Dictionary.com defines the word "Seized" as 1) to take hold of suddenly or forcibly; grasp 2) to take possession or control of as if by suddenly laying hold.
I guess that two Sunday nights ago, we all got a little shanghaied. I was in that place between awake and asleep when I heard Evangeline begin to cry... And then make a choking sound. I counted three such cries. I gave the typical "Mommy's coming" as although I could tell she was distressed, I figured that she had simply lost her bink as she slept and was perturbed at its absence upon waking. When I got to her crib, she had one arm up in the air as if she were reaching up to be held but everything else about her appearance was wrong. Her whole body including the extended arm was stiff and vibrating softly, quickly. Her eyes were open and looking at nothing. Her tongue moved behind her lips. I screamed for BJ. "She's having a seizure!" He sat up quicker than I thought possible with a loud and alarmed, "What?!"
My arms reached out to hold her, but seeing her mouth move in that odd way reminded me of some dim fact that I heard long ago....that moving a person having a seizure could cause them to choke. I pulled my arms back, but not all the way. I just stood there like that, half frozen, waiting for it to stop. Just waiting grab her up and hold her; It’s all I could think to do. Bj told me three times to get dressed before I turned from her crib and threw on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, knowing we were going to Wolfsons. Soon enough it stopped. She was dazed and not crying. In fact, she looked as if she wasn't sure why she was being scooped up and held tightly. She didn't say much on the drive to the hospital. While there, the doctors on duty ruled out a shunt malfunction, excess fluid buildup on the brain and a systemic infection, all of which could have been life threatening.
They released us with the knowledge that it could happen again...or not...and that we were to follow up with neurology on Monday. We got an appointment for a sleep deprived EEG lat Thursday and kept the baby awake all day and afternoon. When she got there, she refused to sleep in a strange place and so they took the reading awake. We have yet to get the results.
Meanwhile, I have been so stressed. In the back of my mind I had this thought that wasn't even a conscious one at first. It went something along the lines of "If I can put her to bed just fine and wake up to find her having a seizure...it is possible I could put her to bed and wake up to find her dead in her crib." The thought made me frightened. It made me sick. When fully formed in my mind, it made me slightly unhinged. On Thursday as I was driving back from the failed EEG at Nemours, I had a total meltdown and vowed to become a monster if anything should ever happen to her. I would unleash that beast that we all cage...the one that doesn't care about anybody. The one that lives for its own ends. The one that feeds on bitterness and spits its words like venom. Every night it was all I could do to leave her in her crib. I knew she slept best in her own bed, but a few nights, my selfish desires to hold her close won out. She slept snuggled in my arms. I was determined to know if she had another seizure and wasn't able to cry out for me.
I was living in a kind of uber stress that couldn't continue but I had no way of resolving it. There were no medical answers. I felt alone..... more afraid that when I got "the diagnosis" of Spina Bifida all those months ago. I had previously thought that impossible to top. But here was my daughter, doing so much better than I could ever dream. Bright, vibrant, full of love and doing little things each day to make me smile. I didn't technically "know" her when I got the diagnosis of SB. I was upset and scared, but not like this, boy, not like this. But I had learned a lot about handling stress. I had been determined during my pregnancy not to feed her my stress hormones. I meditated on positive things and kept busy. This time, I tried the second part and forgot the first.
Well, anyway, I decided to share all this because of a dream I had two nights ago. In my dream I was laying in bed thinking of all the things that I was worried about. Evangeline's life. Evangeline's future. The house we are trying to buy for Evangeline (and us...but mostly its hers lol) and all the stress that comes along with that process. I was thinking about work and all the things I’m behind on because I can't get work done as quickly when all I think about is Evangeline. Well, in my dream I had closed my eyes and tried to shut out everything and just go to sleep, and when I opened them, there was Jesus in bed with me. (for those that are wondering, no he doesn't have long hair like in all those creepy pictures. In my mind, Jesus has a sensible short cut. His hair is dark and his skin is a warm brown) I was SO glad to see him. And I told him so! I was all *deep exhale* "I am SO glad to see you! Where in the world have you been? I can't feel you with me! Its like my prayers are bouncing off some clouds or something. And do you know that there is ....(here is where I babble on about everything that I feel is blowing up) and I only stop when he opens up his mouth to speak. "Do you think there is a chance you haven't felt like I was hearing your prayers because what's been going on with your daughter is keeping you from feeling much of anything besides upset ?" I conceded that there was a high probability that my stress about Evangeline was feeding every other stress. He then told me that what I needed was to just wait and see because I was worried over nothing. And so I asked him if the seizure was nothing or if the house and work and everything else was nothing? He said they all qualified as nothing. He patted my shoulder and told me it was all going to work out.
I know it was just a dream, but I woke up feeling better. So much better, that I haven't even called and begun neurotically harassing Nemours about the test results. For the first time in a week I don't feel like there is a scream stuck in the back of my throat. She's gonna be OK. Its what He said from the start. I will report back here at the conclusion of testing but I want you all to know this is totally going to work out. Whether you believe that a dream is just your subconscious telling you something or whether a dream can contain a message from "the other side"...you can be sure that either my unconscious or my God knows its all gonna be OK. I’m believing now that its both.