Tuesday, November 24, 2015

...from this point forward...

" nothing can come but what God wills. And I am very sure that whatever that be, 
however bad it may seem, it shall be the best." St. Thomas Moore

I don't even know where to start. The past few days have been the hardest days for my little family. They have been a blur and also the moments have just dripped by.

Gabe had a febrile seizure on Friday.

Those words sting.
This is about my journey.

He is not mine...He is God's.

I heard that phrase months ago. I had never really thought about children in this manner.
Then Friday came.
We had all been battling a bug all week. I spent Wednesday night cuddling with Gianna. An early AM doctors apt showed an ear infection. That evening, Gabe went to bed 100% healthy and was up two hours later with a stomach bug, which continued into the night. He had a fever, but was unable to keep down medication. Fortunately, my family has been very healthy over the years. This was my first bout with the stomach bug. The next morning, his fever required medication. Unfortunately, he was still unable to keep it down. 

11 AM. Life slowed down for the next hour. We were all hanging out on the couch. Gabe was laying next to me on the couch,watching Daniel Tiger and sipping electrolytes every fifteen minutes. I called Steve and told him I needed him to come home. I had walls and carpets to clean upstairs. My stomach wasn't well. The kids were both not well. He said he would be home at 12.

I reached over and he was suddenly HOT. HOT.HOT.
I looked at the clock 1130. It had been an hour and a half since his medication. Some of it must have been absorbed. 
Gianna brought him a book and accidentally dropped it on the corner of his head.

He seized.

My world started spinning.
I have never felt so out of control and helpless in my ENTIRE life.
It was not one of my finer verbal moments.
It still makes me cry to think about. I thought he was dying. He turned blue. My sweet baby boy turned blue while convulsing in my own arms.

My phone wouldn't work. I couldn't dial out. I had been having texting problems for the last week. I sent a desperate text to Steve to call 911. 
It never sent.
My family has a FB family chat. My numb fingers were unable to type...
"Gabe is seazing" I typed. I needed someone to call 911. Someone to call Steve.

I started pleading with God.

please don't take him from me. please don't. please don't let him die. GABRIEL!!!!

I needed someone to call 911. My neighbor. Please, God, let her be home. I grabbed my half dressed son and ran to my neighbors house. Gianna was screaming. Liesel was trying to force her back into the garage with all of her 20 miniature schnauzer pounds. I laid his blue body onto her 30 degree concrete step. The phone finally dialed. 
My name. My address. Need ambulance. Son having seizure.
lay him on his side...right..i knew that..i taught that...i forgot that. 
Is he breathing? my thoughts whirled on the inside. what kind of stupid question is that...he is blue..get here now.

I screamed at my elderly neighbor to wake up and call my husband.
Once the ambulance was on its way, I made it back to my house, my daughter and dog followed.
I laid his limp little body on the floor. His eyes were rolling back into his head. He was breathing, but non responsive. 
The ambulance went to the wrong house. My eighty year old pajama-ed neighbor chased them down.
Six men arrived. While they stabilized him in the ambulance, I dressed Gianna and off we went.
The next hour dripped by. 
Post seizure recovery.
I just wanted him to look at me. To say anything.
We listened to the Litany of Saints (Maher) in the ambulance.
Gabe and I have this thing. Every time we see an ambulance/fire truck/police car, he says, "Mom, we need to pray." We say an Hail Mary.
I never thought those words would be coming out of my mouth, while inside with my baby boy.
I won't go into the horrid care we received at the hospital. It was four hours before we had any comments. Febrile seizure. A seizure due to a sudden spike in temperature. He has a virus. He will be fine. A non damaging "normal" seizure. 

The next few nights met us with a few scares. Tepid baths. Iced rags. Prayers.

I am still working through this.
I know that there are much more horrible things to be faced with.
But, this was a crossroads for me.
I felt like a failure. It was the first time in my life that my ability to protect my children from harm was ripped away. I must have managed his fever poorly. I should have done X. I didn't do enough X. I spilled all of this during a followup appointment with his Pediatrician. She was so supportive and I was thankful how she tried to put at ease my feelings of inadequacies. I did nothing wrong. Being scared is hard. I know that these are "harmless" seizures. I know the stats. I know the words that say my boy will grow out of them in 2-3 years. I know. I know. But. I am not in control. He is. I need to continually let go and trust. I know he loves my babies more than I ever possible can. But, I am human.
I need to trust.

I couldn't sleep for the next two nights. Reoccurring images plagued my mind. (I have spoken with a few trained therapists and assured that this is normal.) This should subside in a few days, once my sleep is in a healthy range.

He is not mine. I feel that right now. I don't want to forget that, ever.

I wear a crucifix around my neck. Sadly, I misplaced it at my in-laws, over a month ago. I kept praying it would be recovered. I can't imagine how many times I grasp it and whisper a quick prayer for strength or patience.

Sunday night was probably the bottom for me. The lack of sleep, the lack of trust, and the stress was eating at me. After the kids were in bed, I went into our room and started looking in my small makeup bag for some nail trimmers.
I saw a glisten.
My crucifix.
I burst into tears and could hardly contain my trembles as I clasped it back around my neck.

Through it all, he continually reminds me:
I am with you...Isaiah 41:10.

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