. My mom called on Friday night to say that Dakota (one of my nephews) had been taken to the hospital having seizures. 😮 The information was muddled at first and the phones rang off the hook in our family, but it became more clear as time progressed.

Initially, it was thought that Dakota (who had no prior history of a seizure disorder, or so we thought) had 4 seizures in the course of the evening/night/early morning and that he was unresponsive. Not comatose, but unable to wake up. His CT scan and bloodwork came back clean, and the regional hospital had no neurologist on-staff. So Dakota was transferred to a larger hospital in Indy and consulted the neurology department.

The following day (Saturday), the neurologist moved him to the PICU so he could be monitored more closely and they attempted to do a lumbar puncture under conscious-sedation. That didn’t work, as even under conscious sedation and with the inability to verbalize or communicate, Dakota fought the insertion of the needle and his breathing went down to apneac-levels. So he had to be put under general anesthesia for the LP and subsequent MRI. Both the cultures from the LP and the official reading of the MRI occurred on Sunday, and both turned out clear. The fear had been either encephalitis or meningitis, but both concerns were negated by the testing results.

The default diagnosis in this situation is epilepsy, which sounds scary. But when you consider what typically causes seizures in otherwise healthy-children, brain tumours and serious illnesses top the list. So epilepsy doesn’t sound nearly as bad as what it *might have been*. And honestly, the medicine today is so much more advanced than when we were kids–epilepsy used to be a bigger deal than it is today. And in Dakota’s case, he didn’t have a grand mal seizure, he had complex-partial seizures with clonic-tonic characteristics followed by a second seizure of the same nature. Additionally, what we *thought* was a febrile seizure 2 years ago (when he was 8 ) was not–apparently, febrile seizures occur from age 3 months to 6 years and anything after the 6 year-mark is not febrile but part of a seizure disorder. So hmmm…things we didn’t know and now we do.

So Dakota is back to being Dakota Dynamite, and he’s his normal goofy-self. 😀 He’s chipper, silly, and nothing sounds better to this auntie’s ears. He’s going to be medicated for the next 18 months and be re-evaluated at that time. There are basic safety-changes that my sister and brother-in-law will make to keep Dakota safe (switching to the bottom bunk, not letting him play outside alone, no swimming without an adult, etc.), but other than that, they’re hopeful that life will move back to the dull roar and we’ll avoid this type of excitement again..

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