I Don’t See Anything to Worry About.

One of my few faithful blog readers told me last week, “I think you worry about too many things.”

And indeed, I agree, I do. I don’t worry (anymore) about world wars, nuclear attacks and the end of the world. I don’t worry (much) about car crashes, kidnappings and murders. I used to worry about these things all the time, as if worrying about them would stave off the inevitable. I’ve spent my summer doing Kirk Martin’s “Anxiety Challenge” and it’s helping some – but it hasn’t yet changed my generally pessimistic personality.

For now, I am practicing this theory: Fear and Faith cannot coexist. This means that as long as I have faith that everything is going to be okay, I can’t be afraid – at least, not simultaneously.

But I still manage to have way more fear than faith on most days. I spend my time flopping back and forth between the two, trying desperately to worry less.

But then, for two days, Shane had a headache.

“My head hurts a lot,” he told me, gripping the back of his head with his left hand.

Knowing that a large percentage of headaches are caused by dehydration I said, “Drink some water.”

He got a huge glass of water and sat down at the kitchen table, still gripping his head. He drank three sips.

“It’s making it worse!” he said.

Shane had never had a headache before – except once the previous week, at the beach. For that one, water helped.

For this one – and the subsequent dozen that followed – water didn’t do a thing to help. So I studied everything I could find on the internet and compared his symptoms to a variety of causes.

He either had a tension headache (very common in children) or a brain bleed. To check, I had Shane sit down in a chair and take deep, slow breaths. He decided the floor would be more comfortable, so he threw himself onto the floor and closed his eyes.

“Mom,” he said, when the timer went off two minutes later, “it felt like the floor was moving and the carpet was spinning and I was on a platform that went like this.” He waved his arms up and down, to show the jerking motion of the imaginary platform.

So now he had a headache and dizziness. I called the doctor.

After all the neurological tests – which I recognized from Dylan’s frequent visits to the neurologist – the doctor said, “Well, I don’t see anything to worry about. The dizziness could be an unrelated ear issue, since he doesn’t have any fever or vomiting. I don’t see any inflammation of the brain. Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer for you. Since you already have a relationship with your neurologist, you might want to do a phone consult, just to get her thoughts.”

The pediatrician told Shane to keep a “headache log,” which he meticulously did for the next two days. It included time of day, what activity he was doing, and how much pain he felt.

Shane read the log to me at the end of Day 2, after nine more headaches.

Along with his list of headache occurrences and severity of pain, he listed the following activities: Nexus (his tablet), Wii, Nexus, computer, Nexus, Nexus.

More than half of his headaches had happened during or after he was playing video games.

So now he’s been off of video games for two days, and he hasn’t had a single headache. He is still occasionally dizzy – but only with his eyes closed. I’m hopeful that it is, indeed, just an ear imbalance issue, which runs in our family.

I’ve just got to have faith.

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