Day of testing and visits with doctors.

I was preparing for a long stay at the hospital today and wanted to get there early enough to spend some time with Maria and Matthew before the doctors started conducting their tests and observations. I was new to all this and not sure what it would be like for Matthew. I was hoping that he would feel comfortable and not be worried. Sometimes I feel I worry more than my son as he seems to take everything in stride. I certainly could learn from him. My wife stayed the night and is always there for both of us and I know this is hard for her and sometimes I feel she keeps it inside too much.

I always urge her to talk and express her feelings as it certainly is better than keeping it inside. For me when I am overwhelmed with worry and my emotions are riding high and I can not talk it out with someone then I tend to seek time alone where I can be in touch with my thoughts. I try to resolve how I feel by doing something that helps alleviate the emotional pain I feel. I have experienced emotional pain before in my family experiences growing up and I would try to escape with obsessive-compulsive behavior. There were times where I would go shopping for clothes or music cds or music dvds as an escape and other times I would take long drives with no particular destination. It was how I dealt with my inability to deal with the situation but this was really not constructive as it was just escaping from something I soon would have to face. I knew also when I did need to talk with someone and when it came to that point I would do so.

With Matthew’s recent medical concerns I found myself leaning on my dad and trying to talk how I felt but I knew I had to exercise restraint at times as I did not want to burden him. I also looked to the church when I was feeling down through prayer and faith. I feel what is very important in one’s life is their faith in our lord. We are not alone and when we realize that we can let go of what troubles us by seeking refuge in Jesus we then can find answers and find healing. My dad would always tell me this as he was a very religious man.

I was ready to head over to the hospital and made sure I left the kitchen light on because I was not sure how late I would be as I expected a full day there and wanted to make sure I was able to talk to Matthew’s doctors. I like listening to my music when I drive and I tend to enjoy all types of music as my tastes vary and my music selections sometimes are determined by my mood. For my drive to the hospital I wanted to listen to music by Matthew Sweet so I listened to his album Girlfriend which I enjoy very much, especially the tracks I’ve been waiting, Girlfriend and Evangeline.

As I parked my car and headed to where Maria and Matthew were I made sure I was prepared for meeting with his doctors and what we should expect. Matthew was happy to see me and I saw he was glad mommy stayed the night. It is very important that we reassure our children that everything will be ok as they sense things and we must exhibit strength so they can be strong too. I would do anything for my son as would Maria and we both feel his triumphs and his pain and we will always be there for him along the road of life and pray that we can enjoy many many years with him and together as a family.

Matthew wanted to read his favorite book, The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss as we waited for the doctors to brief us on the tests they would be performing. I told Matthew that the doctors were going to try to find out why he was having these unexpected seizures and hopefully control them so he can do everything that other kids can do. I am so glad our son enjoys reading and writing. He keeps a journal and he writes his thoughts out in his composition book and he writes stories and creates characters. I am very impressed as he can also memorize lines in movies or lyrics in songs. I’m lucky if I can remember my friend’s telephone number.

As we were reading about Thing 1 and Thing 2 and The Cat in the Hat’s misadventures with the 2 kids the doctor came in and greeted Maria, Matthew and I and he explained with his team assembled nearby that they were to view Matthew by video monitor and read his brain activity and would require another overnight stay and Maria was encouraged to stay the night if she was up to it and I volunteered if she was tired but her maternal instincts were so strong that she had no worries and indicated with firm conviction she would stay as long as necessary.

I asked what was involved with the video monitoring and if Matthew would be comfortable and the doctors explained that the monitoring would start from this point on and continue through the night until tomorrow and would be extended if necessary. The doctor reassured us that Matthew would be fine and they would disconnect when he had to use the bathroom and at mealtimes. The main reason for these tests are to see if he is experiencing seizure activity through the night. The reading of his brain waves would also be used to try to provide any clues for the seizure activity. I was glad that the doctors were conducting these tests and knew that they were very important even though I felt helpless about the seizures as they can happen and without warning. Maria and I put our faith and trust in the doctors and I look to Jesus also for strength and pray for everything to be ok.

So as the testing began we stayed by Matthew’s side and prepared for what lied ahead and I brought a book to read and sat in a chair close by occasionally and would stand by Matthew to provide encouragement and support with Maria by his side as well. I was amazed by all the medical equipment used in conducting his tests and hoped for a good outcome. Matthew was 6 years old and it was a cool day in October of 2005.

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