“Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune” is one of my favourite quotes. I first read it sitting on the toilet – Mum had framed Desiderata and hung it on the wall. I was a child when I read it and it was for my child that I repeated it.
The wee man hasn’t been well. I told the health visitor about the little body spasms he’d been having and she said she was “99.9% sure it was nothing to worry about”. The GP said the same thing ten minutes later, after examining him. She suggested a referral to Yorkhill Children’s Hospital “to be on the safe side” and I was happy enough. When the spasms became more frequent that afternoon I decided I wasn’t waiting for the referral and took him straight in.
What followed was one of the most stressful events of my life, and yet I have surprised myself with how well I’ve coped. I got a fright when the doctor told me we’d have to spend the night (we had tickets for Take That and I honestly thought we’d make it) but I believed they were playing it safe. I functioned on two hours sleep as the nurses checked him and the neurologist examined him and the doctor attached the probes for the EEG scan. I listened carefully as the neurologist returned and explained the wee man was having epileptic seizures and would need an MRI scan. I cried and held my wee family and then resolved to think positive. I resisted the ‘what ifs’ and ignored the worst case scenarios and held my husband’s hand.
The next day we waited in a beautiful, miniature garden sandwiched between the main building and the MRI department as the wee man had his brain scanned. Three hours later, the news was positive. The scan was clear. We could rule out a lot of horrible possibilities. More tests were done on his various fluids and they all came back clear. We learned a new word – carbamazepine – and have been giving the wee man a millilitre every 12 hours.
We were discharged with encouraging news: the most likely outcome will be that the wee man will grow out of it. He has remained a complete star throughout the whole experience, smiling at all the nurses and feeding and sleeping as normal. I guess I’ve drawn my strength from him. It just didn’t matter that I was tired and worried and upset – I had to be his mummy. If we can get through the last four days, we can get through anything – and I draw incredible strength from that.