“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” — Isaiah 41:10
At age 16, my daughter Tiffany had her very first seizure. The lights were on in her bedroom if I remember correctly, because all I did was run in there and see Tiffany laying more on her left side seizing against the wall, and it was so close to her window which was a concern to me.
When her younger sister Stephanie, entered my bedroom so frightened, I couldn’t imagine what could be so terribly wrong. Tiffany had just gone to bed! I had never seen a grand mal seizure, but my instincts told me that was what was happening. I observed her, I was beside her so I knew she was safe, and I calmly told her frightened sister to call 911 and to tell them she was having a seizure. Not sure where the calmness came from. Maybe my training as a nurse aide helped, but God kept me calm inside to do what was needed to be done. I just knew I had to stay beside Tiffany til the storm was over.
By the way, Stephanie did an amazing job. Even though she was as scared as I have ever seen her before or since, she did what was asked of her and called 911 and let paramedics in. Maybe it was my calmness that helped her to do her job.
The first few moments I couldn’t see Tiffany. She was hitting or seizing against the wall, tilted more to her left side. I instinctively pulled her more toward me to see her or to see what was wrong. I cant explain the look on her face, just I knew something was terribly wrong. Within a few minutes her mouth had foam coming out of the side of her mouth and she began to relax (which was such a relief!) By then the paramedics were at the foot of her bed.
They began asking Tiffany’s name, what date it was etc. then proceeded to ask her if she had taken any drugs that night. I told them straight out “My daughter doesn’t use drugs.” She eventually shook her head no that she didn’t use anything. She just kept saying “Its so Beautiful! So many pretty colors!”
You know, I don’t remember the month, but it was such a COLD night that night. It was around 10 pm or so, and I remember as they were taking Tiffany away in the ambulance to the Hospital, I didn’t even bother putting socks on. I just wanted to get there with her to be beside her. No heat in the car. Then eventually in the middle of the night they decided to transport her to a different hospital cause they saw something on the CAT Scan and decided Childrens hospital could take a better view at what they were seeing. My father, her grandpa, couldn’t come with me this time as he always did, so Tiffany’s younger sister Stephanie and I were pretty much on our own to find Children’s Hospital. We finally arrived there at 2 am. I was frantic cause Tiffany had been out of my sight for at least an hour or more. I was so happy when they lead me to her in that strange place, cause before that time, I had barely even been out of our home town let alone find my way in a different city at 2 am!
As the events unfolded at the house, I did awesome holding it together and controlling the situation. But inside, I was falling apart. There is NOTHING IN THIS WORLD worse than not being able to help your child. NOTHING!! “I” held our nest together. “I” was mother, father, the one who mended broken hearts, provided food to my kids kept a roof over our heads, etc. But this was something out of my control. I couldn’t fix it. I could only wait patiently for the doctors to tell me what was wrong, yet feeling helpless because for once, They were in control. Grandpa couldn’t be with us because he couldn’t leave grandma. HE was definitely feeling helpless because he was always sides! Tiffany was there a total of 2 days and nights I believe, left the 3rd day. Stephanie and I never left the hospital once. We stayed in the room with Tiffany the whole time sleeping in the chairs provided. Every day a person would come by with books from the library, and I grabbed all the books on seizures, so I got some information that way as the doctors didn’t come in too much to do any explaining. You know, that was the first time ever that I didn’t have grandpa to lean on. He of course couldn’t leave grandma and I remember how much that hurt him as well not being able to be with us to help us. He was beside himself knowing something was wrong with Tiffany, yet couldn’t help. That had to be a horrific time for him as well. Maybe that was the beginning of God leading me to lean on HIM—making me stronger to relying on HIM—knowing that one day I…we would no longer Have grandpa to lean on!
One thing I would try and advise other parents or loved ones who witness this or sees their loved one going thru this is to TRY and stay calm. I know its not an easy thing to do while watching the love of your life going thru this. Just know that God is in control, and maybe, just maybe, HE is yearning for you to lean on HIM, the Great Physician. Doctors are good, but leaning on God will give you the peace that surpasses all understanding while you and your loved one is going through this storm in your lives. (Not only was I the mother, the father, the healer of boo boo’s, the one who kept food in our mouths and a roof over our heads, But I was the one who was the DECISION maker in our lives! It was almost like I felt like a little girl who had no control at that moment, it was in the hands of the doctors. That’s a scary feeling when you have no control of the one who you always took care of.)
After my grandma Freeda had died, I had found her Bible and had found a Bible verse hand written over and over again in her Bible. Since then, that entire verse had remained instilled in my brain since my grandmother was such an influence in my life as a Christian. I think that night, that verse kept me calm through this storm.