PTL!, We have an answer!

 And we are coming home Saturday morning!!!  After almost every test was completed and preliminary results were given, we can say for sure that Nathan does not have seizures, nor does he have narcolepsy.  He does not have a brain tumor or spinal chord condition.  All of his tests have returned an initially normal result.  The MANY neurologists, neuropsychologists, sociologists, and the numerous others at the top of their fields have concluded that Nathan’s strange “episodes” have been “stress responses”.  Period. 

I have to admit that this diagnosis baffled me, and it has taken me an entire day to process it.  For one thing, my son is the most. laid. back. person I know.  He doesn’t seem to stress out about anything.  He seems to take everything in stride.  Of course, I can look at our lives over the past 5 years and acknowledge that there has been great stress-inducing opportunities that both of our children have had to walk through with us. But of all times to have a stress response, I would have naturally thought that it would have been during one of those more difficult times.  Not now, after most of the “stress” is over.

I learned in detail today that our bodies respond to internal stress, even when we don’t realize that we are under said stress.  Nathan didn’t realize that he was “stressed”.  We didn’t realize that he was “stressed.”  We found out today that a stress response can occur much later than the original timing of the actual stress-inducing situation.  That’s what happened to our Nathan.  In fact, 5 of the seizure-testing patients on the 7th floor just this week – FIVE of them were diagnosed with stress response and not seizures.  They said that each year, more and more children/teens are experiencing this kind of stress response.  

The treatment for stress response is not found in a medication, but in learning coping skills and effective ways to handle how to process life.  We will be looking for a faith-based psychologist to help Nathan process through some things and to teach him how to better respond to stress. 

I can’t tell you how relieved we are!  Once Nathan knew that he wasn’t sick, his countenance improved about 150%.  Both of ours did.  I feel like we have been handed a true miracle.  A totally different life for our son than what we thought he would be living.  I humbly and gratefully rejoice, with tears, for this diagnosis of no diagnosis, while my heart aches for those around us whose test results have been what they feared they would be. 

YOU, my friends and family, have had a huge part in this discovery as you have prayed for wisdom and discernment for all who are testing and working with Nathan this week.  We have had the best of the best in all of the diagnostic testing.  We have seen God make a way for Nathan to receive tests that we were originally told would take a second or third trip back to complete.  We have felt God’s hand and provision in every way throughout each day and night… and we are trusting that what we have learned is what it really is. 

Last week, the Lord led me to make the decision to not look up one bit of information on any “possible diagnosis” until we were actually given one.  I now see His wisdom and reasoning behind that.  I would have wasted a lot of time, energy, emotions, and words in unnecessary worry.  Sometimes, ignorance really is bliss! 😉

We will pack up and head home in the morning.  I’ve quickly grown attached to the sweet souls who have shared this week with us, and can honestly say that I will miss seeing them in and out of our days.  Once Nathan was unhooked and cleared, he showered, then we took a walk around LeBonheur.  Of course, I whipped out my phone and took a few pictures, and Nathan was so relieved about his diagnosis of a non diagnosis that he humored his very tired mama.

One of the funniest things about having a “man child” in a children’s hospital is that he is so big, compared to most of the other patients here.  At every entrance, there are these darling wagons used to transport the children.  My boy just didn’t fit!

On our walk, we passed this wall with little cubbies sticking out of it, and paper available so that people could write a prayer request or a praise.  We stopped and wrote our own, then placed them in one of the cubbies.

Then we saw the sign for the chapel, and went in for a few minutes.  We knelt together behind the podium and both of us prayed aloud our prayers of gratitude and thanksgiving to the Lord for what He has done, and for what He kept back from our lives.  {We don’t often think about what God doesn’t allow to touch us.  We most often think about what He does allow… but if we will just look around us, we’ll see the many things God has not allowed to be a part of our lives.  In doing this, we can trust that those things He does allow, He will use for good and His glory.  That’s always a comfort to me!}

I have one more picture to share in this post, then Nathan and I are going to watch a movie together.  When we moved into this epilepsy monitoring unit from the sleep unit, we walked in, and this is the bed they had set up for Nathan: 



 He calmly turned to me and said in his ultra deep voice, “Um… Mom… I don’t think I’ll fit in that bed.”  Ha Ha.  He is, after all, my baby boy, but I had to agree.  We got in a good laugh while the nurses were finding him a “big boy bed”. 

This has been a week that will take many weeks to process.  I started writing this post at the same time this Friday night that Nathan had the episode last Friday night.  We’ve cycled through every emotion since then, and are truly, humbly, grateful to the Lord for all He has done for us this week.

Thank you for joining God in this work He was and is doing in our lives.  It is a privilege to walk through it with Him and with you. 

May each of you have a blessed weekend, my friends.  With a grateful “mama” heart tonight~
Jennifer

About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two teenagers, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at SmellingCoffee.com