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How I Found Peace After My Son Had a Seizure

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It was inevitable. I had been waiting for this moment ever since an EEG had shown that my 3-year-old had a propensity for seizures due to the stroke he suffered as an infant. Nothing could have prepared me for seeing my toddler, normally bright and full of energy, rendered completely immobile by the storm going on in his brain.

It’s strange to think I wasn’t prepared, considering I was baptized by fear into motherhood when my then 5-day-old suffered nonstop seizures from a stroke that nearly took his life.

Katie Rose Buckley's son.



But this was different. He had been doing so well and had gradually gotten better over the past three years. I’m seasoned now, steeled even, but that meant I have found more than one companion in these hard times. Fear, always lingering, is easy to give in to during these times.

But there is also joy. So this time I give in to joy. And even as my son is loaded into an ambulance with my husband while I stayed behind for our 1-year-old, who still requires my milky reassurance at night, I felt peace. You read that right, peace.

If I focus on the fear, I know it will consume me, and I can’t let it. I refuse to become embittered and ruined by these events. So when fear flashes the sight of my son’s blue lips and whispers, “He might not make it this time,” I counter with the knowledge that he’s robust and resilient.

And not too long following peace comes joy. Joy comes when my son wakes up at 5 a.m. in the critical care unit and immediately demands television and food the same as every other morning. Joy is when he grabs both sides of my face and touches his nose to mine. Joy is when he’s removed from monitors and is finally mobile. Joy is when he holds my finger in one hand and with the other clings to his father who is also holding our daughter as we walk through the double doors that open automatically for our little family as we leave the hospital.

Joy is the huge grin when he gets into Daddy’s truck. Joy is enjoying the beautiful sunset while driving home. Joy is scrubbing the sticky marks from leads left on my son’s chest and washing his smelly toddler body for the first time in days and tucking him safely into bed.

Though I feel naïve sometimes, and though fear creeps in every now and then, I will give myself to joy. I will settle into the comforting arms of the peace that follows joy and let tomorrow take care of itself while I enjoy contentment in the wake of trauma.

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Originally published: March 29, 2016
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