Having found some highly useful information about Intracranial Hypertension, I truly wonder if this is what has been bothering Nik. I don’t know if this is what Nik is suffering from but it sure seems to fit; it puts his sometimes extreme symptoms into a context which is understandable. Whether he has ICH, and if so what the root cause may be, remains to be determined. For now, though, this is the framework within which we are operating; it helps us to try to manage the frightening episodes better. Well, okay, for the most part.
Nik seems to be learning to listen to his body lately as he struggles —as we all struggle —to deal with this mysterious ailment which sneaks up on him. It seems that as he moves around and is extremely active, minutes later he is felled by the most extreme pain. When he plays quietly, either sitting or lying down, the pain seems so much less debilitating and the episodes are slightly farther apart. I think Nik —who is a very, very smart child —is figuring out this strange dynamic all on his own. Sometimes he remembers too late that his active climbing, spinning and crawling bring on the panic-filled episodes. Other times, he seems to know instinctively that he needs to lay low.
Today is different. Nik’s slender fingers grasp the book and tug it from my hands but he doesn’t settle alone on the floor. Quietly, as quietly as the little mouse in the story book, Nik slips into my lap, dragging his beloved book with him. He turns to look at me with that little laughing twinkle in his eye; my heart swells every time I see that look. I kiss his forehead as his tousled head lolls back against my breasts. Smiling into his hair, I feel little hands reaching to hold mine, guiding me to turn the pages as he squirms and clicks the noisy crickets.