Cherish Each Moment
Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.
– Dr. Seuss
Nothing could have prepared me for the challenges that my family and I were about to face. Life before December 12, 2015 was so different from the years that would follow; and, since then, I have come to hate the number twelve as much as I hate the number six.
My wife, daughter and I spent several hours in our local children’s hospital emergency room and during that time not much was done. Kathleen was examined by three doctors, two women and one man who, at the time, served as the chief ER physician. All three performed the same basic tests: they looked in her throat, in her eyes and checked her heart rate. At one point a technician came into our room to perform and electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) on Kathleen but at no point did anyone talk to us about performing any lab or blood tests.
As the son of a family who served in the medical profession, I was equally disturbed by the fact that no one offered to perform an electroencephalogram (EEG) on Kathleen. When I asked the doctors if they could perform the test on my daughter I was told that they couldn’t because there was no one there “to run the machine.” And I received the same response when I asked if they would perform an MRI.
Ultimately, the doctors consulted with an on-call neurologist who, over the phone, without ever examining Kathleen, determined that she had an epileptic seizure and that she would need to be put on the broad spectrum antiseizure medication, Keppra.
Fortunately — thanks to technology — I was able to pull out my phone and perform a search on the medication; and, when I did, I almost came out of my skin. At the top of the list of potential side effects was suicidal ideations and that was pretty much all I needed to see to then express my concerns with the diagnosis (or, more precisely, the lack thereof).
Individually, all three doctors came into our room and had me explain my concerns and my opposition to putting Kathleen on the medication. After a fair amount of debate, the lead doctor told the others that he was okay with releasing us and having having Kathleen seen by a neurologist as soon as possible. By that point my mind was spinning and I had trouble believing that my precious, previously very healthy child, had, within a matter of hours, become an ‘epileptic.’