My baby had a seizure. And I lost my marbles.
I have major anxiety–not generalized anxiety, but a much more consuming and constant fear that anything-horrible-could-h
Well, all that anxiety is still there—that all-consuming, waiting for a phone call, OMG I can’t even get through the day without crying anxiety. It stems from bad brain re-wiring from a brain injury, probably hormones, andyou know, I’m also just a crazy Jewish mother. Bad combo.
And then, out of the blue, the baby had a seizure. It was an afternoon like any other; a dirty diaper that needed changing after a feeding, just like any other. I set him down on the changing table, praying he wouldn’t put his feet in his poop like he usually does. But unlike any other afternoon, this time he started gasping for breath the minute I laid him down. He turned blue and purple, stopped breathing, got stiff, and then almost as fast, became limp. I frantically tried to rouse him while calling 911. He started breathing on his own, and the next 24 hours in the hospital were full of tests, reassurances that he was currently fine, and warnings that this, indeed, could happen again. For any mother, this ‘normal Wednesday afternoon scenario’ would be scariest moment of your life. For someone like me who already suffers with major anxiety disorder and PTSD from a car accident, it is more than life changing. When will he have another one? The doctors have no idea. Will he have another one? They have no idea. What caused it? They have no idea. Nothing I did or did not do, they assure me (unsuccessfully), could have prevented it. For me, that translates into no sleep, no babysitters, no showers while he plays in the exersaucer.
It also means maybe no trips to the island where we spend much of our summer (there are three cemeteries and no hospitals…yes, I’m serious). It means endless nights staring at the video monitor, only because my pediatrician kicked me out of his room. It means a constant and complete state of hyper-awareness, even more than before. I think my family didn’t think that was possible. Now I cry from anxiety, fear, and exhaustion. Now I worry about knowing what suburb I am in at all times, because when you call 911 from a cell phone, that is information that they ask you. It’s not just all-consuming in my mind, but it is now interfering with every single aspect and minute of my life. I think I have drifted so far into lunacy that I once actually spent more minutes than I care to admit thinking that my baby’s seizure was God’s punishment for having my tubes tied the week before. Which obviously is INSANE.
Everyone keeps telling me he is fine…he is acting fine, looks fine, tests fine, and by all means…seems fine. My husband tries to send me to get my nails done, I’m seeing my therapist regularly, and I have fantastic family and friends to talk to. But he had a seizure. And they don’t know why, and I, his mother, the person who spends more time with him than anyone else, is not fine. Not even close.