PANIC: a sudden, overpowering terror.
It was a normal morning. Son and Daughter woke early, played briefly, ate breakfast, and returned to their toys. I took advantage of the peaceful window of opportunity to fit in a shower. Upon exiting the shower, I heard crying…right on schedule for our normal morning routine. I prepared myself to mediate a toy dispute. Instead, I discovered that the crying was coming from Son in response to a scrape on his hand. Normal Morning Routine B – swap toy dispute for small injury.
A quick look through the medicine cabinet revealed that we were out of band-aids. What kind of mom runs out of band-aids, you ask? I know band-aids are as essential to childhood as oxygen and dirt. However, the last time I checked our band-aid supply was well stocked. I blame Husband; he uses band-aids at a shocking rate. Paper cut? Put a band-aid on it. Dry skin? Put a band-aid on it. But, I digress…
After some resourceful digging in our travel kit, I found what appeared to be the last band-aid in our home. I applied the band-aid, kind words and kisses and considered the wound healed. All seemed well. For about 30 seconds. Then, I heard a THUD and turned to find Son unconscious on the bathroom floor. He appeared to be convulsing.
Panic is too mild a word, but it will have to do. I picked him up from the floor and began screaming his name. No response. I moved him to a bed and continued screaming his name. What felt like an eternity but was realistically only a minute or two later, he regained consciousness and began to cry – I’m not sure if the tears were from the pain associated with the bump forming on his head from contact with the tile floor or from the fear caused by my loud screaming inches from his face. Regardless, the sound of him crying brought a mixture of joy and relief that I can only compare to the emotions I felt when I heard his first cries outside the womb.
The next hour was filled with a tearful call to the nurse line followed by a visit to the pediatrician. The final diagnoses was vesovegal syncope, likely triggered by pain. His quick recovery of motor skills and lack of severe headache seemed to point away from the episode being a seizure. Son had passed out on a previous doctor visit that involved a shot, supporting the conclusion that he’s just sensitive fellow prone to fainting. Perhaps it’s hereditary; Husband excused himself from our first birthing class after breaking into a sweat in response to viewing a poster of a woman’s inner organs (bladder, uterus, lungs, etc.).
I know that this is not the last time I’ll panic. I also know that a fainting episode is mild compared with the scares other mothers face. But, this event gave me a better understanding of how directly a mother’s well-being is tied to her children and the overwhelming sense of panic a mother experiences when she sees her child in danger and is unable to help.