Febrile Seizures: A Mother’s Experience

[Umm Muhammad is a part-time nurse and a full-time mother to a one year old masha’Allah.  Her nursing experiences range from the birthing room to the emergency room.]

Have you ever gotten into a situation with your child where your mind went blank and you didn’t know what to do? I did recently… my son had a seizure because of his high fever. I had worked as an emergency department nurse in the past, but my brain was non functional when I was witnessing the seizure of my own child. Instead of jumping into emergency thinking when my son stopped breathing for a few seconds, my instincts told me to bring him into the prayer area of the Masjid and lay his unconscious body on the musalla. A friend took us to the nearest hospital, and after hours of poking and prodding, we were sent home on antibiotics. We were very cautious with him the next few days, especially when his fever skyrocketed to 105 the next night. It was the weekend and we debated taking him to the emergency department again, but decided to do every fever reducing trick we knew at home before having to go through another hospital experience. See, I was used to all the procedures done at the hospital. My poor husband, on the other hand, got a little faint when they were sticking catheter inside my son’s bladder… what man wouldn’t though? Anyways, Muhammad’s fever ended up decreasing slowly, and we took him to the pediatrician’s the following day. He continued to take the antibiotics for a week, and was back to his normal self within 3 or 4 days.

So when an emergency situation like this happens, it is better to be educated and prepared with a plan on hand, because a mother’s brain will always go blank seeing her child go through something unexpected.

Disclaimer (again)- this post is not meant to replace any medical advice, it is meant to educate and prepare. For medical issues, contact your pediatrician. For emergencies, dial 911 or head to the nearest hospital.

What is a febrile seizure?
A febrile seizure is a seizure caused by a fever, normally 102F-104F. It occurs in about 4% of children. If your child has ever had a febrile seizure, s/he has a 1/3 chance of having 1-3 reoccurrences by the time s/he is 4. Febrile seizures are generally harmless, cause no brain damage, and do not lead to a long term seizure disorder.

How do I know my child is having a seizure?
Seizures, or convulsions, have different manifestations. The child’s body may either become stiff, or jerking/ twitching movements may occur. The child may become unconscious or confused, his/her eyes may roll back, and the breathing may become loud. Following a seizure is a period called “postictal” state, in which the child may remain sleepy or confused for up to ten minutes.

What should I do if I suspect my child is having a seizure?

1) Lay the child on the ground in a safe area. Make sure not to hold or restrain child.

2) Take the child’s temperature immediately to determine if it is a febrile seizure or not.

3) If the child does have a fever, take his/her clothesoff, put cold wash cloths on the face, and give fever reducing medicine as soon as the child awakens.

4) If child vomits, turn his/her head to the side to prevent choking and protect the breathing.

5) Call your pediatrician. Your child may need to be seen in the office or you may be advised to take the child to the hospital.

6) Let the seizure run its course… there isn’t any non-medical method to stop a seizure once it has started. Also, avoid starting resuscitative breathing (CPR) if your child stops breathing during the seizure. If your child is not breathing once the seizure has run its course, CPR may be started as needed.

How do I prevent a febrile seizure?
1) Take methods to reduce your child’s fever during an illness or after immunizations (very important especially if your child has had a febrile seizure occurrence in the past)

2) Put your child in light clothing and a single layer of covering especially during sleep, since bundling the child may raise his/her temperature by 1-2 degrees.

3) Keep your child hydrated by offering lots of fluids.

Seizures, like other medical emergencies, will always be scary and difficult for parents to handle. Even though your mind might go blank during such an occurrence, it is our hope that some education about what to expect will reduce some worries and guide parents to ensure the safety of the child and proper actions to be taken during the event.

MAC Makeup Artist Shares Her Secrets

[Dina Adam has been a make up artist with MAC since 2011. She is a new mommy and has a Biology and Fine Arts degree from the American University in Cairo, Egypt.]

