I just can’t stop crying today!
I just cried in the bakery, and then in our Pediatrician’s office and now I am crying as I write this. Or rather try to write this because I am so overwhelmed with intense gratitude, joy, and relief that I can’t think straight or, well, again, stop crying long enough to be able to type clearly! You see, today is a big day in our family, a big, big, BIG day!
Today, February 6, 2014, we celebrate our littlest man, #4, being seizure free for one entire year!
Today is a day that I never thought would come, that I feared never would come, that I so desperately hoped would come. And now it is here and an entire year of fear is pouring out of my eyes
Let me tell you this, it feels phenomenal to be letting go of fear; to be fully exhaling for the first time in 365 days (or at least feeling like it.) I feel like I have been holding my breath just about every single second for the last year, hoping, praying that the next second wouldn’t bring another seizure; that the next second wouldn’t bring me to my knees, watching the clock to know when to give the emergency medicine to stop the seizure, to stop potential damage; that the next second wouldn’t push me to yell to my sons to grab the phone and “bring it to mommy quick” so that I could call 911 and get my son oxygen immediately as we raced to the Emergency Room, again.
Today the only thing the next second is bringing is a smiling, laughing, and curious, two and a half year old acting like R2-D2 by walking around with a storage bucket over his head while making all sorts of beeping sounds. Okay, and it is also bringing a stubborn, mischievous, troublemaker, but that side of him doesn’t often faze me because I am just so grateful. So grateful that he never had another seizure; that he never received the final life long diagnosis of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy; that I won’t ever have to check “epileptic” on the thousands of school forms; that I won’t have to tell him, “Sorry babe, you can’t get a drivers license;” that I don’t have to worry that if I look away for one split second that a seizure will start and I will miss the opportunity to give him his emergency medicine on time, just as I did during the last one.
Yes, I am grateful for so much. But today, today I think I am most grateful for the tears for they are finally pushing all my fears and sad memories out of my heart. The tears are forcing me to finally feel all that I have felt for the last year and half regarding this matter but was afraid to feel because I felt I needed to be strong, and calm, and pulled together to manage the situation. The tears are bringing the traumatic feelings of having to watch my baby son seize numerous times, of having to watch his lips turn blue and his eyes become black and distant and gone, of having to then feel that it was my fault because I didn’t give him the emergency medicine fast enough and that is why his last seizure was so horrific, to my mind.
The tears are helping me to breathe a little easier and for that, I am so grateful.
I have lived much of the last year in a constant state of anxiety; anxiety that a seizure would strike, that the meds wouldn’t work, and that, well, that shit would hit the fan and my darling precious baby would suffer damage from the seizure. After all, that was starting to be the doctor’s concern. All of the doctors, even though none of them agreed on #4’s final diagnosis because he presented different than the norm, agreed that his seizures were too severe and potentially damaging to be left untreated. They all agreed that one more seizure and serious precautions would be needed. So I spent a lot of the last 365 days in a quiet state of panic, slowly counting down every day we survived, seizure free.
At first we went two and a half months, the longest period without a seizure. I jumped for joy. Then it was three straight months, and four and five and six. Soon I stopped counting because I felt safe, I felt that we were in the clear. Then September came, bringing the anniversary of his first seizure – and the beginning of germs season at school, a potential trigger for him. My anxiety increased; I just wanted to get through the sick season seizure free, I just wanted to get to today to say, “YES! We have gone one year seizure free!” because I knew if he did make it, that the doctors would feel that we were indeed, in the clear.
So here I am, here we are, in the clear and yet everything seems blurry because I am crying my eyes out over such immense relief that I can let go of my fears…and such intense love for my little guy.
* * * * *
So here I am, totally over emotional wondering if I should post this because it has nothing to do with yelling. But it does. I held my tears of fear in for over a year. While my fears might have been legit, holding them in probably wasn’t. I mean, it was a normal thing to do, but based on how good I felt today, how I finally felt free like I was me and that I wasn’t hiding anything, I wish I had let them out a little sooner.
Bottled up emotions do me no good; they just push up against me on the inside, day in and day out, urging me to open my big fat mouth with a huge yell so they can get out. I used to be really good at letting my emotions out; then I became worried what people would think of me. So I stopped. And I started keeping it all in, trying to stay together for the sake of opinions surrounding me. The truth? The four most important opinions to me (well five if you include my husband) are those of my kiddos.
I know bottled up emotions make me cranky and prone to yelling and probably create a not so high opinion of me at times. Sure, my kids are going to have not so high opinions of me at times – I am cool with that and welcome it as it probably means I am parenting right! But if I can prevent some of those moments by bottling up less and sharing more, I am going to do so. Today’s tears proved to me how much I have been holding in this past year. Yes, year. It is no coincidence this year was harder to yell less than the previous one where I shared more! So there is another reason I am grateful for my tears today: they have opened my eyes up to the fact that I need to start opening up more so that I can more easily yell less and love more.