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Anyone's child ever had a 'Carpopedal Spasm'? Bit scary to tell the truth ....

(18 Posts)
ghosty Sat 02-Aug-08 12:40:09

DS has been unwell today with a vomitty bug - not a usual complain in the ghosty household (we generally have stomachs of iron) ... he hasn't kept any food down today and has felt pants all day. Anyway, he hates being sick, absolutely hates it (possibly a psychological left over from have pyloric stenosis as a baby - projectile vomitting every feed, needing surgery to correct).
This evening he was hugging the toilet needing to be sick but desperately trying to suppress the urge. In doing that he began to breathe very rapidly trying to stop himself being sick. Before I knew what was happening he collapsed and couldn't move his joints. DH tried to get him to stand up and we noticed his hands spasming (the only way I can describe it is like a cerebral palsy type spasm). I was about to phone the out of hours doctor when we noticed his ankles and feet spasmed too - they were totally rigid and we couldn't bend them at all.
So I phoned an ambulance blush... I was bloody terrified ... so was DS, poor thing and even DH (master of calm) went pale. I've never seen anything like it before ....
The lady on the phone told us that we needed to calm DS down (he wasn't coherent at this point, his eyes were rolling in his head and he was all but passed out) by slowing his breathing.
By the time the ambulance came he was calmer but still very clammy and pouring with sweat. They stayed for about 45 minutes watching him, gave him a mobile ecg which showed an irregularity (which we knew about) in his heartbeat but otherwise he was actually fine (no temp, normal bp etc). they didn't take us in as they assured us it wasn't life threatening and we would end up in A&E for hours with the walking wounded of Melbourne's Saturday Nightlife.
He is asleep now and I will sleep in his room tonight but boy I was scared to death sad
It is caused by hyperventilating ... shock Who'd have thought hey?
Have a large glass of red beside me to calm myself down a bit smile
PS - If you live in Australia and don't have Ambulance Membership (Family of 4 costs $120 per year)... GET IT! We have it and if we didn't we would get a bill next week of around $800 shock
Thanks for listening [pathetic smile] <needy of sympathy>

thequietone Sat 02-Aug-08 12:43:59

Ghosty - didn't want to leave your post unanswered. What a horrendous experience for you all. I think you're all amazing for getting through it, and hope your son feels better today. I've never heard of such a thing, and can imagine it was terrifying for you all.

Hope you all have a better day today


ExterminAitch Sat 02-Aug-08 12:43:59

<pours more wine for ghosty>

you poor things, you must have been petrified.

copingvquietly Sat 02-Aug-08 12:44:04

bloody terrifyingshock
glad he is alright though and you didnt have to go to the hospital.

NormaStanleyFletcher Sat 02-Aug-08 12:46:18

<<manly pat on shoulder>>

How scary

Hope you havea nice peaceful and uneventful night

ghosty Sat 02-Aug-08 12:49:38

Thanks all, much appreciated ...

<<accepts wine from Aitch and gives NSF a grateful yet wobbly smile for manly hug>>

If you do know of anyone who has had this though, do let me know, would love to know there is nothing more sinister to it ..

suedonim Sat 02-Aug-08 13:04:43

Goodness, how horrible, Ghosty sad Breathing into a paper bag is useful to counteract the effects of hyperventialting, though if one is about to be sick, that's not a very useful tip. Airline sickness bags would make handy sick/hyperventilation bags, though. Hope ds is over his bug soon.

pookamoo Sat 02-Aug-08 13:07:09

My friend's LO has something similar. I will send her the link to this post.

BetteNoire Sat 02-Aug-08 13:10:21

Ghosty, how terrifying for you all.
Glad DS is sleeping soundly, and hope he is well by the morning.

used2bthin Sat 02-Aug-08 13:21:18

This is very odd as I was just talking to my friend who lives in Australia then opened this thread an dthis is something that happened to her years ago when she still lived here. We were all out having a bit of a girls night out a few months after she'd had her little girl. She got too drunk and started panicking about being sick and then screaming that she couldn't move her hands, they were literally just stuck and spasming. We got her in a taxi and took her to A and E where they were not too impressed as you can imagine but I think gave her a paper bag to breathe into and said it was a kind of panick attack so sounds like the same thing. She was fine after and as far as I know it hasn't happened again. Hope he feels well soon.

ghosty Sat 02-Aug-08 23:25:50

Thanks for that, used2bthin ... glad to see your friend is ok
Well, the night was mixed ... I slept on the sofa in the living room (next to DS' room) and so didn't really sleep that well, also due to my broken foot (a whole other story) I was a bit uncomfortable. DS was up twice with an upset tummy (the other end this time) so I think the bug is working its way out.
At 3am we had a little chat and he talked about how scared he was and that he really thought he was going to die sad. Poor baby, he apologised for scaring us too <sniff>

cadelaide Sat 02-Aug-08 23:28:43

Oh bless his little heart.

Poor him, poor you.

Still, at least you (and we) know what it is if it happens again. hope you have a good night.

Califrau Sun 03-Aug-08 03:04:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

calsworld Sun 03-Aug-08 03:18:19

I've had a few of these, the most noticeable one was prior to being diagnosed with endometriosis, the docs thought I had a problem with bowels (common mis-diag apparently), so had to have an endoscopy.

I'd been given the enema but thought i was going to pass out before i could go to the loo and was seriously stressed about passing out and pooing all over the floor whist out of it.

I pulled the emergency cord and two nurses came in and took me to the loo, but i was hyperventilating so much i couldn't move my hands at all, they were in a spasm and under my chin and nothing could move them. It was a truly hideous experience.

I've had a couple more minor ones since then due to stress / high anxiety / depression but they were a long time ago. Have also had one episode after a very heavy night on

In all occasions, a paper bag solved it very quickly.

I wouldn't know where to start with suggestions for helping your DS from here, but wanted to share my experience.

calsworld Sun 03-Aug-08 03:19:22

oooh weas editing and hit post - it was a heavy night on vodka!

ghosty Sun 03-Aug-08 03:56:01

Thank you calsworld ... your experiences have really helped. Although generally a really 'cool' little guy he does have a history of being anxious about certain stuff. DH blames me for molly coddling him shock. I blame myself for being an anxiety attack prone wreck in the first 18 months of DS' life and I was suffering from Post traumatic stress disorder (misdiagnosed as PND) sad
Cali - the emetephobe thing has crossed my mind in the last 24 hours - yesterday, when he was being ill I told him it was his body's way of getting rid of the bug and he cried, "Why can't the bug come out of my bottom instead??" grin
He really understands that it was the breathing that made him spasm and not the sickness so I am hoping that the unpleasant experience will outweigh the 'phobia' of being sick.

MrsJohnCusack Sun 03-Aug-08 08:43:44

oh ghosty how AWFUL
poor old you (and I still don't know how you buggered your foot)

I won't bore you with why my week was so unutterably shite. will prob be starting a thread soon about the final part of it (which involved DD running over a busy road in front of cars)

MrsJohnCusack Sun 03-Aug-08 08:45:35

oh sorry that sounds really self centred to everyone else blush
it's because ghosty asked me why I'd had a bad week in amessage and i haven't replied yet

anyway, some people just ARE anxious. i'd have thought 'mollycoddling' (and I bet you don't anyway) would help TBH

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