Makeup and art are totally synergistic, for me it is an extension of artistic expression inspired by trends on the runway, cultures from all over the world, and everyday life. By colour, contrast, shadows, composition and lighting. Makeup is art! I  have a B.A degree in Fine Arts, so whether I draw, snap pictures or paint faces it is funneling my energy on a canvas. And in this case it happens to be face. I was always interested in color,in makeup, fashion and trends.

I remember that I bought my first MAC product in 2000 in Dubai, it was an eyebrow pencil called ‘Eyebrows.’ Later in 2002 I started youtubing tutorials like many of us and practicing on myself. I was so inspired at how easy it was for me to switch from using a paintbrush on canvas to a brush on my face. I have been with MAC since 2011 and I still remember how estatic I felt when I was approached for the job at MAC. If you are a makeup buff then you would know that it is really hard to get into MAC Cosmetics, so I was so lucky and humbled to be chosen and my journey with MAC began!

Here are 5  of  my Must-Have MAC Products – (Things I cannot live without!)

1. Fix + (Skincare /Toner) – I am all about glowy, luscious, dewy luminous skin enhancing products! This is one of them! An aqua-spritz of vitamins minerals, infused with a calm-the-skin blend of green tea, chamomile, cucumber, topped off with the fresh, natural, green tea, chamomile, cucumber, topped off with the fresh, natural, energizing scent of Sugi. Adds radiance and finishes make up. Spray it on. The skin drinks it up. I love sheering out foundation (cream/liquid) by spritzing Fix + on a Pro Performance sponge and blending it out with concealer onto skin. It leaves a seamless, velvety hydrating flawless finish. If you like that JLo glow, then this is a must have for you!

2. Pro Longwear Concealer – The secret of the universe! It’s amazing how some of this creamy yet opaque concealer underneath the eye can completely transform and uplift your look from tired – to photo ready! This tiny 0.30 oz bottle will last you at least 7 months if not longer when used properly with a brush (I recommend the #224 or #252). It is one of our longest lasting product – it really does have a 15 hour wear without creasing – with a matte natural skin like finish. It’s perfect for concealing dark circles or discolourations on the face. Add a few drops of Lustre Drops or a Cream Colour base to give that area a luminous highlight or a ‘wet look’. If you have a more textured skin surface add some Prep + Prime Highlighter using a #190 brush and pulling the product on the highest plains of your cheekbone.

3. Mineralize SkinFinish Natural – LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. These are baked, paraben free skin tone powders that can be used on its own as a sheer coverage foundation, setting powder, or a bronzer/contouring product to give shape and structure to the face. Believe me when I say I use it for all of the above! I have quite a few in different shades that resemble the shadows and highlights of the structure of your face. The greatest thing about this product is the fact that it is designed for all skin types, even if you were slightly on the drier side (like myself) then this is perfect for you. The light reflecting particles makes it have a lustre satin finish and unlike most powders this does not leave that ‘powdery’ layer, in fact, it provides a beautiful soft focus effect without mattifying the surface and melting cream and liquid foundation into the skin. Buff the product in by using a #130, #187 or #188 (duo-fibre) brush.

4. Haute & Naughty Mascara -After priming the lash with ‘prep & prime Lash,’ coat on a few layers using Haute and naughty. If you want the volume, curl, length, definition and drama then this bad boy is all you will ever need. This 2 in 1 wiper mascara gives you the option of creating a natural lash or more of that va-va voom falsies we all die for! ‘Haute’ being lengthening and ‘Naughty’ with more volume. Another great thing about this is the fact that it has conditioning ingredients that wont dry up your lashes to that crispy ‘spidery’ odd look; its water and smudge resistant..and clumps no more! The way the bristles are designed to hug every tiny lash thats usually left behind and grabs and coats the others with a nice semi-glossy finish!


5. Tools – Here are few that I love:

#130 Short Dual Fibre Brush – This is your perfect go to 1 buffing face brush. Great for primer application; liquid, cream or powder foundation (buffing, sheering, blending and stippling/layering coverage onto skin), contouring, highlighting and those who are savvy can actually apply cream blusher aswell. Like I said, its your 1 basic brush for your face! It features a combination of natural bristles and synthetic fibres, which makes it a great tool to pick up different textures and emulsions onto skin.

