So how was your summer?
Pretty common question right? How was your summer?
Did you do anything fun? Take any trips?
Typically we ask these questions and are asked the same in return. Normally I answer with the basic answer “We went to the pool, hung out at the zoo … you know summer stuff”. This year, not so much.
This year we did go on a trip. Not something we do too often because it can be very expensive to fly 4 of us anywhere and cover hotels and entertainment. This year, however, as a present to my boys for graduating high school (YAY!) my parents offered to pay for us to fly back east and go to Myrtle Beach.
So we planned a 2 1/2 week trip – fly out to my folks place in Virginia, drive down to Myrtle Beach for 5 days and then spend the rest of the time with family and seeing the sights in Virginia. It was a great trip that started off without a hitch. Which is saying something for us. Typically getting me and three kids out the door for a trip like this is pretty exhausting.
This time we got packed, out the door and on the plane with little to no problem. It HAS been over 5 years since we last took a trip back east though, so the kids being older and more able to help probably had something to do with it.
We landed at Washington Dulles Airport with no issues after a little bit of a bumpy ride. My parents were there to meet us and the kids were so happy to see them. So was I. Going 5 years without seeing your Mom is hard.
We left for Myrtle Beach the next day and I have to say, for a 9 hour drive my kids did pretty awesome there as well. The hotel we stayed at was wonderful, we were right on the beach so all we had to do was go downstairs and walk out to it. I love being at the beach so much, I hope one day to move to a house right off the beach and just fall asleep listening to the waves. That is my biggest dream.
The days we spent at Myrtle Beach were great. We spent hours at the beach, the kids playing in the waves and then we would head out to eat at local restaurants. If you are ever at Myrtle Beach I highly recommend River City Cafe! Their burgers were so good, their sweet potato fries – THE BEST! The time share we were at had a full kitchen, washer/dryer and all the amenities so it was like a second home to be honest.
For 4 days we enjoyed all kinds of fun – walking down the main drag, going to The Gay Dolphin Gift Cove (which is a HUGE curio store where they sell any and all the knickknacks you can possibly imagine – we're talking multi-level shopping experience here – so fun). We rode on the huge SkyWheel, ate food that wasn't good for us and played arcade games. It was so much fun.
Then on our last day, my parents drove up to North Carolina to look at some retirement properties they were interested in so the kids and I decided to head out for some lunch and final time at the shops and arcades. We were out for a few hours and then started our walk back.
When we were just a few blocks away from our hotel my son Gage told me he felt weird. That when he closed his eyes he felt dizzy. Thinking that he was just hot and probably tired I told him to just keep going that we were almost there. Then he started wobbling while he was walking. I thought he was just being over dramatic. We finally made into the blessed air conditioning of the hotel lobby and I thought he would start feeling better.
Then he started shivering. Like the way that you shiver when you get the chills. I asked him what was wrong and he said he didn't know. That he wasn't trying to do it and he couldn't stop it. We got into the elevator and started the slow ride up to the 18th floor. Gage's shivers got bigger. Then it happened.
My son had a seizure.
The minute the doors of the elevator opened, I tried to get Gage out of the elevator but he couldn't hear me. He was shaking uncontrollably and then a look of complete terror crossed his face and in the next second his entire body locked up. His eyes rolled back, his mouth locked in and open position and his arms hyper extended out in front of him.
My daughter screamed for help and I told my son Connor to hit the alarm button and get us back down to the lobby. At the same time this was happening I slid Gage down the wall of the elevator to sit on the floor. I held his head in my hands and just kept talking to him. My daughter Brooklyn was crying and understandably freaked out.
After was seemed like the longest elevator ride ever the doors opened to the lobby. Immediately we screamed for help telling the employees that my son was having a seizure. They called 911 right away. We used the carpet that was under my son to drag him out of the elevator and into the elevator waiting area where it was cooler then rolled him on his side.
By this time Gage's seizure had passed and he was no longer tensed up. He was breathing but unresponsive for several minutes. When he finally started to come around his speech was slurred, he was confused and couldn't understand why he was lying on the floor. The EMT's arrived shortly after and Gage and I rode to the local hospital. They would only let one person ride with him so I had to leave my daughter with her brother until my parents got back. She was so upset but they were only an hour away so I knew she would be alright.
The hospital admitted Gage and we were in for a long night in the PICU while they monitored him and ran tests. He was given an EEG and seizure medication. He did not have any further seizures during the night so he was released the next morning with orders from the doctor to see his neurologist when we got home.
We drove back to Virginia to my parents house and spent the rest of our vacation out there without any further seizures. We made the necessary appointments for further EEGs and MRIs as well as with his neurologist. We were given a ton of information on seizures as well as prescriptions for additional seizure medication. Due to my son's brain injury it is hard to know exactly what may have caused the seizure but they believe it is just a progression of the injury now that he is older. For now, he is seizure free and doing ok. But this was one of the scariest things we have had happen since his injury when he was an infant.
I will be talking more about Gage's story and his condition on my next podcast so be on the look out for that.