A year ago today, Annika was 3 days old.
A year ago today, our lives started changing forever.
A year ago today, Birgitte had her first seizure. We were sitting down to supper, I was holding Annika and had taken one bite. Birgitte had been squirming a bit and had gotten off of her chair, but was starting to climb back on it. She only got one leg up when she seemed to freeze, slid off the chair onto the floor, and stared at the light above the table while she was convulsing. I knew as soon as I looked at her eyes what was happening. If you google grand mal seizure, you'll find lots of descriptions of what we saw.
I called Mom to come stay with the 3 big kids while Kirk and I took Birgitte and baby Annika to the hospital down the street. The big kids were quite shaken, and I hoped Mom could calm them down; she knew enough about seizures that she could answer their questions and reassure them. I thought I was calm, handling it well. Everything went well at the hospital, Birgitte slept for about 30 minutes, the Dr. ordered basic tests to rule out infection or fever, and then we came home. Just before we left the hospital, I realized that I was wearing 2 different shoes. I guess I wasn't as calm as I thought.
Most of the rest of her story is told in other places throughout this blog: her second seizure, EEG, medication problems, and the return of the girl we knew.
Birgitte is back to herself now; no more droopy eyelids, glassy eyes, balance problems, stiff arms, or trembling hands. No more impulsiveness, (aside what is normal for a 5 year old) no more forced laughter, no more fighting sleep, no more biting, pinching or hitting when she doesn't get her way. She is singing constantly, playing the piano and is reading again. She has been seizure free for 7 1/2 months, and off of medication for almost 4 of those months. We're pretty sure that stress and lack of sleep trigger the seizures, so we're working hard to keep her well rested. It's paying off so far. For this, and for the wonderful, sparkling child that she is, we are incredibly thankful.