Tuesday, February 8, 2011

When Life Throws you a Curve Ball

Last Wednesday morning, I awoke to J's voice. . "hurry, hurry wake up, I need you". Of course I went running as he violently switched on the bedroom light to alert my sleepy state. The hour was still 6 AM, and obviously he was already awake. . I followed him through the house as he led me in a hurry towards our oldest son's room. "R is having a seizure, I need you to call 911". I stood there in shock, in a matter of seconds my sleepy brain raced to First Aid training. As foster parents, we have sat through numerous classes of First Aid response. My mind traced to seizure. . call 911. But for some reason, I had to see him. There he was on his bedroom floor, and all I could think was, "do something". I raced by to the kitchen wall phone. (where is a cordless when you need it!) I called our campus safety as that is protocol for summoning an ambulance. I immediately told the operator what the situation was. . I got to work.

I thought of our close friends and immediately called as he is a doctor. The Holy Spirit obviously prompted me to call, as she immediately answered and her own son had been through this. She walked me step by step in a few quick seconds of what was going on, what would happen in the ambulance, and what would happen at the hospital. I swallowed back tears and a lump, I knew I had to keep going. I immediately raced back to R's room, I had a plan. By then the 911 operator was patched through and she read to me, what I already knew. I graciously listened anyway as it calmed me down. I was nervous for R. What did all of this mean?

R came to live with us when he was 9 years old. He is now 17. Almost a man. My heart sunk as I thought quickly of what the coming weekend held for him. State. Wrestling. Finals. What would happen? I started praying. By then the campus safety was at my house. R was nearing the end of his seizure by this point and my husband stayed by him like a servant. Held his hands and head preciously as a father would. I watched from above. Helpless. Moments passed and the ambulance arrived with paramedics that would take over. By this point, they were able to somewhat awaken R from his sleepy state. Although R seemed to have a state of amnesia, he knew his Dad and even told the paramedics, "that's my dad, I know that".

As they escorted him to the ambulance, Ann Claire awoke for her morning bottle, I knew I had to leave the scene as other children needed me. J would be with R. . I went to rock her and in the darkness of that early morning room. I prayed before the Lord and laid my heart at his feet. I begged God to not let this be a brain tumor and that if it was to heal him right there in the back of that ambulance. I begged God to give us all peace in whatever we were facing. . this was going to be a bumpy ride and please help us hold on. I needed that moment with the Lord. I rocked my sweet daughter back to sleep and prayed as I went to awake my other children.

By this point, Papa had arrived to help get the kids to school. I awoke them one bedroom at a time and gingerly and softly told them, yes, an ambulance had just been at our home. . R was ok, but they needed to know. Sweet M. E, she of course started bawling right there first thing. . she has the most sensitive heart. As the kids left my house, I started the texts. I sent them to my truest of prayer warrior friends. . we needed intercession before the throne of grace. And boy did it happen. God worked mightily in my heart as I felt such peace that God would take care of our boy. He. did.

The results showed a "beautiful" CT scan as the neurologist on call put it. Thank goodness for that answer to prayer. He was going to be released to come home, prescribed an anti-seizure medication, and was even cleared to wrestle in his tournament. Whew. BUT. . what did all this mean. The word epilepsy was quickly being thrown around, and I didn't even know what all of this meant. Sweet friends offered phone calls of their own stories. . one by one I heard of teenagers his own age known by close friends of ours that had similar experiences. It seemed this may be the diagnosis we may get once his follow up appointment rolled around the next week.

I began to connect dots in my head as the memories flooded me throughout that day. R has always been a sleepwalker and talker. Over the past 6 months, there had been a handful of times we have found R the next morning with what seemed to be a bumped nose in the night, a bruised eye here or there. We have always laughed it off as, "did you fight someone in your sleep"? He always has the disposition to laugh at himself too. "I guess so", he would always say. But now I knew we were getting the answer to the riddle we had been trying to figure out. .why did he bite his tongue though?, why the headaches? why the blood in his sleep? It never occurred to me this could be seizures. Never.

Today R was diagnosed with JME. Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy. I have some educating of myself and the family I need to do, but first and foremost this is totally treatable with medication!!! Praise God for answered prayers, answers to questions, and solutions that will help him live a normal life. Fortunately a new habit of having to take medicine won't be that hard for R, however a battery of more formal tests await us. MRIs, EEGs, kidney functioning tests, blood work. I hate it FOR him.

Praise the Lord, he pulled through his wrestling meet very well. He finished 9th or so in his weight class, and did his very best. The beauty of this boy is that he. is. always. happy. He looks forward. He faces the present and the future. He could sit and pout about his past, but he doesn't. He is always an example to all of my children of what helping out, having a great attitude, and trying your best really means. God will use this small story one day for His glory. For whatever reason, R needed to know so many people loved him, support him, and were praying for him. He got in the car Sunday morning after church and said, "man, I love our church.". I asked him, "what do you mean?". He said, " I mean, so many people care about me, they asked about me, prayed for me, and told me, even adults I hardly know." Precious. Even in his moment of uncertainty he was thankful for the blessings of love and community. God. always. has. a. plan. Even when it's a curve ball.

6 comments:

Work In Progress said...

Even though we don't really know R personally, I have told D many times that he just appears to be such a fine young man. We see the respect he has for you and J, the way he helps the other children, the way he is so attentive in church,...and now this post just confirms what I had already seen in his attitude and actions. That's a good thing when our actions and attitudes match up with who we really are...
So glad he is going to be just fine. We will be praying for him and the impending tests and new medication.
Bless you and J for all you pour into your kids...it definitely shows...
R

stephanye said...

Oh Wendy, tears in my eyes as I read this post. We have been praying for Richard and you all. He is such a neat kid. We will continue to pray for him.

Mom of Eleven said...

WIP,
Thank you so much for your kind words. Yes, please continue to pray. Feels so good to know there are prayer warriors out there helping us "hold up our arms"! Glory to God!
w

Mom of Eleven said...

S,
It means the world!
love y'all!
w

macmama said...

Wendy - Lots of tears as I read this post. Lawson and I got to know R a little on the ski trip - as Lawson was the guest speaker and we hung out with R over those few days. So - even outside the realm of "work" - this has affected us and Lawson and I have been praying for R and for y'all and for what all this means. I am so thankful he has y'all and that the Lord is beginning to reveal to him how many people really are in his court. Love y'all - continuing to pray for the days ahead!!

elizabeth said...

Oh my! You may have forgotten, but I can relate from first hand experience how scary this is! I will never forget the night/EARLY morning that M had her first seizure. I can also remember how God led me and carried me through those frightening hours of uncertainty. M was diagnosed with BREC and I was surprised you didn't say the same with R b/c of similariy in the night walking, etc. Call me..I know a great pediatric neurologist in Atlanta (if you haven't already found one). I don't know why we don't have a ped. neurologist here, but we don't. Glad you found answers.