Last week ended with a promised and much anticipated after school trip to the park. Parks round here seem to be strictly divided into teenager and 12 and under play areas. However, my kids were scooting round the teenage basketball court because the teenagers had taken over the 12 and unders area to play ‘spin the bottle’ with the snakes and ladders spinner. I was trying to make myself invisible to the teenagers whilst cringing/inwardly smiling at their antics. But even if they weren’t in their designated play areas, everyone had that Friday feeling.
I was getting chilly and ready to go home, but the kids weren’t having it. ‘Chase us!’ they screeched from their scooters. So I did which made L crash her scooter into the wall. All she did was bump her finger, but she went pale, she went silent, she went limp, she began to twitch in my arms and then she was unconscious and not breathing.
I kept calling her name and shaking her whilst screaming at the 3yo to stop scooting towards the exit and wondering whether to recruit a teen to drag him back. Fortunately she came round quickly, she was disorientated, had a headache and fuzzy vision. After a few minutes cuddling she felt okay to walk home. I managed to get her an appointment with the doctor at half five.
It’s the third time we have been to the doctors after one of these episodes. She bent her finger back when she was 3, she bashed her knee on the radiator before Christmas, her brother hit her on Valentine’s Day, each time she has keeled over and begun to twitch, before falling limp and unconcious. Last time a doctor said it was normal but seemed concerned about the twitching, hence we went back.
This time, this doctor got to the bottom of it immediately. They are white breath holding attacks. They’re not a seizures or epilepsy, although because of the twitching they are sometimes confused. Although it’s called breath holding it’s involuntary and children have no control over it, normally they grow out of it around 6-8 years. The best thing to do is put them in the recovery position and let them come round of their own accord. Goes against every parental instinct.
Since I had children I feel like a walking paediatric encyclopaedia – ‘white breath holding attacks’ – I’m filing this one under ‘things your kids do to really freak you out’. Every time she yelps in pain we leap to action internally, whilst trying to maintain a nonchalant exterior.
What do your kids do that has your heart in your mouth?