Warning: This may be a long post. Pardon me because I am lost for the right words.

I have been wanting to write a post about it as soon as we got out of the hospital but honestly, I do not know how to start the post. I am still in the process of finding my niche’ in the blogosphere. I am at a precarious point in my life and I have made drastic changes over the last quarter of the year. None of the things that happened last year prepared me for what was yet to come. I did not see it coming and it still has not completely sunk in to my senses.

Last December 29th, more than a week ago, we rushed our dear Ira to the hospital. It started like any ordinary day. We went down from our room around 10am that day. She felt feverish the night before and even that morning. We checked her temperature and the thermometer read 38 degrees. It did not worry us a bit for she usually has slight fevers and none of it was ever serious.

After she munched bread for her breakfast, she played ball in the yard with her kuya and ate. We were complete that day because my side of the family will be spending New Year in our house. She was having fun until lunchtime. Hubby and I wanted to eat lunch early because we had to attend to some important matters that day. When we were about to eat lunch, dear Ira suddenly went berserk and refused to sit at the table. My Ima (mom in Kapampangan) cooked such good food that we wanted to eat right away as soon as we saw that the table was set. Hubby then asked the maid to take Ira away and play outside while we eat. Ira was crying hysterically then which was not very unusual for us. We thought that once she gets outside, she’ll be pacified.

We haven’t even taken two spoons from our food yet when I heard the maid crying hysterically Ira’s name and running towards the house. Thoughts came rushing to my mind but I couldn’t grasp a single one. Hubby and elder brother J-me ran frantically and I came after them, trying to be calm about it.

What I saw after that moment stuck with me until this very moment. Ira’s face that particular moment remains very vivid to me now, more than anything else in my life. My hands are trembling now just by remembering it.

Ira had her eyes rolled back while her body was twitching and shaking incoherently. Her lips were almost purple and her skin felt cold. My brother was carrying her, shaking her with the intention of waking her up from such a spell, loudly crying out her name. Hubby was doing almost the same. My eyes shifted from Ira’s face to my brother and to my husband. I could clearly remember all their faces even up to now.

I swear that I was dumbfounded right that moment. I went still for a split second like my brain was trying to understand what was happening. They were screaming “sasakyan, sasakyan” and I couldn’t understand anything. All I could remember was the feeling that I lost my daughter. And I was saying quietly “God, is this happening? She is not even two years old yet.”

After a few seconds, I was able to regain my senses. I placed my hands on Ira’s chest. After confirming that she is okay, I shouted “lets go to the hospital!” and ran without anything on my feet. The same goes with my Hubby and brother.

I opened the gate and cried hysterically for a tricycle. One passed by but was occupied by someone else, who was very generous enough to alight and understand the situation. We instructed the driver to go to the nearest hospital which was barely five minutes away from our place. Unfortunately, it was a government hospital and instead of pacifying us, their service sucked big time that such an experience requires another post.

On the way to the hospital, I was holding Ira tightly and I was praying like I never did in my whole life. I was talking to Ira and telling her to stay with me. That whatever was happening to her, Mommy and Daddy will take it all away. I was telling her the whole time that we love her so much. She fell asleep before we reached the hospital but was still irritated and uncomfortable.

After the unbelievable service we received from Mandaluyong Hospital, we transferred to Polymedic (now Dr. Victor Potenciano Medical Center). We received an entirely different service there and they were able to get Ira’s temp in just 10 seconds of being there. A resident doctor immediately approached us and asked about what happened. After explaining to her what happened, she asked if Ira has a pediatrician and we said yes. She said she would advise confinement to observe on Ira’s condition (who was then sound asleep) but we can confirm with her pedia first since there is no urgency because tests can be done on Ira only 6 hours after the seizure. She noticed that hubby and I were not wearing any slipper or shoe. She just told us some precautions and told us not to give any food or even milk to Ira yet.

All the while I was sure it was a convulsion but it was a puzzle to everyone why she had no fever that time. Hubby and I decided to go home and call the Doc Cathy to ask if we should have Ira admitted. This will also allow us to prepare the things we needed.

After going home, I immediately called Doc Cathy and narrated to her in details what happened. She said that we have the option of having Ira admitted to the hospital or observing Ira at home. But since Hubby and I have no medical background, she said it would be better to have Ira confined. She said Ira has to be observed for 24 hours.

So I packed our things and off we went to the hospital.

When the same resident doctor looked at Ira, she was very ambivalent to admit Ira. She had no fever. No coughs or colds. Throats and lungs are clear. She said there was no focus.

She advised that we can watch over Ira and should anything happen, we can rush back anytime since we live nearby. She said Ira can now eat since no tests are expected to be made. So off we went home again feeling somewhat pacified that Ira is okay.

Since we were sort of celebrating that Ira is not ill, we even bought snack at Jollibee and Ira ate her favorite Creamy Macaroni Soup. After eating, she played outside again and even rode her bike. Before sunset, we went inside.

My brother in law and mom in law arrived shortly to check on Ira and about what happened. They missed Hubby for a split second who then went to their house. We were talking in the living room while Ira was playing around. My eldest brother Mike sent me SMS asking me to go online so we could go on Skype. While preparing the computer, I was sending SMS to Hubby about BIL and MIL being at our house. I would take a glance at Ira every now and then. Last I saw her, she was playing beside the couch just near her uncle.

