There is great satisfaction and an overwhelming calmness when I get into a routine. Some people may find completing the same tasks day after day daunting…but not me. Routine to me means my daughter is on a good healthy streak. It means we are not running to the emergency room at all hours. It means our life feels a sense of normality. It means now, for possibly a moment, which could be days or months, something has clicked and we can breathe a little. I LOVE routine. Routine instills hope for what the future could be.
When we get into routine, we rest better. I actually sleep. Sleep is a wonderful gift that I never truly appreciated, until I had kids. Sleep is something that eluded me for months after my daughter’s last seizure.
One year ago, we were suddenly awoken by the most disturbing broken, shaky cry from our daughter, Olivia. We didn’t know immediately, but once we picked her up, we knew she was in a seizure. Olivia was three years old at the time and had never had a seizure since birth. For anyone that has never seen a child or their own child in a seizure state, it is by far the most terrifying and alarming feeling to witness your child in such a state. We immediately called 911. The type of seizure Olivia had was grand mal and it lasted for 45 minutes. The EMT ‘s had difficulty stopping the seizure, but we’re able to stabilize her enough to transport her to the ER. Luckily she recovered over the next 24 hours and there was no lasting effects from it.
The routine of rest and peace within our lives was broken for months after this. I couldn’t sleep, for when I closed my eyes the visions of seeing my child in such distress, played like a movie, over and over in my mind. I would awake suddenly, immediately jumping out of bed and running to her room, at the mere sound of anything out of the ordinary.
I knew in order to end this traumatic behavior, I needed to reintroduce routine back into our lives. Routine couldn’t guarantee another seizure from happening, but routine could keep me on the level so the next time I wouldn’t fall apart. A year later, we are all doing good. Olivia has been seizure free and her health has been wonderful. I still focus on having a daily routine, because when you have a child with health problems, those problems are out of your control. Routine, whatever it may be, stabilizes the sense of control back into your life. It gives me a sense of feeling like my feet are planted firmly on the ground. That’s an important feeling to have as a special needs parent. Far too often, the lives we live can make us feel like we are spiraling. I recommend, if you haven’t done so already, develop your own routine…you will be happy you did!