On Saturday, we spent the day traveling home from Colorado. We finally got home and were getting ready to go to bed at 11pm when we had a horrible scare. Jackson ran away from us when we were getting ready to brush his teeth. He hit a slick spot on our hardwood floors and fell, hitting his head. We immediately picked him up to comfort him and he started to cry.
If you know Jackson, you know “his cry.” He holds his breath for a little while, then lets out a huge, dramatic cry. Except this time, he never let anything out. He held his breath and quickly turned blue. His body went limp in BC Man’s arms and his eyes rolled back into his head. We both freaked out and I yanked him out of his Dad’s arms. I shook him, running into his bedroom while holding him. After about 10 seconds (which felt like an eternity) he opened his eyes and softly cried. We held him tight and rocked him, but he still didn’t look like himself. His face was even paler than normal and there was an eery white-ish blue shade around his mouth and nose.
After we caught our breath we laid him on the bed with us and let him watch Curious George. I called the pediatrician and spoke with the covering nurse on call. She asked if he was walking straight (he was) and if he was talking/making sense (he was). We decided to take him to the emergency room since he lost consciousness but decided against calling 911 since he seemed to be fine now.
I stayed home with Sidney (who is recovering from a cold and doesn’t need to be spending a Saturday night at the ER) while Jackson went with his Dad to the hospital. They checked him out, ran some tests and he checked out ok. Besides a super rude receptionist, the staff was wonderful to my little man.
The doctor on call diagnosed him as having a cyanotic breath-holding spell. According to the hand out he came home with,
“a cyanotic breath-holding spell is an abnormal reflex that allows 5% of healthy children to hold their breath long enough to pass out. Most kids don’t do this deliberately.”
When this happens again (I hope it doesn’t) we are supposed to lie him flat on his back so the blood flows to his brain and put a wet washcloth on his forehead. They also recommend to not make a big deal about it so that he doesn’t learn that holding his breath can get him what he wants. That’s going to be a tough one, because when you see your child’s body go limp and lifeless, the only thing you want do is hold him tight and tell him how much you love him. We have to follow up with our regular pediatrician this week. It’s a good thing I love her because I seem to visit her on a weekly basis now.
The emergency room trip was the grand finale of a great vacation week with family out in Colorado. The beauty of parenting is that once you think you have things figured out, a new curve ball is thrown at you. I’ll let you know what our regular pediatrician says, but until then I will find a CPR class to take (another recommendation from the ER doctor). Life with small children is never dull, is it?