Bruce Lawson's personal site

You too can age 30 years with childhood febrile convulsions!

As I write this, I’m yawning. Last night, Nongyow fell asleep in James’ bed as she was putting him to bed, as she often does. At 1 a.m. she woke me, wild-eyed with terror, as James was white as a sheet, convulsing, eyes rolling, mouth foaming with a purple tongue hanging out and seemingly not breathing. So I called 999 and within 10 minutes James and I were in an ambulance on our way to hospital.

By the time we got there, he’d pretty much come to, but was groggy and confused, and by 5 a.m. he was asleep and Nongyow had arrived to relieve me, so I returned for 90 minutes sleep before getting Marina ready for school.

He was discharged at 10.30 a.m. with a party-sized bottle of parental Holy Water, Calpol, and a diagnosis of febrile convulsions:

The seizure most typically occurs during the early stages of a viral infection such as a respiratory infection, while the temperature is rising rapidly. Febrile convulsions can be frightening but rarely serious … The seizures are brief, usually lasting only a minute or two and never more than
5 minutes. First the child loses consciousness ("blacks out"), becomes stiff, stops breathing for up to 30 seconds and loses control of their bladder or bowel, so wetting or soiling themselves. Then you may notice twitching or spasms of both limbs and sometimes the face muscles. The child’s eyes roll upwards. (BBC)

Last night, we genuinely believed he was dying in our arms; currently, James is running around, downstairs, pretending to be a Teletubby. Nongyow and I have aged thirty years in 12 hours.

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