Friday, July 12, 2013

Vacation Part 3

Here is the last part of the Colorado vacation. Here is Part 1 and Part 2. So after the scenic hike we headed back to the mine for the tour. I gotta say I wasn't expecting a whole lot. It was, after all, a giant hole drilled into the side of a mountain. Well I was wrong. It was a guided tour, our tour guide being a younger gal who's family owns the mine. She did a great job explaining how the mine was created, what they used back in 1901 to drill it and what it was used for. They even had some great displays along the way. For instance here is Wesley on a "honey pot," or mine toilet.

 And here is my father playing cards with some fellow miners of the time. It was an interesting experience to say the least.

We went back into town and indulged in some ice cream cones which has become sort of a tradition. Greta particularly loved her cone.

And then the vacation ended and we got a frightening wake up call.

We were awoken Friday morning at 5 am to Wesley gurgling and gasping for air. We flew out of bed and climbed up to the top of the bunk where he was sleeping. We tried to wake him and he was completely unresponsive. Still gasping we drug him down to our bed where he went limp. I couldn't tell if he was breathing or even alive for that matter. It was freakin scary. I went running from our room into the main lodge yelling for help. Nobody was awake at that early hour. I finally found the door to the upstairs apartment in which the owners lived. I just barged right in like I owned the place yelling for help. The sweet people ran  out of their bedroom and called 911. When I got back to the room Wesley was still unresponsive, completely out. We checked his pulse and decided he was alive so we put him on his side while we waited for the ambulance. They got there in no time, maybe less than 15 minutes? By that time he was twitching his fingers but not doing much of anything else. The EMT came in and checked him over and put him on the gurney. They said he had most likely had a seizure and was in a postictal state. This is considered to be the period shortly after a seizure where the brain is still recovering from the seizure. The poor little guy slowly began to wake up while they were strapping him in. They asked who wanted to ride with him and I volunteered (since the alternative was to drive behind in the van, to which I had no experience driving in the mountains).

Once in the ambulance they hooked all sorts of things up to Wesley. He got an oxygen tube under his nose and several diodes all over his head and body. They took him into Lake City and then made the decision to take him along into Gunnison. While stopped in Lake City in hopped a lady that I recognized. It was our tour guide from the mine. Turns out she's an EMT too.  It was nice to see a familiar face. She asked all sorts of questions and reassured me that his behavior was quite normal for someone that went through a seizure. They thought it could be high altitude related but pretty much dismissed it after I told them this was our fifth day in the mountains.

We headed out to Gunnison, which is about an hour and fifteen minutes away if traveled by a normal vehicle. This was anything but a normal trip to Gunnison. We were in an ambulance with the lights flashing going at least 80 mph around these tight mountain curves. I'm not sure if the trip was more frightening or the seizure. It's a toss up. I might add that I can get car sick when traveling in the back seat of most vehicles. Apparently so does poor Wesley who threw up twice. It was hard to tell if the poor guy was reacting to the intense drive or the stress his little body went through.

About half way there our tour guide looked up at me and declared that she'd like to put an IV line in. I thought she had to be kidding since we were all practically flying around the inside of the ambulance as the driver took these tight turns. She wanted to be prepared in case he had another seizure along the drive. That way they'd be able to administer medication directly. I gave my blessing and prepared Wesley. He didn't seem to care and was a trooper through this whole ordeal. So that awesome EMT yelled to the driver "Andy I'm putting in a line!" to which he (the driver) immediately slowed down to 112 mph 70 mph. She popped that IV line in with no problem, Wesley just shut his eyes and didn't even make a peep. Did I mention he as such a trooper?

Finally got to Gunnison Valley hospital and was so relieved to have made it there alive (and with shorts and shoes on! I'm so happy the lodge owner reminded me to throw on some shorts and shoes.....these are just things you don't think of when your baby is in trouble).  Now at this point Wesley is awake and pretty much back to his normal self. He was rather sleepy and once they got him a warm blanket he zonked back out. The doc came in and we talked a bit about what we did the day before, any head injuries and family history. Turns out there is a family history. It took Sean getting there to inform me that there is a family history of epilepsy. I think somewhere deep inside I knew that but certainly didn't remember when the EMT's were asking me that. They did some lab work and we discussed getting him and MRI or a CT scan but in the end we all decided (doctor included) that we needed to head home to a lower elevation and talk to our own pediatrician about further testing. We were released a few hours later and we went home.

So yesterday he had an appointment with his pediatrician and she did quite a few physical tests and set us up with an EEG for next week. He'll be sedated and they'll read what's going on in his noggin. We will go from there.

It was a great vacation up until Friday when it abruptly ended. We were going to head up to my parents cabin but obviously decided it was time to get home and get everything checked out. I sincerely hope this isn't altitude related, it would be sad to think we wouldn't be heading back there. I guess we'll just wait and see what happens. For now our little dude is back to his normal sister hitting, computer game playing, couch jumping, goofy self. And that's exactly how I want it to stay.

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