I was holding him when it happened.
I had allowed a bit of peace come over me as we were finally at urgent care where a doctor could help my little boy. A very kind-hearted nurse had just left the room after giving Jonas, my three-year-old son, ibuprofen for his increasing temperature. And he even made her laugh despite the fact that his little body was worn out.
And then, moments later after making the nurse laugh, he turned around in my arms, and his body went stiff…and began shaking.
“Focus,” I told myself.
“Lay him on his side. Protect his head. Get help. Then let him have his seizure because there’s nothing you can do.”
That’s what I heard instantly in my head in the five seconds it took me to lay him down and call a doctor for help.
Doctors and nurses came and I had to just let it happen.
It was completely out of my control.
As tears rolled down my face, my son endured his third seizure. I had to step out of the room.
It is beyond difficult to live through those two minutes during the seizure and 10 minutes in his postictal state. I had to let his body do what it was going to do. Even worse, the doctors couldn’t stop it.
I focused on the ony thing I could control…me.
Despite the tears rolling down my face, I steadied my breathing, regained composure and entered back into the room where my son endured this. I waited for his eyes to open.
I knew, if I let myself think about it, the tears would roll again. So, instead I focused on what I had to do.
Be there for him.
As the paramedics loaded him in his car seat so they could transport him to the hospital, he finally showed an awareness of what was going on…he was scared and didn’t want to be in that seat. That’s when I knew he was coming back to us.
I hated this. But, as in all difficult challenges in life, we had a choice. To be courageous despite fear for our son. To be steady and focused. To be composed. And, to be there for him even when we couldn’t control the circumstances or outcome.
I found strength in that moment. I found strength in me.
I don’t ever want anything bad to happen to my son, but I do know it is the most difficult challenges in life that test us, that call us, that even beg for us to be our strongest person.
And, if I can find courage, focus and composure in a time like that, there’s really nothing I can’t handle.
As we return to normalcy tomorrow, I keep things in perspective and am reminded of what I am really capable of.
And, I have a heart of gratitude because my son is now on the mend. There is still the uncertainty of future seizures, but his smile is back and he is back to his old self, always making others smile. (He actually picked up his humor and kindness at the hospital when he called the nurse “pumpkin.”)
Gratitude. Courage. Composure. Focus. Strength. That is what I choose.