#224 Blending brush – Technically alot of users think this brush is specifically designed for the eyeshadow area period, but you can use this brush for blending eyeshadows; the application & blending (any texture) of concealer (the buffing motion gives you that smooth-airbrush seamless quality); a more defined ‘hollow’ contour of your cheek area and around the nose (which is also a Fall 2012 trend).

Pro Performance sponge – Gotta love my sponges! This dual ended sponge is absolutely practical for blending and moving cream, liquid, gel foundations and concealers on the face. Forget your fingers or sharp-edged triangular sponges, these application methods waste make up and can leave visible streaks. This patent-pending elliptical shape makes application foolproof by allowing you to access hard-to-reach areas with stunning ease (tear duct, around the nose etc). Its suede texture is sensual to the touch and its unique curves fit the contours of your face, leaving your make up dazzling and undetectable.


Gardening With Ruku: Discover the fun in your backyard!

[This guest post was written by Ruku Kazia. She lives in Virginia with her husband and their three daughters. She enjoys reading, coffee and spending time with her family.]

A few months ago (February), I decided to start our very own vegetable garden. With three little daughters, I wanted to do something that would get the entire family involved and what could be better than being outside, digging away in our very own backyard?

I really knew nothing about this particular activity that I’d decided to undertake, but after eating the delicious produce from my neighbor’s garden in New Jersey I thought, “how hard can it really be?”

Squash in Ruku’s garden

Turns out, not too hard but not quite as simple as I’d thought either. Growing up I’d see my parents plant fenugreek and flowers out in our balcony. Not an easy task in hot, humid Dubai. I also remember my grandmother’s splendid yard in India, where she lovingly planted a variety of fruit trees and plants.

Hoping some of their genius and green thumb ran in my blood, I started by talking to my gardener who assured he’ll help me every step of the way. He dug out a small patch in our backyard and added, “You can dig too if you like Miss, good exercise!” Then he put in some garden soil and by the end of April we were in business.

Jalepenos in Ruku’s garden

Here are some ideas on how to get started :

1. Read up and talk to the people at your local nurseries (Yes you can do it! – and they really will help).

2. If you’re skeptical try with a couple of pots of herbs first. I’ve found fenugreek and cilantro are the easiest. (Put some soil in a pot , line with seeds, top with more soil, water daily and voila!)

3. If you’re not sure whether to dig a hole in your backyard, start out with a raised bed garden.

4. Find out what vegetables and fruit should be planted for your area/season.

5. Set a time daily to water your garden – preferably early morning and evening when the soil is less likely to dry out

6. Weed, Weed, Weed – the happier your plants are, the better they grow.

7. Get the whole family involved – My cousin helped us plant the veggies. My kids love to water the plants. And overnight my husband has turned into a master gardener.

Beautiful fenugreek on Ruku’s deck

Our little patch now boasts tomatoes, chillies, fajita peppers, eggplants, okra, squash, cilantro and oregano. We also have pots of mint, strawberries and fenugreek out on the deck. Picking and cooking these garden delights have turned into a priceless adventure for us.

From watching the joy on the baby’s face while she sucks on her first strawberry and chuckling at the funny comments made by my 4 year old (What do you mean the eggplants don’t grow eggs?) to hearing the wonder in my 7 year old’s voice (Wow I never knew squash tasted this good!) this little exercise has literally bore fruit.

One of the very first recipes we tried was Golden fried squash. Here’s our recipie:

Golden Fried Squash

Yummy Golden fried squash

Wash and cut 2 squash in quarter inch pieces.
Mix two beaten eggs with salt, pepper and ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning.
Dip each slice of squash in the egg mixture.
Roll in breadcrumbs and fry till golden brown.
Serve hot with marinara sauce.

Get started with your garden today and have fun making memories with your children. I know I certainly did!