BIL then asked loudly “Ira, anong nangyari sayo?” I immediately stood up and saw my daughter lying beside on the floor, in between the couch and the side table, twitching again like she did that morning. I instantly took her from my BIL and headed to the door. I was shouting my instructions about my bag and my celfone. I rushed back to the hospital again, just with flip-flops this time.

MIL went inside the tricycle and my Ima hopped in carrying water in a container which she placed on Ira’s head. Ira stopped twitching and was somewhat pacified with the drops of water my mom placed on her. On the way to the hospital, I could hear BIL talking over the phone to Hubby telling him we are going to the hospital. All other details went incorrigible to me as I was again praying for my dear daughter.

Traffic was a bit terrible that time because it was rush hour. I swear it was the longest 15 minutes of my life.

By the time we reached the hospital, Ira was again asleep. I was then very certain that Ira will be admitted for tests and observations.

We underwent the usual process of hospital admittance, which to a mother of a one-year-old baby, seems very tedious and unnecessary. By the time I got back to Ira, she was crying hysterically about the oxygen. She refused with all her might for that thing to be placed on her nose. When it was time to put dextrose on her, you can bet she put up a good fight. Up to the last minute that her dextrose was changed to heplock, she was pulling the tube in her hand whenever she could.

We were fortunate that the next day was not a holiday because Ira had to undergo EEG and they don’t have it during holidays.

We had the results the same day and we were advised we could go home that day. But when the neuro-pedia confirmed that the last seizure of Ira happened less than 24hours, she decided we had to spend another night and observe the effects of the anticonvulsant on Ira. That is when we requested for a heplock so she can walk around as she pleased.

The doctor said there were some abnormal activities on the temporal occipital area of her brain. But before I even talked to her, while waiting for our room the day before, I talked to Doc Cathy for a good one hour about Ira’s possible condition. She has discussed to me the possibilities and prepared me for the tests that could be done on Ira. I was crying incessantly that time.

We were discharged from the hospital on the 31st, right before everyone got busy cooking their media noche. Hubby and I were dead tired that day because we barely had sleep for two days. I felt insomniac because I could hardly have three straight minutes of sleep without hearing things in my head. I was afraid to blink my eye on Ira.

I realized that as a mother, nothing will ever prepare you enough for such a situation. I could handle constipation, coughs and colds, fevers and all that overnight stuff. But nothing prepared me for that situation.

We were told that Ira’s case may be a seizure disorder. In layman’s term, epilepsy. Just the mere thought of it scares the hell out of me. A barrage of questions went through my mind and I could not comprehend my feelings.

Doc Cathy was kind enough to go over our place after we were discharged to take a look at Ira. She said one look at Ira will not give you a clue of what happened. She is as normal as any other baby.

She then explained that we can hope for the best. We have no history of epilepsy in both sides of the family and as far as we know, Ira did not have any head trauma. We could not discount the possibility though that one of the previous maids may have seen or caused her to fall or whatever, but we are praying that such never happened. Doc Cathy said that we must pray that this is one of the idiopathic cases. Or just an isolated case that will never occur again.

Since her last seizure was a sudden attack, we are watching after her closely. She is under strict and close supervision which she really hates. Our living room has been turned into a pre-school because we have placed puzzle mats all over to protect Ira in any eventuality.

Doctor said she should not be under stress and should not get tired. She should not be allowed to sleep late and we should avoid letting her see flickering lights. Those things trigger seizures so we must avoid them all.

So right now, Ira has limited playtime. She can only go out of the house to play with a companion. We do not allow her to cry. Whatever it is that she wants, we try to give her. I hope this will not make her spoiled or what, but its our best option as of the moment. We make sure she is asleep early and we make sure she takes her nap/s. It was a very stressful situation to see her having seizures and we do not want it to happen. Ever. Again.

I asked two important questions when I was told of her case. Does seizure happen in the sleep and will she have a normal life?

Both answers are in the affirmative which gave me a whirlwind of emotions. I can only pray for the best and I know that God has reasons for letting that happen.

Doc Cathy said that there is a great chance that it is not a seizure disorder because some disorders are patently confirmed with the first EEG. The fact that the neuro-pedia could not categorically say that its a seizure disorder means that there is a big chance that it is not. And I am fervently counting on that.

Ira is taking medications now which we mix with her milk every morning and she is due for a second EEG next week.

When the first seizure happened, I prayed to God this way:

I know that we only have borrowed time with Ira and that she is not ours in the sense that we own her. But you allowed her to be our daughter for us to take care of and love. Please give us more time to do just that. Thank you God.

That is still may prayer today. When all of those things happened, I remembered Lianne and how great the pain of losing her to Sheba and Ino is. Its a very unimaginable pain. Heart-wrenching. I would not wish it even on the worst person in this world.

I can only pray today and hope for the best. I know God has great plans for us and He never allows pain and sufferings to His children. If He puts you through it, He will get you through it. And we will surpass all this with His loving hand. And eventhough we ended the year in the hospital, we started the year together as a family, stronger in faith than ever.

I hope its not too late to greet everyone… HAPPY NEW YEAR and may we all have a better year ahead!

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