This post was originally published on Bubblews by me on February 24, 2015. The site has closed and I hope to move some of my posts to my other blogs (including this one)
Of course, I know the horrible reason why this happens at bedtime, but I still scream inside every single time.
My thirteen year old son has always been a bit of a hypochondriac. It seemed to start shortly after his grandfather died from a heart attack. At the time, my son was only seven years old. From then on, he would complain of chest pains. At some point, we had him checked out to learn he was fine.
Over the last two years, one month, and 23 days, it has worsened. He complains of many afflictions, but more often than not it is his chest or heart that he believes is ailing him.
Two years, one month, and 23 days ago, his older brother, my first born son, Nolan, died unexpectedly in his sleep from an unknown heart condition. He went to bed seemingly healthy. Liam found him in bed. Liam. My poor, sweet second son. He was the first to know our lives were changed forever.
Since then, he often complains of chest pains, aches, pressure. We have made more than one trip to an emergency room at bedtime. We have visited cardiologists. We have worn a heart monitor. We have had genetic testing. Everything has pointed to him having a healthy heart.
The condition that Nolan had is one that comes on quite quickly without warning, without definitive symptoms, and often killing. So even if Nolan had been tested for all the things Liam has been, this could have happened.
I actually would have been relieved if his death had been hereditary and we could be more prepared for it with my other children. Instead I have the knowledge that this random thing can happen to anyone at anytime without any warning.
Back to my poor son Liam. He has these symptoms mostly right at bedtime. I cannot rush him to the emergency room every time this happens. But what if I screw up? What if it is real and not in his head?
I wish this nightmare had never happened for our family.
Photo credit: my own