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Friday, July 13, 2012

BHS - Breath Holding Spell...

So, imagine this. You and the family are outside, cleaning up from the day's activities in the front yard. When it's time to go in, hubby picks up the little one who lets out a small cry in protest. She looks like she is going to cry again, but no sound comes out. Hubby takes her in the house and puts her down on the floor. Still no sound. No breath. Hubby calls out to you that the baby hasn't taken a breath. Just as you come around the corner of the porch, you see the baby go limp. Hubby immediately picks her up, hands her to you with a look of panic in his eyes. Baby is limp, unresponsive, eyes semi-closed and rolled towards the back of her head, and she is the scariest color of pasty grayish white you have ever seen. Still no sound. No breath. Trying not to panic, you tell hubby to go get your neighbor who happens to be a nurse. Go, just go. Thinking she may have choked on something, you flip her over and upside down, do a few back pats. Nothing. Open her mouth, look for something obstructing her airway, do a finger swoop. She gags. Inhales. Coughs a little and begins to cry. Color immediately (though not fully) returns to her little face and she snuggles into you. You realize you are crying because you have just had the scariest 30-45 seconds of your life.

Now, two days later, same baby girl is playing in the house. She is opening and closing the movie drawers as she does every day but one of the drawers closes suddenly and startles her. Again, she lets out a small cry and then nothing. No sound, no breath. That same pasty-grayish-white color comes back and baby starts to go limp just as you reach her. Knowing nothing was in her mouth to choke on, you put your mouth over her mouth and nose and breathe. After 4-5 breaths, baby girl jerks slightly and comes to, her color partially returns. She breaths, then cries, then snuggles into the safety of your chest. Again, no more than 30-45 seconds has passed, but to you it felt like an eternity.

This has been our week. This is why MacKenzie went  to the ER this week...and to a followup appointment 2 days later with her pediatrician...and why we are now waiting on the insurance for an EEG authorization and some blood work to make sure everything is okay with our littlest one.

Here is what I have learned/read/been told so far. These episodes are called breath-holding spells and there are two types - pallid (related to a decrease in blood-flow) and cyanotic (related to a decrease in oxygen). A breath-holding spell is an involuntary reflex, usually appearing between the ages of 2 and 4 and typically resolving by 5 or 6 years of age. There could be a tendency for breath-holding spells in families, but neither Aiden or Reilly have ever had one. Some BHS symptoms mimic seizure-related characteristics, but seizures do not have triggers (like getting upset over having to come inside or getting startled by a closing drawer). Based on MacKenzie's reactions, recovery, oxygen readings, etc., everything looks fine...except for the whole breath-holding thing. Here are some pics from our ER trip...little Mac has no clue how much she has scared her parents this week.
To top it off, Aiden started throwing up today and has a fever. Reilly seems to be healthy at the moment, but our family always seems to get sick together. I know I haven't been the best at updating this blog lately, but if you happen to have been wondering where we have been/what we've been up to lately, consider yourself updated on the not-so-fun happenings of our little family!

1 comment:

  1. hey - I just saw this! Did this really happen back in July? How is she doing? I hope everything is ok. You guys are always in our prayers.