I’ve been in a haze for the past almost-week. The sleepless nights started almost exactly a week ago after Z Nugget experienced her first—and God willing last—febrile seizure. The fear, worry, and extreme thoughts of negativity that were a result of my baby’s febrile seizure are things I don’t wish upon any parent. These feelings made me realize how much anguish some parents feel as they live alongside their ill children, breathing heavy not knowing how to help or when they’ll have to let go. My heart goes out to these parents and all parents who have seen—or are seeing—their children in pain. (The link is to Xavier’s Lung Fund, a family in constant need.)
As you may sense, there is still some emotional wear and tear lingering around, but I hope this sense of worry never leaves my body as it is what keeps me aware and present for my children. It’s when we are reminded that life is so fragile, that none of us (no matter how strong or rich or successful we are) are immune to illness and much less death. But let me stop here as the tone to this post wasn’t meant to sound depressive. My intention was actually a lighter hopeful tone, hence the title.
I wanted to check in with all of those who care to read my words. I wanted to let you know that Z Nugget is well. We are all well, some of us more than others. I think as soon as our life gets back to normal—whatever that means—and we can get some solid sleep in, we’ll all be great.
My original intention for this post, before I got sidetracked with my emotional talk, was to share with you what has kept me sane…
Seeing the positive in everything. Although it’s not the first thing I do nor is it the easiest thing to do, it does make a huge difference to know that my situation could be so much worse. Looking for the light—this isn’t to say I found it every time—never failed to make me grateful for what was happening, to have my family together, and to safely enjoy the sunrise and sunset every day regardless of our situation.
Accepting I can’t do it all myself. This wasn’t so difficult during this situation due to feeling the kind of fear I’ve never felt before. This fear consumed all sense of strength from me. What normally would have been difficult for me was easier for me to do because of the immense doubt my heart experienced. Accepting I could not do it all myself helped me to reach out for help.
Reaching out for help. I wrote about Z Nugget’s febrile seizure the day after it happened. In a sense, it was my way of reaching out for support. I needed words of love. I needed light. Now that I reflect on it, I was in search of words affirming that the situation wasn’t my fault. Although I didn’t find the last part until days later, I did receive support, love, and prayers from family and friends. I received comments, messages, calls and texts making sure Z Nugget was okay. My heart felt hope upon reading words like these from a beautiful momma-friend of mine, “…always remember, you have an army of us behind you both and we will always be here to give you support.”
Accepting help. This normally would have been another difficult one, but feeling fearful and hopeless seems to have made it easier. I remember willing to accept help from anyone while I held Z Nugget in my arms as she underwent her seizure. I am grateful for Josh who took care of Little Nugget and me while I took care of Z Nugget. I am grateful for my mom who took over while Josh was at work. I know things would not be as smooth as they are right now had I not accepted their help.
Listening to experiences. Reaching out for help and accepting it brought many to share their experiences with me. At times this was difficult because I’d get emotional and begin feeling guilty again, but overall, this helped me not feel alone and reminded me that this was only momentary.
Staying hydrated. Eating and having an appetite isn’t always easy as a parent, much less when you are a parent to a sick child. I tried to at least stay hydrated as much as possible to avoid feeling more physically fatigued than I already did from the lack of sleep.
Staying in my pajamas. I think this was is self-explanatory.
Taking pictures. I tried doing one thing that made me feel myself while in the haze. Other than writing, photography is another thing that reminds me of who I am and what makes me happy. Taking pictures helped me navigate the fear I felt after seeing my Z Nugget turn pale and lose responsiveness. Taking pictures helped me document Z Nugget’s journey to recovery.
Nurturing my mind. I found that I naturally retreated from social media because I would feel guilt. I cannot explain why, but I did. I found comfort in nurturing my mind by listening to audio books so that I wouldn’t get stuck feeling guilty.
Allowing myself to be fully in the moment. After Z Nugget’s episode, my entire world revolved solely around her. I didn’t care about anything else other than just making sure that she was going to be okay. This set the tone for the rest of my days with her. Nothing else existed (other than Josh and Little Nugget, of course) and this allowed me to be available to her every need.
Unconditional love. This is the most important one. This has been my saving grace because it has helped me feel even the tiniest bit of control throughout this hazy time. Knowing that one of the main reasons why my baby is doing better is because of my unconditional love, my ability to put her needs before mine, assures me that I’m not completely helpless after all. It assures me that I’m doing the best I can, and will not seize to for the ones I brought earth-side. My unconditional love has helped me see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Cheers to things that helps us keep our sanity!
For the audio version of this post, click below.