Courage is simple really. Anything in life takes varying amounts of courage. You don't need huge amounts of courage to get up and go to work in the morning, not as much as say, getting up and into a hot air balloon drifting on random winds hundreds of feet above the safety of land.
But even with feet (or hooves) firmly planted, copious amounts of courage are often part of our daily life.
Most of us may say, gee I don't have the courage for that, so I will stay safe; stay on the trail that is marked, the trail that is known, and the trail that is safe.
But most of us also know that sometimes life presents a trail that is unknown; a choice that is not clearly labeled "safe." In this case, we can't go back, but it takes much courage to go forward.
Sometimes the choice is made for us, and there is nothing left to do but continue on, or if you happen to be in a hot air balloon, to continue up.
I knew Leo was having seizures. They started a couple weeks ago. But they looked different than his usual seizure MO.
Really they didn't really look like anything. Just a brief moment, twelve seconds at the most, of something...something wrong. Something unknown.
Twelve seconds of the essential Leo ingredient missing.
After wading through the information online I knew in my heart that what Leo was exhibiting were absence seizures.
They didn't seem to bother him too much and recovery was instantaneous, indeed it almost seemed like he himself didn't realize that the pause button was briefly on.
Compared to his seizures of old, I didn't feel like I needed a ton of courage to deal with this new development in his life. I got the medical ball rolling without any need for emergency visits and in due time faced his neurologist for a consul. Well I would have, if he wasn't away on vacation.
Anyway his helper bee seemed to think that I was right in thinking they were absence seizures as Leo obligingly had one right there in front of her.
The next step after that was to rule out possible causes for the new sparking in his brain such as shunt failure or CSF changes or anti-seizure med reactions in his body. So off we went for a blood draw and MRI.
So Leo is almost five and he's almost forty pounds. He's also wicked strong when the adrenalin and fear kick in.
After all that has been done to him (7plus surgeries) he is pretty much traumatized for life in every aspect that deals with medical procedure. So there is a lot of fear.
Getting his blood taken was a exercise of iron will and Justin's biceps.
The MRI? A little more of the same.
Lots of fear for a little while.
Perhaps you have sat in a MRI waiting room.
There is a palatable tension in the air.
The folks in the waiting area in addition to wearing the gowns of a hospital patient, also wear almost identical expressions of nervousness and fear. This is the place where it will be determined; the diagnosis made, hearts either mended or broken.
And into this picture comes our Lion boy. Garbed also in a ridiculous purple hospital johnny with dinosaurs on it, he walks in carrying a pink ball that flashes red and blue that I threw into the diaper bag on a whim.
He squirreled it out in the changing area and without much ado starts playing his new favorite game of ball toss. For awhile he and I tossed the ball back and forth in a far corner; my attempt at being unobtrusive did not last long however. Leo took off after the ball after a rouge shot, crawling on the ground commando style when the ball came to rest under a particularly nervous looking man's chair. After retrieving the ball Leo turns to the man whose chair he was just crawling under and says,"are you ready?"
The man looks pale but nods cautiously. Within minutes they are tossing the ball back and forth accompanied by Leo's joyful cries of "are you readies," and "good jobs" and "well dones" the man slowly gaining in confidence in his replies until he is answering him with resounding "yeses" and "you bets." When it is his time to go get his scan, he hands Leo back the ball and walks out of the room with a smile, and with perhaps, courage.
Everyone in the waiting room was smiling.
Sometimes when the road to Courage itself is hard to find, the trail can be found at Joy or perhaps even Love.
Leo's scan was clear and unchanged from last time.
I haven't heard yet about his blood but following that old rule of no news is good news I'm not too worried.
As he is already on the upper dosage limit for his med that he takes now, I'm not sure what his neurologist will say on Monday regarding the game plan to treat these new seizures of Leo's. I'm not excited about introducing yet another medication to his already overflowing pharma cabinet, so as of yet the future trail is unknown.
But that is ok, because if I need courage I know where to find it.