This question taps into some of my most vulnerable areas. But I haven’t been in the business of hiding from vulnerability when I blog, so I will share.
I am most anxious about losing the people closest to me. When Boy #2 was young, I used to dream about him drowning night after night. He was so, so sickly as a small guy. The summer he was 6, he got a stomach bug that had him vomiting for days. Boy #1 was also sick and we got a couple days of anti-nausea medication for each of them and Boy #1 was better after that. Boy #2 did not get better and was vomiting at night almost every night. He seemed to be losing a ton of weight and the night he couldn’t keep even water down, we had to take him to the ER. He got down to 35 pounds, losing about 10 pounds when he really couldn’t afford to lose more than 2-3 pounds. We got in to see a specialist quickly because he was so underweight. The gastro was throwing things around like cystic fibrosis and different parasites. The first test for cystic fibrosis came back inconclusive, so we had to retest right before he had an endoscopy. Thankfully that test was negative and the endoscopy didn’t reveal anything structurally wrong. He just needed to medicine for a few months to heal his stomach and we had to watch his diet and limit acid foods during that time. At 16, he still struggles to keep weight on but we haven’t had any other horrible experiences with him.
When Boy #1 was 16 months old, he had his first febrile seizure. His lips turned blue and he couldn’t stay awake. The fire dept and ambulance came and we took him to the hospital. His temperature had gone from normal to 103.9 within minutes and that spike caused a seizure. That was the scariest of his four seizures, and the only time I thought we would actually lose him due to a seizure. What was crazy was that it was my first time witnessing a seizure in a human but my dog growing up had tons of seizures. Something about what he did reminded me of her and I just knew it had been a seizure. At the hospital, we were accused of being abusive, especially because he had a bump on his forehead from where he smacked it while running through a Sears the weekend prior. I broke down when the nurse kept at me about hitting him.
I have to work really hard to not let myself down the road of losing my family and close friends. My brain easily starts feeling those emotions and I will cry like I’ve actually lost them if I think too hard. Sometimes at night my brain gets stuck replaying the drowning dreams I used to have, or the zombie dreams I had when Girl was a baby and I would lose her to the zombies. Once those things start playing on repeat, I can’t sleep, function, or even stop thinking about what I’m seeing. That level of anxiety sucks. I now have Ativan I can take if I start down that road, but thankfully I haven’t needed to since I got the Ativan.
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