Watching your child faint makes you want to faint… but reminds you not to

It’s worse than everyone says.  Watching your child get hurt hurts you.  My wife, Kathleen, was brushing our 7 year old daughter’s hair this morning when Emma just fainted.  She fell slowly to the floor as my wife held her head and sort of helped her fall.  At first Kathleen thought she was messing around – which she is known to do – but then her eyes were sort of fluttering in the back of her head and her arms stiffened and straightened out in front of her.  She woke up nearly instantly (maybe 3 seconds), wondered why she was lying on the ground, and then grabbed her head like she had a headache.

I had been in the office on the desktop computer when I heard Kathleen say, “Emma!  Emma!”  I ran into the bedroom just in time to see Kathleen laying Emma on the floor.  I helped her lay Emma down, saw Emma’s eyes flitter once or twice, and then she seemed conscious, looking up trying to determine where she was.

It was quite scary.  Emma was okay, but very shaken afterwards.  I’m not sure if she was upset by what had happened or by seeing her mother acting frantic trying to hold her and make sure she was okay.  Regardless, we threw everyone into the minivan, and headed in to see the pediatrician.  I thought about the emergency room, but our pediatrician has Sunday emergency hours, and I was sure Emma would get more attention and better care from a doctor that knew her.

Emma is fine.  It took a couple of hours before her headache completely went away.  She was back to torturing her younger siblings about 3 hours later.  She seems perfectly fine tonight.  The doctor said that she should be fine.  “Completely normal”, he said.

It’s really strange though.  Something so simple that immediately strikes a chord of fear in your soul.  Everyone uses the word ‘faint’ lightly.  “I almost fainted”, “I could have fainted”, or “She looked like she could faint”.  Seeing my child faint snapped me back into the reality of just how fragile life is.  We should be spending more time on the important things – living, loving, and sharing.  It’s so easy to know this, but even easier to get caught up and forget it.

I’m trying to keep this in the forefront of my mind and live in the now for everyone that I interact with: my children, my wife, my colleagues, my friends, and, yes, myself.   I will be present.

By John Stover

John Stover Bio.

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