around 4:45, joe ran to walgreens to get more infant tylenol and to pick up some takeout for dinner (romantic valentines day, huh?). bennett and i were just watching mickey mouse clubhouse when suddenly bennett's arm flailed up and went rigid. i grabbed him and turned him toward me and he wouldn't respond to me calling his name. his eyes were looking up and he was making a strange gurgling noise. i didn't know what was happening but thought maybe he was going to throw up again so i ran him to the bathroom, continuing to say his name with no response. he wasn't shaking, but his whole body was rigid. i realized he might be having a seizure and started to panic. i grabbed my phone and dialed 911.
the emergency responders made me stay on the phone with them until someone arrived so i couldn't even call joe to tell him what was going on. i was hysterical and they kept telling me to calm down. umm, seriously? bennett started to fall asleep but i didn't know if he was losing consciousness or what and they kept asking if he was breathing. having to put my face close to his to feel for breathing is something i never want to have to do again.
within a few minutes (that felt like hours) the fire department arrived. by then bennett was awake but completely lethargic and out of it. i called joe and told him what happened briefly and said to get home. the paramedics arrived and joe got home shortly after. the paramedics explained that febrile seizures (seizures induced by high fevers) are common in young children because their bodies can't handle the rapid rise (or fall) in temperature. they said that these seizures are not actually harmful and don't have any negative long-term effects. they told us to take him in to figure out what was causing the fever but that they didn't need to take him by ambulance as he wasn't in any danger.
we spent the evening in the emergency room. his temperature there was 103.8. they tested bennett for influenza and RSV (both negative). they also did a chest x-ray and tested for urinary issues. because he hadn't eaten or drank much of anything all day, it took forever to get a urine sample. the only thing that kept him occupied and calm was joe pushing us around in a wheelchair and me singing him songs by request :) ultimately (after 4 hours) they couldn't find anything causing the fever and let us go home. they encouraged us to give bennett medication every two hours, alternating children's motrin with infant tylenol, to keep his fever down. it took a day and a half to get his fever below 100, but by monday he was good as new.
to say that was the scariest thing that's ever happened to me is an understatement. i've never felt more helpless and panicked before. i'm thankful that this isn't anything to be concerned about as far as long-term impact goes and that our little buddy is back to his happy, healthy, and energetic self.