Friday, May 23, 2014

Night Terrors

I love this handsome and bRilliant boy with all my heart.   No one could ask for a better big brother either. Off track is almOst over and it has been so hard.   Too much butting of heads between this boy and his mama. Too much brotherly fist fighting.  A

It's after 11 pm on a Friday night.  My husband is at the grocery store, we're hosting a dinner party for twelve tomorrow night.  Two of my babies are soundly asleep in their beds, and have been for hours.  My biggest baby is restlessly lying in bed next to me.  He seems to finally be really asleep, but that doesn't make me feel any more relaxed.  Quite the date night, right?

Elliott has been off track for the last three weeks.  Off track from school is always tough, for a lot of reasons, one of the biggest being that he usually gets sick.  He's had a cough, but I've just chalked it up to allergies and gone about the business of life.  Yesterday morning, after a brutal fight between brothers (Quinn wasn't involved) Elliott came screaming to me that he couldn't breath.  He couldn't.  I got him to sit down and calm down and do a couple puffs with an inhaler, and then I did a lot of yelling at the both of them.  And maybe a little head whacking.  Elliott told me that he thought I needed to take him to the doctor.

I did.

He has a moderate case of bronchitis.  And an ear infection.  And a sore throat.


If the kid would have let on a little (just a teeny tiny smidge) that he really wasn't feeling well, I would have taken him sooner, but he is in this awkward seven year old "can't talk to my parents must keep all things a secret phase" and Ross and I really had no idea he was so sick.

It does however, explain a lot of the rough patches we've had over the last couple weeks.

Regardless, last night after watching the Lego Movie,  he went to bed quickly and without fuss.  And about an hour after he was asleep, as my husband and I were starting to have the first real conversation we'd had all week, Elliott came downstairs.  His eyes were open, he seemed alert and coherent, and we tried to talk to him.  He sort of paced around and then went right back upstairs, not communicating with us at all.  Ross followed immediately, he must have known what was coming, and I was a bit behind them.

When I got to the top of the stairs Elliott was screaming.  I got into the boys room as Ross was trying to talk to him and he was thrashing and screaming and making a horrible gagging sound.  And waking up Wyatt.  After my insisting, Ross brought Elliott into our room, kicking  and screaming and mumbling incoherent nonsense.

He was having a night terror.  This has happened several times before (the last one being about a year ago), usually triggered by something that has scared him or really made him nervous.  I'm guessing that his idiot mom finally figuring out he was sick, compiled with the very dramatic and stressful taking of a very icky antibiotic did him in.

Anyway, we got him on our bed where he was writhing around and screaming and moaning and fighting his dad with all the strength he had.  Ross has told me about these episodes before, but I'd never seen one.  I've always slept through them.  Elliott at one point jumped off our bed and we corralled him in the bathroom.  His eyes were as wide as I'd every seen them and he was so terrifying, that I was waiting for his head to spin completely around.  It was breaking my heart (even though his dad thought it was a bit funny).

We were trying to wake him up, ask him his name, get him to understand where he was.  He was screaming and gagging and starting to form saliva foam around the edges of his mouth.  Finally, I started to drench his face in cold water.  After some research tonight (a milder episode happened a little while ago) I learned that we shouldn't have tried to wake him up, but I was totally freaking out.

He finally became alert, he woke up and started yelling at me, "Stop throwing water at me!"  After a while, ee got him to calm down.

We brought him downstairs.  He laid on the couch completely listless and sullen.  He of course had no memory of the last 15 or so minutes and just laid on the couch, wrapped in a blanket, watching Diners, Drive-in's and Dives with his dad.  Eventually we got him back to bed.  And about 40 minutes later, it started again, but with much less delusion and much easier calming down.  At 4:30 in the morning, he came into our room completely frantic and panicked and paranoid.  We made him a bed on the floor where he slept until it was actually time to get up.

Phew!  What a night.

It was scary and completely unnerving.

In the morning of course, he had no idea what had happened and as his parents, we're left wondering what was the trigger.  His antibiotic?  His reaction to taking the icky antibiotic?  Sleep deprivation and exhaustion?  Not feeling well?  Stress or fear?

Whatever the cause, it left for some weary parents.  Its a pretty traumatic thing to watch your child fight his way through, knowing there is absolutely nothing you can do but wait for it to end.

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