Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Christmas Like No Other

This Christmas we were looking forward to a lot of fun stuff.  We get to visit with family and friends, get to see the Christmas display in one of the local parks, go on a chickadee feeding walk and watch the movie Yogi Bear on Christmas day with the whole family.  Yes, we were going to bring Faith for the first time with us to the movie this year.  It was going to be a great Christmas.

Then life happened...I took an overnight shift, which put me home by 9:15 Christmas morning.  We had made arrangements with the kids and knew what the schedule would look like until I got home.  Everyone was excited and we were just starting to wrap our gifts around 9pm. 

          Faith talking to Rudolph on the phone at the local park.        

We had just returned home from the park and the nice, brisk (freezing) walk to see the lights.  We do this every Christmas eve.  This year, Faith was able to actually run around and enjoy looking at, and touching all the lights in the park.  She just had a blast, and it was wonderful to live the excitement of the season through another 3 year old:-)  This is the last time we will see that kind of wonder on one of our 3 year olds faces...

We came home and quickly found Santa on the NORAD Santa Tracker, read Twas The Night Before Christmas and put out the cookies, milk and reindeer food, and stockings for the night.  Then the kids were all shipped to bed.  Faith, of course, did not want to sleep upstairs with the girls, so we let her stay down with us.  She laid down on the chair and fell asleep while watching us wrap the gifts (also a tradition that we really NEED to change!!;-)

We were partway through the wrapping when we noticed that Faith was starting to have a seizure.  It was a small, focal seizure and there is not much we can do about it.  So, we made sure she was safe and we continued to wrap gifts.  I had to leave for my overnight shift around 10:30, so there wasn't much time for me to help. 

Then the seizure started to change.  It had been going on about 8 minutes and was turning into a grand mal, again.  So, we gave the ativan to Faith in hopes that it would stop.  It did.  After about 10 minutes of seizing she started to slow down and stopped for about 3 minutes.  Then it started again.  This time it lasted about 20 minutes and it was all grand mal, her head, arms, legs and face were all moving.  We called 911 around 10 minutes after the second one started and she had just stopped seizing about 1 minute before they arrived.  It was too long.  30 minutes of seizing is too long.  Faith was brought to the hospital and was admitted.  She had another 13 minute seizure at the hospital, and 2.5 mg of Ativan later, wasn't stopping, so they drilled a hold into her femur? bone?  I think it is called intraosseous access, after much googling later:-) 

This is the mark and the hole that the IO Access needle/drill left
Off daddy went to the hospital with Faith, while I coached the older 2 kids in how to get the house ready for the big morning that was coming up.  My amazing, wonderfully compassionate and caring teen and preteen came to the rescue.  They finished all the wrapping, they decorated the house, they made the breakfast and they ate the cookies and drank the milk, and wrote the note from Santa.  And they had a blast doing all that.  They were so proud this morning and had so much fun watching the girls opening gifts from "Santa"...I am still kind of speechless by this.  I have to say it again, my kids are absolutely awesome!!

I got home from work and called the hospital to see what the timeline was going to be for Faith to leave.  They said that she was still nodding off a lot and they wanted to make sure she was up to going home.  My parents had been at the house with the kids until I arrived, they enjoyed opening stockings and a few gifts before I arrived, they had breakfast (that Santa made;-) and they played with their new toys.  When I got there we continued opening up some more gifts, but made sure to save some for when daddy and Faith got home.

I got that phone call and off I went to pick them up.  Faith was in her usual "ativaned" state.  When she has over 1mg, she totally turns back into an infant.  She couldn't hold her body up, she was screaming and was just being mean and inconsolable.  It is never fun to see her like this...but, we brought her home, with 2 bags of gifts from the hospital, and we tried to normalize our Christmas for the other kids.  Faith was so overwhelmed with the activity and business, that she screamed and hit and cried regularly.  Because of the IO access procedure she had done, she could hardly put any weight on that one leg, so she was stumbling all over the room. 

I don't know what is harder, knowing that she had 3 significantly bad seizures, or watching her not able to walk or understand what is going on...

Anyhow, the older kids and daddy went out to the movie.  I stayed home with Faith.  She is finally sleeping, not sure for how long.  But I am going to finish up the supper while there is some peace here.  This is one of those Christmas' that we don't want to remember, but will probably be forever ingrained in us...

Merry Christmas to everyone, thanks for being a part of our lives.  Thanks for the prayers that we know we receive on a regular basis.  Thanks for all the amazing support that we are offered.  We are grateful for these things and they are better then any gift money can buy.  We couldn't get through this life without our friends and family, near and far:-)


  1. Ruth, it's these kinds of Christmas memories that will forever tie you guys together as family in a special way. It's not all about the fairytale picture book Christmas Day celebrations - it's about really being family in the real life moments of whatever happens. Bless you guys! BIG Hugs coming your way. Luv ya, chickie, and praying that Boxing Day is a little less eventful. :)

  2. Beautiful family u have there. I agree with what Sweet Mummy said memories like those last a lifetime. Sendng you well wishes for the new year. Btw I'm email subscribed so I can keep up with ur post for 2011..Happy Bloggying..

  3. Pleased to meet you (via the Blog Dare). Your family is so obviously filled with love and taking good care of each other. I hope that the New Year is a good one for Faith's health.

  4. Praying for your sweet girl! I know a couple of years ago my son became very ill and we had to spend the holidays in the hospital. It was no fun but like you we survived! Hope she feels better