Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My daughter, the Breath-Holder

Doesn't that sound lovely? Buttercup has had two episodes in two weeks and this second one last night made me call the pediatrician this morning.

Two weeks ago Buttercup fell down (she and X-man ran into each other). She let out a scream and then...nothing. I picked her up and her face was still in "scream-mode" but there was no air going in or out.

Freaked me the heck out.

I whacked her on the back a few times, picked up the phone ready to dial 911 and she coughed, threw up on me and cried. Whew. I had never been so happy to see throw up! After that she was just fine. I figured that she just got choked on some phlegm since her nose was pretty runny.

Last night she was running around TC's legs and she tripped and bumped her head on the wall. I heard it from the kitchen and it didn't sound that bad, but I heard her scream. I asked TC to check on her and since he was right there, he said he was. Maybe a second later (seemed like a minute!) I asked him if she was breathing...I hadn't heard her cry other than that first wail. He said she wasn't. I put down the dishes I was washing and asked the same question again (just thinking about it right now is making my heart race) and he gave me the same answer. I think I made some outer worldly noise, grabbed the phone, and finally Buttercup whined and started crying and breathing again. My stomach was tied up in knots for the rest of the evening.

So this morning I called the doctor's office and related the above events to the nurse. She said she would talk to the doctor, but it sounded like breath-holding. She said she would call me back and let me know what he said.

Well, about an hour later, the Doctor called me back...not the nurse. We have such an awesome pediatrician! He told me that yes, this was called breath-holding and it wasn't like a child that gets mad and holds his breath. That's something totally different. This is just a strange reflex that some kids have and eventually they will grow out of it..."Not fast enough!" the doc said! He told me his own son had this when he was young and while it was definitely not fun to watch, the child would eventually start breathing again before any permanent damage was done. In fact, if she does pass out (Lord and Heaven help me) as soon as she passes out her nervous system will start the breathing again. These episodes usually happen after a hit to the head, a fall or something startling like that. The child just gets startled and the reflex is to stop breathing for whatever reason. Doc told me to just stay calm during these episodes and to not "feed" them by giving Buttercup extra/over attention after them. Obviously calm her and let her know that she's ok and someone's taking care of her. We don't want her to figure out that by doing this she gets secondary attention and then have her holding her breath on purpose.

I calmed down quite a bit after I talked to the doctor, but twice today Buttercup ran into something (one a doorframe and the other was the wall...what is up with kids walking forward and looking behind them?!?) and both times I held my breath waiting to see if she was going to freeze up on me. Thank the good Lord about that she didn't.

I have panic issues so I haven't googled this at all. I don't want to read any horror stories about breath-holders. That would only make matters worse for me. I don't even google symptoms that I think I might be having because you can get some wacky advice from Dr. Google!

So I would thank you not to post any comments with your horror stories of kids who had this or kids who held their breath in general. No freaking the momma out!!

I am so thankful for a beautiful family. My kids are my all and before kids I would have never known that I could let my heart walk around outside my body like that! I am thankful for so many things...I have been blessed many times over.

Hug your babies, your mammas, your friends and let them know you are thankful for them!!

1 comment:

Lisa said...

WOW! In all my years, I've never heard about that. I am thankful that A is a-ok! Squeeze her from her Auntie Lisa!