Saturday, January 9, 2010

Sigh of relief!

A blog that I read brought this verse to my attention:

Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. Philippians 4:6-7

It's hard to remember that when you are in the midst of a crisis, or mini-event, or even a hard day. It's hard to remember to keep your chin up, put it in God's hands, and have faith. It's a lot easier to believe, to believe in, when you are on the sunshine-side of the dark clouds.

I'm feeling the sun rays now. And, no, that has nothing to do with our weather. For goodness sake, it's -4 degrees right now. It feels like things are finally turning around for us...especially health-wise.

None of us have been sick for nearly a month. I don't care if I jinx us; it's worth celebrating. This little accomplishment is especially pertinent, because the hypothesis is that Lainie's seizures aren't caused by one particularly difficult illness, but rather the wear-and-tear on her little body of repeated illnesses. Her seizures in 2008 and 2009 occurred after two months of repeated illnesses. She'd get sick the end of November/first of December; she'd get antibiotic and would feel better for about 10 days. She'd get sick again, another round of antibiotic. Ten days later, she'd get sick again. Repeat ad nauseam, until BAM - clonic-tonic seizure, lasting at least 5 minutes. Set backs. physically, verbally, emotionally.

But not this year! She got sick in early December, high fever, shaking, decidedly a virus. They gave her antibiotic before we realized it was most likely a virus, so we went ahead and finished the antibiotic, in hopes that it would at least ward off any other infections she'd be exposed to. That was December 14. She hasn't been sick since. She's eating strong, maybe even gaining weight. She's happy, she's sleeping well, she'd going great!

Do I think this will last, this illness-free household? No way. In fact, just this morning Lainie woke with a deep cough that only lasted a few minutes but sounded like croup or another infection in her larynx. I expect it'll get worse in the next couple days, despite the oranges snack and vitamin and extra water today. But if and when she gets sick, her body has had time to rest, has had a break from the drain of repeated illnesses, and maybe, just maybe, she won't have one of those terrible seizures again.

I guess a little credit needs to go to the anti-seizure medicine...or maybe a lot of credit. When she has gotten sick, she's gotten really shaky, confused, twitching eyes, jarbled. But, seemingly like a fire extinguisher would put out a fire when it's just starting to smolder, the medicine seems to let the electric storm in her brain smoke but not engulf. The pre-seizure symptoms are there, but not the full-blown seizure.

And that gives me hope, restores my faith, energizes my spirit, makes me smile.

I am still afraid. I'm afraid of what Natalie's going to do for her special trick. Will it be asthma? Pneumonia? Allergies? Heart murmur? Epilepsy? Or some other crazy thing? For no specific reason, I'm especially nervous about February and May. In June, maybe I'll relax completely.

And lest you think I am insane or neurotic, here's a brief list of the major negative events that Jay and I have dealt with in that always-interesting decade starting in 2000:

  • pneumonia in a 4-month-old (2001)
  • a car wreck, partial placental abruption, 2 months bed rest (2003)
  • seizure and (benign) heart murmur in a 2-year-old (2005)
  • appendectomy while 8 weeks pregnant ("If the baby survives the anesthesia, you'll be in the clear") (2005)
  • tornado hits house, removes part of roof (2006)
  • repair on roof results in major water damage to 2 rooms and 5 months of negotiating repairs (also 2006)
  • mystery illness of mine that put me down-and-out for 4 months (2007)
  • tornado flips and totals truck parked at work (2008)
  • seizure (status elipticus), pneumonia, collapsed lung, induced coma in a 20-month-old (2008)
  • my nodule removal and partial thyroidectomy(2009)
It's going to be better. I joke that this is the year of the tornado for us, since we saw them or got hit by them at home in 2004, 2006, and 2008. But, if I've learned anything from everything we've been through, it's that things always have a good ending, often better than it was before the crises. We can always find the good in the bad. We still have our beautiful children with us, safe and sound; that's the only thing we really need.

Even if 2010 brings another major hospitalization or house repair or car replacement, we can handle it. We will pray on it, put it in God's hands, and hope that He doesn't think we should be dealt any more...quite yet.

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