Pills Pills Pills

After a week on Clonazepam (Klonopin) to ward off seizures while she was getting past infected ear pits, Hermione is finally weaned off.

This drug is such a blessing, as it allows her to stay off daily seizure meds like Keppra, but being on and especially coming off is no fun at all. We give it to her whenever she gets sick, or when lately when she isn’t visibly sick but has a short seizure that doesn’t require doctor care but can potentially lead to a bigger one.

While on, it makes her grumpy, sleepy and dizzy (we know this because her balance issues get worse while on it) and when she comes off the withdrawal can be brutal. We wean her to a half dose for a day or two before we cut her off.  While coming down from the med, she’s so grumpy! And jumpy. And once we cut it, her reaction is like clockwork. Little sleep at night and no daytime nap, followed by her just zonking out. And when you have a kid with a history of seizures who sleeps like that, the thing in the back of your mind is wondering whether she seized when you weren’t looking and is now postictal, or if it’s just that she’s sleepy.

I know some adults who have been on Clonazepam for short stretches. They tend to say that it’s rather traumatic. People can hallucinate and loose touch with reality. And the withdrawal is pronounced. Makes me wonder intently about what is going on in her little body and head when all of this is happening.

But the great news is that thanks to this medication, we’re three months without an ambulance ride! HOW AWESOME IS THAT?? Pretty darn awesome. As such, the pills are worth it, warts and all.

(Quick followup to this post: We did have an ambulance ride four days after I posted this originally on March 9th. We used Clonazepam as a rescue med, which has worked on a couple off occasions and is an off label use. This time no dice. She only seized for 12-15 minutes and was done seizing before EMS took her out of the driveway. No PICU stay. Still no fun!)

Categories: Childcare, Health, Stories from My Life | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Since I’m up early anyway

I love this blogger – she’s just so honest!

The up early thing, I completely empathize with. Why don’t kids have snooze buttons? But I love how she’s taken that and turned it on its head. This is what life is all about.

Since I’m up early anyways.

Categories: Blog Reviews, Health | 1 Comment

Celery Appleberry Smoothie

So I’ve decided that it’s time to expand my repertoire when it comes to smoothie making. For a long time I’ve shied away from more exotic ingredients, and by exotic I mean vegetables. So this morning I looked in the fridge and came up with a little something different.


Celery Appleberry Smoothie

Makes one 8 oz smoothie.

  • 1 stalk celery, washed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/4 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/4 apple, chopped
  • 1/2 banana, chopped
  • 1/4 cup water

I have a GREAT GE single serving blender that I got for 20 bucks at Walmart.  Use your full size blender if that’s what you’ve got.

Just spin for 2 minutes, to make sure that everything is well blended!

MUCH better than I would have thought! The celery adds a little zip, but isn’t overpowering.

I love my veggies, but I’ve been in a veggie rut for a while.  Everything you read says how great vegetables are in smoothies, but I’ll admit that though I’ve tried it at restaurants, I’ve always maintained a fruit only smoothie regimen at home.

This is one that I’ll have again. Without a doubt.

Categories: Health, Recipes | 1 Comment

How to attack a fever

Long time no blog. But here I am!

Until this year, we’d never really dealt with much sickness in our house. Colds here and there, and the occasional bout of stomach flu but on the whole nothing serious.

This week has hit our little family hard! Yeats and Jude, who are terribly robust little boys, both have had incredibly high fevers. Jude topped out at 103 and Yeats at 104. Hermione has been banished to my inlaws (who are awesome btw) in an effort to keep her well and out of the hospital. So far she’s not been hit. She’s on a special med that will raise her threshold for seizure just in case, but she can only stay on it for a few days.

Our sick little boy.

We’ve also seen what a typical febrile seizure looks like. Now I see why everyone freaked out about Hermione’s. Jude (3 years old) had one when his fever hit 103. We called the doctor, who he’d already seen earlier in the day, and since he didn’t have another one and his fever went down, we just kept him home.

Here’s what a typical febrile seizure looks like (from the National Institutes of Health):

  • The child may cry or moan.
  • The muscle tightening may last for several seconds, or longer.
  • The child will fall, if standing, and may pass urine.
  • The child may vomit or bite the tongue.
  • Sometimes children do not breathe, and may begin to turn blue.
  • The child’s body may then begin to jerk rhythmically. The child will not respond to the parent’s voice.
  • The seizure will stop within a few seconds or a few minutes (less than 10)

Jude’s looked like muscle tightening.  Both sides of his body – this weird flexing of his arms and legs that happened at the same time. He stayed pretty responsive and it only lasted for about 3 minutes total. We got him into a cool bath quickly and got the fever down, which stopped the seizure.

So how do you attack a high fever in a child over age 2?

  • Don’t panic. Even a fever of 104, if it can be brought down with medication, is ok. Don’t treat a low grade fever (less than 101) as an otherwise healthy child actually benefits from a low fever and will get better faster.
  • Give an initial double dose of acetaminophen (brand name Tylenol). We use the melt in your mouth pills, which are widely available. The boys love them.
  • Alternate acetaminophen and ibuprofen (brand name Motrin or Advil) every 3 hours. This is trick we learned in the PICU.
  • Cool washcloth alternating on the forehead, back of the neck, chest and back. This does absolute wonders.
  • Warm bath. It’s VERY important not to shock the system. If you plunge a child with a fever into a cool or cold bath you could cause serious complications. But a warm bath can be just the trick, and is also comforting to an achy child.

Fevers often spike in the middle of the night and come without warning. It’s essential that parents of young children keep children’s strength ibuprofen and acetaminophen on hand. We live miles from the nearest 24 hour drugstore, but even if it’s close by you don’t want to find yourself running out at 3am with a sick child at home. If you don’t have some in your medicine cabinet, pick it up TODAY.

Here’s what Dr. Sears has to say about how to treat a fever, in much more detail than what I’m offering

Most of all trust your instincts. Hermione gets ibuprofen at a fever of 99 because of the risk of a seizure. Jude started acting unlike himself several hours before his fever hit in the middle of the night.  Yeats started being snarky yesterday afternoon, and his fever spiked to 104 at 4am.  You know your kids best!

Categories: Childcare, Health | Leave a comment

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