Trying to Make it as a Mom without Seizures…

So, it’s been an absolutely crazy couple of weeks. Andrew is always, always begging me to limit my stress and how much I take on, but I think this week put me over the top! Simply put, it was self-induced.

I planned this super cute (at least to me it was super cute–not sure what everyone else thought of it!) birthday party for Hayden’s 5th birthday at the cider mill. You see, Michigan is known for its cider mills, and since moving back ‘home’ 3 1/2 years ago, I can’t get enough of them and I’ve taught my daughter to appreciate the gooey, warm, fried donuts and the tangy cider, as much as I do!

Hayden...at the start of the birthday party

Her actual birthday was on Tuesday, October 12th, and on Wednesday the 13th, we had 21 little 4 and 5 year-olds, and parents, for a two-hour party at Yates Cider Mill. What a blast! The birthday week included burgers one night with my Mom (Hayden’s choice for a birthday dinner with Gaga), Chinese food with Daddy and Mommy on Friday night (you’ve never seen a child slurp down Won Ton soup like mine can!), pizza and ice cream after the last soccer game with her two best buddies on Monday, and finally…yesterday, her 5-year-checkup. That’s where I pretty much stepped over the edge.

For whatever reason, my child is absolutely petrified of shots. I know so many kids have these fears, but I can never figure out why a child who has endured her mother’s 5 brain surgeries, has actually helped my neurosurgeon peel the bandages off of my bald head…why does she freak out when she’s getting her flu shot, not to mention hyper-ventilating when she gets her finger pricked for the hemoglobin test? This is a little girl who knows seizure safety better than probably 95% of the world. She has ‘a special pillow’ that she puts under Mommy’s head when I have a bad one and can dial my husband and my mother, if need be. But, when she sees that little plastic bin of shot paraphernalia, she freaks out. Yesterday was no exception.

We made it through the exam in perfect form. She told our pediatrician everything she wanted to know…her favorite foods, how she’s doing in school, the fact that she and Daddy are working on the no-training-wheels thing, her love for skiing. And then, the nurse walked in with THE BIN and all hell broke loose. I seriously think you could hear her screaming all the way to Indiana. I hugged her, all 46 pounds of her, and tried to calm her down. She jumped off of the table and crumpled up into a little ball on the ground–just in her underpants and the paper gown–screaming, “get the shots away from me…get me out of here!!” That’s when I picked her up and tried to get her back on the table, and she kicked me in the stomach–then, it happened. Sight in my left eye went black, my head spun, my hearing went…and I couldn’t remember her name. Oh…and I pretty much fell on top of her, which made her even more upset. I vaguely heard the nurse articulate ‘a plan’–to just stick her in the thigh while I was seizing on top of my 5-year-old shrieking daughter. Of course, I don’t think the nurse knew what was going on…but someone in the hall got it (probably our pediatrician who knows of my Epilepsy), and sent my Mom in, who was reading a magazine in the waiting room.

“Why didn’t you ask me to come in earlier?” my Mom asked, as she held Hayden and tried to calm her down, post shots. Hayden was telling her, through her gasps and tears, about the trauma she had just endured.

Good plan, huh? I guess I was so determined to make it through this on my own–as a ‘normal’ Mom…one who doesn’t have seizures, or at least doesn’t let seizures rule her life. I think I know now that I should never look a gift horse in the mouth…or in this case, a way to prevent a seizure.

My sweet 5-year-old!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Paulette George October 20, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Alysse, My heart goes out to you and your beautiful daughter. What a day! I am so glad that your mom was there to help. Thank you for being honest and willing to share your storie(s). I know it’s not easy living with epilepsy, but you are one strong mama! God Bless.

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