Our trip started out with a bang. A really scary bang, actually.
We first stopped in Iowa to visit some friends of ours from college, and that’s when we first noticed that Connor had a fever. We gave him some ibuprofen and continued up to South Dakota.
Back when Connor was a toddler, before Brenna was born, he had several seizures over the course of a year due to a spike in his temperature…they’re called febrile seizures and they’re very common and we really thought he had outgrown them since he hadn’t had one in 2.5 years.
But then he had a seizure. On the interstate. In the middle of Nowhere, South Dakota.
Even though I knew what it was and what was causing it, it was completely terrifying. What made it even worse was that he was struggling to breathe a little, which he had never done before with a seizure, and I was starting to see some blue in his lips. That coupled with the thought that it would take a really long time for emergency personnel to reach us was a little panic-inducing, but thank God, he stopped seizing after about a minute and began breathing OK again.
We hightailed it straight into Sioux Falls to the hospital, and after Connor ended up having another seizure, they kept him overnight in the children’s hospital. (We are so thankful we happened to be close to a large city with a good medical community…the hospital in Sioux Falls was fantastic.)
They ran a couple tests, but ended up declaring it viral and send him home with nothing more than instructions to stay on fever-reducing medicine around the clock.
And so we reluctantly set off across South Dakota, terrified by any strange noise or movement that Connor made in the back seat (and if you know 4-year-old boys, there are a lot of strange noises and movements!)
As he continued to act like himself, it began to seem like a strange, crazy dream that left us really paranoid the rest of the trip. And without being able to do much else, and with Connor declaring that he felt fine, we continued our crazy cross-country trip.
Our first real stop of the trip that energized us a bit was to Okaton, South Dakota, where Evan’s grandpa ran a store and gas station for many years until he passed away.
Then we drove down on a scenic tour of the Badlands area…
…on our way to Mount Rushmore!
As we arrived in Spearfish, South Dakota – our destination for the night after a long day of driving – we were greeted by this looming storm cloud.
After we beat the rain into our hotel, the power began to go out at stores and restaurants around us, and we realized we hadn’t eaten dinner yet and that we needed more medicine for Connor. Evan decided to brave the elements, leaving me really nervous and checking out the window every 5 seconds as the winds whipped almost deafeningly outside.
By morning, it was bright and sunny outside, leaving no evidence of the storms we had encountered on trip so far. We got a good night’s sleep, and we set out on the road again.
After the chaos of the first few days, we were definitely ready to arrive in Yellowstone and reunite with family!
To be continued…