Wednesday, June 10, 2009

She's not ours

About two weeks ago, Matthew and I were getting ready to spend the afternoon celebrating our anniversary. Our plan was to drop the girls off at our friends house, go eat lunch, shop a little, and go see a movie.

Good plan, right?

Ah, the best laid plans...

We were, literally, walking out the door when our world almost changed forever.

We had our bags packed and were gathering the last-minute things that make our world go round. I had called for Nora to come and get in the van and was getting Elyn ready. Nora yells that she is packing her purse and is coming.

I run back into our bedroom to grab something and hear Nora running into the kitchen, yelling, "Look Daddy!!!!!"

Then, I hear it.

A huge, loud SMACK. And then a huge, loud CRY! (She tripped over her shoes when she ran in to show Matthew her sunglasses and fell against the cabinets, head first).

Matthew scoops Nora up into his arms while I rush into the kitchen to see what kind of damage had been done.

Nora is crying so hard that she is sobbing soundlessly at points. She has been crying for about 30 seconds when the worst moment of my life occurs.

All of a sudden, Nora goes silent, her eyes roll back in her head, and her arms/body go completely stiff-like the beginning of a seizure.

I look at Nora and feel things I have NEVER felt in my life.

I wanted to grab her in my arms and run back, 2 minutes in time, and erase what has just happened. I wondered, in those few seconds that she was "seizing", what our life would be like now with a disabled child. I wanted to take on her pain and make it my own.

As Matthew starts shouting her name I ask him if I should call 911. Right after I uttered those words, she started crying again.

What a beautiful sound!

And I started BAWLING. Matthew gives me the evil eye that basically says, "Turn around and do your crying. DO NOT let her see you falling apart. Get it together!"

I give myself a few seconds to cry out all of my fear and then grab some ice for her head.

I take Nora out of his arms and smother her in my own. Our main goal at this point is to keep her as calm as possible, which is not easy considering she has just dented our kitchen cabinets by running into it with her head.

She is also VERY ADAMANT that ice is not coming near her forehead.

We turn on Clifford and I told her that when Clifford turns off, we will take the ice off of her head. She seems to be okay with that and settles back in my arms to watch some T.V.

For the next 30 minutes Matthew tries to call every doctor we know. And NO ONE answers their phone.

So, Matthew and I had to work together. We definitely didn't want her falling asleep and the cut on her forehead didn't split open any. We knew she was not going to need stitches and we had been quizzing her on all sorts of stuff, checking out her brain functioning.

We talked and talked about it and decided that if we took her into the ER, they would probably just tell us to watch her closely...which, if we would have been watching her any closer than we already were, we would have needed eye drops from the lack of blinking.

About an hour and a half after the incident, she looks at us and says, "I want to go to Gibson's house now." We were ruining her afternoon, apparently, and not sticking with the plan.
We decided to go ahead with our plans and take the girls to Gibson's house for an afternoon of fun.

It was an afternoon of fun for them and an afternoon of recovery for mom and dad.

Matthew and I could not get the image out of our mind of Nora having the seizure. I told him that I was glad we were both there to witness it. That sounds funny, but I was glad because we knew EXACTLY what the other was feeling-the heart stopping, gut dropping feeling. We could sympathize with one another.

I was SO glad that Matthew was there when it happened. I am confident enough in myself that I would have been able to handle it on my own. However, had I been alone when it happened, I would not have been free to cry and release my emotion. Since Matthew was being the rock, I could be the mommy and hurt for my child.

One thing that was crystal clear to me, after it happened, is that Nora is not ours.

She belongs to God. He loves her even more than I do.

If something, life-changing, would have happened to her that day, we would have grieved and hurt. We would probably still be walking around in a trance.

But, I hope and pray, that we would be joyful knowing that she is being loved so much more than we love her now.

I think about those parents who deal with illness everyday of their life. They watch their children suffer daily. I ache for them, those parents, because I had to feel-if for only a second-the damage that is done to their hearts each time their child hurts.

I also respect them and admire them. They are so much stronger than I am and I am sure their faith is deeper and understanding of God and His love, deeper too.

Nora is doing absolutely fine! Her "boo-boo" is healing and, amazingly, never really bruised. When Matthew finally got to talk to his sister, the doctor, she said we did a good job reacting to her injury. She also said that the seizure could have been one of two things: 1. The impact of the fall was so great that it jarred her brain and her body shut down as a reaction 2. Sometimes when little kids cry really hard, they sometimes don't breathe. When they stop breathing, there is a lack of oxygen to the brain and a seizure can occur.

I will admit that we held her a little longer the next few days, watched her a little closer, asked her to be careful a few extra times, and thanked God for her more than usual.

Life can change in an instant. In the blink of an eye. I am so thankful that our life did not completely change, but I am thankful that we were able to see how it could have.

We appreciate our little life so much more. And thank God for our blessings!


Misti said...

I'm so glad she is ok! I work in pediatric neurology and witness seizures often. It's a scary thing...I can't imagine how you must have felt seeing your own child so sick. What a blessing sweet Nora is better!

Laura Beth said...

Life can change in an instant, can't it? I'm glad that she was okay and you were still able to go have some fun. Thanks for your sweet comment . . .

Whitney said...

Oh my goodness- that must have been so scary for you guys. I am so glad that she is okay!

Rachel said...

Oh Dallas - I was practically in tears reading this!! I am so glad that she is okay...Great post!

~aj~ said...

I had chills while reading unbelievably scary. We know that God is good NO MATTER WHAT, but that still doesn't mean we're ever ready to face situations like that. I'm so glad that Nora is okay and that it didn't seem to upset her too bad.

You might ask your doctor about this, but after a very bad head injury that Adam had a young age, we were told in the ER that it is actually okay to let them sleep afterwards and that often times it is good if they do because it gives their body/mind a chance to rest. We were instructed to wake him up every 2 hours during the night and make sure he was still coherent, but when we ran into the ER completely freaking out over the fact that he kept falling asleep, they quickly assured us it was good. Hopefully this will never be an issue in the future, but just so you know.

Holly Aytes said...

Dallas, so glad she is okay. I know how scary that was. Madison slipped between a banister when she was a little over 1 and fell 7 feet and landed on her back on the concrete. She cried for about a minute and then stopped and did the same thing, eyes rolled back in her head, limp body. There was no external injury, no blood or anything. We went to the ER immediately. We endured hours of tests..MRI, CTScan, etc...only to be told she was fine. The neurologist told us she definitely had God on her side. It was a scary thing and I definitely help her close for weeks after that.

Karie said...

Praise God!!!

Kim said...

This brought tears to my eyes, Dallas. A hard lesson to learn as parents, but so true-so completely, entirely and absolutely true! Glad your sweet girl is okay.

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