Tuesday, November 13, 2012


As a mother, I am always asking myself what decisions are right for me to make for my children. I want to act enough, but not too much. It’s hard to strike the right balance. We all know those mothers who overreact…well, maybe each of us ARE those mothers at one time or another. How do we know when we are being a melodramatic mother and when it is a mother’s intuition?

I had an experience recently when Nami got sick. I did everything right. I put all my previous experiences with his medical emergencies into action. My conversation with myself went something like this: “Okay, we’ve been through this many times before…I got this. Give him Tylenol before he spikes a fever. Done. Call the doctor. Wait, my dad is his doctor and he is out of the country AGAIN. Okay, call his office anyway. Make an appointment. Done. Do I really need this appointment or am I overreacting? Everyone is going to think I’m being too dramatic. Go with your first instinct. I don’t know. I’ll just see how Nami does over the next couple hours before the appointment.” I continued to debate about this even asking my husband, “Do you think he needs to go? I don’t know if he needs to go. He’s probably alright. Salesi, what do you think I should do?” He replied, “I don’t know. What do you think?” After debating with myself all morning I told Salesi, “I’ll just go to make sure there isn’t anything wrong, but I bet it’s just a little cold.”

Upon arriving at the doctor’s office, Nami could no longer walk. I was glad I decided to come. I couldn’t tell if he was seizing or if he was just really sick. He vomited. I worked with my Dad’s fantastic staff to get him the care he needed. The nurse practitioner checked Nami’s ears. Yep, an ear infection was the culprit. What to do next? He was given an injection of antibiotic and we continued to watch him. Here’s my continued conversation with myself (though mostly out loud): “Okay, I think he’s seizing. What does it look like to you? Do you think he’s seizing? I don’t know if I should give him his rescue medicine or not. Okay, I think I’ll give him his Diastat. Done. Is he still seizing? I can’t tell if he’s still seizing. I hope not because now we’ll have to go to the emergency room. Well, at least it’s within walking distance. Aahhhh! I don’t think we need to go to the emergency room. I’m just going to watch him for a few more minutes.”  And so went my mind for the next 30 minutes or so. I even carried Nami downstairs and out the door with one of the staff before talking myself out of it and heading back up to the office to wait a little longer.

Even though Nami’s situation didn’t seem to be getting worse, he wasn’t getting better. I finally relented to my initial feeling to take him to the emergency room. I carried my 42 lb son down and out of the office, across a couple parking lots and into the emergency room. It was unclear if he was still seizing, so I decided just to sit in the waiting room until I was sure. After about 20 minutes of thinking Nami probably was going in and out of a seizure, I relented to my nagging feeling and the encouraging emergency workers and in we went.

The next two hours were awful as Nami’s seizure got increasingly more severe, to the point he was jerking uncontrollably. His seizure grew into a full tonic-clonic seizure and he was foaming out of his mouth. In spite of his usually great veins, it took the emergency workers 9 pokes before they finally got his IV in. In the meantime, they had to give him a shot of Ativan, even though we were trying to avoid that particular drug. What followed were full doses of Fosphenytoin and Phenabarbitol which caused Nami to stop breathing. At times he had up to 10 people working on him and they could not stop the seizure. He would have to be intubated and life-flight was called. He was given propofol and rescue breaths were delivered. There were a couple failed attempts before a successful intubation. Then he was prepped and sent with life-flight (this was his second time). He was admitted to the PICU at the children’s hospital.


My initial reactions were, “What just happened? How could this be? This is the first time that I KNOW I did everything possible to avoid the emergency and it still happened. It doesn’t matter. This is our situation. After this experience I know more than ever just to rely on a mother’s intuition.” Now the trick for me is to figure out how to realize when it IS my intuition that is guiding me and not second guess it.

P.S. A big THANK YOU to all my Dad's staff and the awesome ER doc and staff who took such great care of our son.
P.P.S. Another big THANK YOU to all my family members who continually drop whatever they are doing to help us out. I love you guys!


  1. I love you Vimahis! And this blog. It is so nice to read and hear what you were thinking in these situations.

  2. I love you too Vimahis! This is a very touching entry. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Wow Annaka, Oliviana had ONE seizure in the summer a few years ago...worst experience of my life! You guys are so strong, I really appreciate your blog!

    1. Thanks Kristen. You and your family are a great example to me of strength and endurance!

  4. I am glad you are recording all of this. I love you!

  5. Oh my gosh. Annaka... this is just awful. But what a blessing for Nami that he has you as his mother. Way to follow your instincts. What a blessing to, that even though your dad was out the country he still had a wonderful staff that could help you. Keeping you guys in my prayers.


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