We had a really frightening afternoon here. I wasn't sure if I should post it here, but since most of my friends read my blog, I figured it would be easiest to write it all out rather than calling/emailing everyone.
We spent the afternoon at the pool with some friends. We'd been there for about 3.5 hours and it was almost time to go home. I was going down the waterslides, and I'd done this about 3 times when I came up out of the waterslide pool to find Austin standing on the side of the pool deck. He had something on his mouth, looked like he'd "hocked a loogie" and didn't wipe it off. I told him to wipe his mouth, and he didn't respond. I said it again, and he didn't even look at me. I said, "Austin!" and he still didn't respond.
I started to walk him toward the bathroom, calling his name all the while and he wasn't responding. We got about halfway to the bathrooms and he threw up all over himself. I rushed him to the trash can, and by this time he wasn't able to stand up on his own. I kept calling his name and trying to get him to look at me, but he didn't look at me and he didn't seem to be focusing on anything at all. He still had the vomit on his face, and those of you who know Austin personally know that he would never let this happen if he were aware. I turned Austin to face me, holding him up, and his pupils were tiny like pin dots. The lifeguard came over again, and I told him to call 9-1-1.
One of the friends we were with at the pool had brought me her bottle of water to try to clean Austin up with. I just flung the water in Austin's face, and he said "Reece stop it!" I was relieved that he had said something. He still wasn't able to hold his weight. I was yelling his name over and over, and after another minute or two he said, "I'm here." I asked him what was going on and he said, "I hit my head on the pool." So I'm thinking concussion. I tried to look at his eyes again, but he was closing them. I said, "Nope, we're walking." and I started walking back and forth with him trying to talk to him about the game last night. He wasn't responding.
The lifeguard and the person I assume is the pool manager came over and said we should get Austin inside. So we went inside and sat him down. He was starting to talk by now and I asked him if he hit his head and he said, "No." We moved him to a place where he could lean back on something, and then the paramedics arrived. Austin was talking quite a bit by now, and they asked if I wanted him checked out still. DUH!! So we went to the ambulance. (My friends were taking care of the girls for me, getting them dressed and ready to go... thank God for them!) In the ambulance Austin was saying he was fine, and they started taking vitals. They asked him what day it was and he replied "March 23" (Riley's birthday). Then they asked him what he had done before we went swimming today and he said "Nothing much... just hung out" (We had done school!). They asked me if I would expect him to reply correctly (I had told the paramedics about his Aspergers) and I said "YES!" so they asked me which hospital I wanted him transported to.
It was the hardest thing in the world to have to leave him in that ambulance and follow behind with the girls, but we were at a pool that was quite far from home and there was nobody else who had a vehicle big enough for my 2 girls to go with them. I called Russ to meet us at the ER.
When I arrived at the ER, the ambulance hadn't yet arrived which freaked me out. The receptionist was very unhelpful and said that it happens all the time. Um, not to me. She was getting ready to get a big piece of my already freaked out mama mind when a nurse came and asked me who I was looking for. When I told her she said that he had just arrived. So the mean receptionist lady was off the hook.
Back in the ER, folks were very nice! This was a peds ER at the local hospital (but ironically not the closest hospital because in my panicked self, I forgot there was a hospital with peds ER twice as close as the one I chose). When I saw Austin he was in the room and was very embarrassed to be there. I was relieved to see that he seemed to be back to his regular self.
I'll spare the play-by-play from the ER, but he had an EKG and a chest xray and some blood work and everything came back normal. The doctor thinks that he had a neurological reaction to vomiting that involves the vagal nerve, which makes the person disoriented. I really don't know what to think about that diagnosis, because he was not responsive to me before he threw up. He was released to go home, which he was very happy about. I am planning to call our ped on Monday, as well as our developmental specialist, to see if they feel we need to follow-up.
I have truly never been so frightened in my entire life. Austin seems to be just fine now. He has no memory of throwing up, or anything after I told him I was going to go down the waterslides. He remembers playing with the girls, and then being inside sitting with his back to the wall. I don't know if he did hit his head, because there was no bump or any indication that he hit his head. I guess we won't ever know what caused this, which is really scary to me.
Go hug your kids... things can happen so quickly.