Friday, May 6, 2011

When darkness falls, part 2

  That night in the parking lot, I had my first of many panic attacks. Now, some of you might be laughing right now. Some of you might think that panic attacks are just a weakness. I've heard it all. "You had better pray more." "Check your salvation." ( Like the song says, I was there when it happened, I ought to know.) My favorite one ever- " Jesus lives inside you, you're making him have a panic attack right along with you. " Thanks. Now I have panic attacks and major guilt. LOL. During this time, darkness really fell on me. It was like a black cloud that just hung over me. I tried everything I could to get rid of that overwhelming sense of complete helplessness and hopelessness. I read the Bible, (I actually read the entire Bible out loud to Gracie by the time she was 3 months old, LOL) I read other good books, I prayed, I cried. I didn't talk much about it though. I never allowed myself to think about all of the possibilities. I kept up appearances too. I always knew that people would visit us at the NICU on Saturday's, so I would make sure and brush my hair and teeth and get out of my pajamas that day. I will never forget the day our Pastor's wife came to visit me on a Tuesday evening. She is a busy mom, and that was the only day she had that week. She walked in, took one look at me and said, "You ARE human!!" I was in a ratty old jean skirt, my college sweatshirt that has seen many better days, my hair was thrown in a pony tail, and worse of all- I had been crying. Over the past 2 years, I've gotten much better about crying in front of people, but I HATE to do it. Hate it!! When I cry, the whole world knows. My eyes get red, my nose is like a clowns, and I make the most awful noises.

So, it was in those days that the panic attacks started. We had to leave the hospital every night. I would walk around the house, trying to find something to do, trying to make an hour pass so I could call and check on her. As days went by, I would let 2 hours go. We worked our way to three hours by time she was about 8 weeks old. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I would call and the phone would just ring and ring. The nurses do the "busy work" at night, weighing the babies, giving baths, etc. I knew this, but again, rational thought did not exist at that point. I immediately thought that there was something wrong with MY baby. They knew it was me on the phone and didn't want to tell me. Crazy right? My heart would start to beat like crazy. So hard I could hear it. Then my legs would start to tingle and before long actually burn. Next would start the itching. My whole body would itch to the point where I would scratch and make myself bleed. This would continue until I could finally get in contact with someone at the NICU. This continued for the months she was in the hospital. Then, like a magic wand was waved over me, Grace came home and my panic attacks stopped. Just like that.
                                           To be continued...again!

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