A Shocking Moment

Just as I’d hit publish on my last post, Ethan, who’d been napping in the living room, started making weird noises like he was choking. When I turned around to make sure he was OK, he was on the couch with his back arched, eyes rolled back, and jaw and tongue twitching and drooling.

I was surprised to notice he was watching me as I ran across the room to help. Not knowing what else to do, I helped him sit up straight and turn his head my way, and asked if he was OK. He nodded, but his mouth continued twitching, and the gurgling changed to what sounded more like growling. One eye struggled to maintain contact with mine, as though it was more interested in joining the other’s attempts to examine the top of his head.

After about 45 seconds that felt like an eternity, the garbled noises finally became clear enough for me to understand what he’d been trying to say all along: “Don’t worry, Mom. My body just does this sometimes.”

NOT the thing a mom wants to hear as she’s making a mad dash for the phone! But he repeated himself several times as his teeth stopped chattering and I knew I had not misheard. What a sweet kid I’ve got to spend his energy assuring his mom that he’d be OK!

I called our doctor, who happens to be one of the best I know. He’ll schedule some tests sometime in the coming week. And of course I turned to my good friend google, searching for conscious seizures (as that’s the best way I could describe what happened.) As I was looking over a few sites, Ethan told me how it felt and how often it happens.

He told me he was trying to talk but just couldn’t control his mouth, apologized for drooling everywhere, and laughed out loud at my depiction of how things seemed from my perspective. Since he’d read over my shoulder a bit, we talked a little about seizures and how it’s usually just a little zap in the wires, so to speak, but I told him we couldn’t know for sure what was going on just yet so we’d need to do some tests next week. He was pretty excited that one site suggested sleep deprivation prior to the scans: “Does that mean I can go play the Wii at Dad’s all night?”

Then, pointing out the fact that most of the sites we’d visited typically had graphic of a head with little stars inside the brain area, Ethan laughed and said, “Now THAT’S a brain storm!”

Anyway, the fact that he’s fully aware of this happening gives me hope that this probably isn’t very serious. We’ll do the tests just to make sure. I’ll be praying for him & appreciate your prayers as well.

— UPDATE —

Ethan got his MRI and EEG, and what do you know… google got it right! His MRI was clear, and the centrotemporal spikes found on the EEG are consistent with Benign Rolandic Epilepsy. Which should be benign, as its name suggests, and he will almost certainly grow out of it in his teens. He probably won’t need medication as long as he only has seizures in bed, which makes me really glad. And we’re noticing a definite pattern: he seems to only have seizures when he doesn’t get enough sleep, so hopefully with a little more consistency between bedtimes at my house and at his dads, we should be able to avoid them entirely. So thanks for all your prayers and well wishes! He’s one resilient little guy – we’ll get through this 🙂

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