Friday night, Max showed up at our bed in the middle of the night, as he's been doing for months now. We definitely need to do something about it, but my willpower is weak at 2:00 a.m. and Dave doesn't even wake up. What I'd like is a bouncer who can stand guard at our bedroom door and escort Max back to his room and, come to think of it, keep both kids out till 9 a.m. on weekend mornings. I'm sure I could find someone on Craigslist.
Max crashed in our bed. I woke up to the sound of him laughing in his sleep, a hearty chuckle that lasted for maybe 5 seconds.
My first thought was not, wonder what amusing thing he's dreaming about. It was, YIKES, IS HE HAVING A SEIZURE?
I thought I'd once kinda sorta read that laughing in your sleep is a sign of seizure activity.
It was 4:30 a.m. I jumped out of bed and sat down at the computer, my friend and my foe. When Max was a baby, I'd spend hours Googling info about seizures, which he was at risk for. I'd convince myself he was having them. These days, he's on good anti-seizure medication (Trileptal); he last had one less than two years ago.
I couldn't find anything relevant on Google. This was, of course, because I was being ridiculous.
I emailed our neurologist, who is always quick to respond. Sure enough, he did a few hours later, and the subject line didn't even read You Are Whacked. He wrote,
"There is such a thing as gelastic seizures, but that is not the same as laughing in your sleep. The chances of having a laughing seizure are near zero, and the chances of either being awake and happy with life or having a funny dream about cars or some other favorite topic is infinitely higher. Don't worry about it."
He is so very sane.
I am typically a drama-free person (well, depending on whether or not you ask Dave). But seizures are my boogeyman, one of the things I fear most in life. I get irrational about the possibility of them.
For the last month, before bedtime, Max and I have been watching a video of him performing at his school's holiday show. At one point, his arms and face completely tighten up then relax. Every single time I wonder: Is that a seizure? The doctor long ago reassured me that the movement is a tic exacerbated by the spasticity from the cerebral palsy. But as I watch Max and a crowd of adorable kids singing "Here Comes Suzy Snowflake," I dread the moment when it happens.
Much of my fear dates back to Max's birth. He seemed like any other healthy newborn; the next day, a doctor realized he was having seizures. I'm not sure I'll ever get past that feeling of thinking everything is OK only to get sucked into a nightmare. Things may not be fine, my mind says. Pay attention. Worry.
This time around, though, it was only a dream. And a funny one, at that. Maybe he was picturing us all purple?
I suspect I am not alone here. Got something that irrationally unnerves you when it comes to your child?