A few weeks ago, while picking up the kids from swim camp, Avery mentioned to me that she noticed a large bump on the side of Macks’ head. I’d been gone most of that day and MacKay had taken the kids to swim, so I figured something must have happened while I was out for him to get the bump. I didn’t think much of it until I came home to ask MacKay and he said that nothing happened while I was away.

Trying to get to the bottom of everything, I asked Macks if anything had happened. He told me he hit his head on the couch the day prior, but when I pressed further, he pointed to the softest part of the couch for the point to which his head hit. I tried to dig deeper and asked the girls if they’d noticed him hit his head while I was gone and they didn’t seem to recall any incident. The bump didn’t seem to bother him, but it just kept getting bigger and bigger. It looked to be the size of an egg on the side of his head. I gave him some meds for the swelling and put him to bed that night. Naturally, I panicked after putting him to bed. And I let Dr. Google get the best of me. Rather than thinking logically, my mind wandered. And it got the best of me. My anxiety was the worst that it had been in a while and turned into a full on panic attack at 2am. As much as I tried to sleep it off, I’d wake up with my heart racing and my mind wouldn’t get off of the bump on his head. I went in his room several times during the night to make sure he was okay, to check the bump to see if it was getting any bigger, and to try to ease some of my stress. It wasn’t working. I’d become my own worst enemy.

I’ve always been one to struggle with anxiety. It’s been something I’ve been fighting my entire life and it only escalated when I had the kids. I try to hide it as much as I can from the kids because I don’t want them to see my stress or anxiousness and have them learn these same habits. I’ve spoken with many people about it who have taught me ways to naturally deal with these triggers, but every once in a while, my mind escapes me and goes into a place that is hard for me to bear.

I woke up the next morning after only a few hours of sleep only to find that the bump on Macks’ head had gone down significantly during the night. While I examined it closer, it looked like he’d gotten a mosquito bite that had swelled. Panic and anxiousness subsided and I could finally breathe again.

The following week, after returning home from our vacation in Kennebunkport, I woke up in a complete panic. MacKay was still out of town for work and Macks had come into my room at some point the night before. He woke up shortly before I did and started to cry. He complained of his eye hurting. Before getting a chance to look at it, I figured he might have gotten pink eye and that we’d have to get him a round of antibiotics. Instead I looked over to find his entire eye the size of a golf ball and completely swollen shut. And that’s when it happened again. Rather than thinking logically, my mind went to the worst possible place. Because Macks suffers from many food allergies, my first thought was to figure out what he’d eaten the day before. We had nothing at all that was new and there was nothing that he could have possibly eaten that could have triggered this.

I immediately called a friend in a panic to have her come and watch the girls while I rushed Macks to see a doctor. While Macks was freaking out at first for not being able to see, he’d gotten used to it and was acting like himself, which was a little bit of a sigh of relief. We waited what seemed like forever for the doctor to seem him. He evaluated his eye and said, yet again, Macks had gotten bit by some sort of insect. We needed to switch between allergy meds for that day and it should be back to normal in the morning. But that I needed to watch for a few things that might be a sign of an infection.

That night, I noticed that his eye wasn’t getting much better and was turning more of a purple color. I rang his doctor who told me that everything was fine and that it should look better in the morning. I made Macks sleep next to me that night, so that I could keep a close eye on him. I didn’t sleep a wink.

The next morning he woke up and his eye had gotten worse.

Despite how bad it looked, it was in completely great spirits and didn’t mind a swollen eye. But back to the doctor we went for another exam. We saw a new doctor who was rather thorough and confirmed that it was an insect bite (what kind, we weren’t sure) but that it would probably get worse before it got better (how much worse could it get?!) We got some medicine and went back home to let Macks rest.

While my anxiety was on a roller coaster ride, I was proud of myself for handling it all on my own and showing the kids that I was capable of doing this without losing focus and letting the anxiety take over.

It took a few days, before Macks’ eye was completely healed and he did amazing throughout. Myself, on the other hand, learned that I have more to work on. My anxiety got the best of me in both situations and I let it take over. Rather than using the methods that I’d been taught, I threw them out the window and got immersed in the stress. This journey for me has been a long one, and I continue to have a long road ahead of me. But it’s wanting to continue to tackle this and conquer it head on that shows me the I am on the right path. And one day I’ll get there.