Jan 01, 2011
January 1st, 2011 (Happy Birthday big brother Jeff!) Nothing bad will happen today. Nothing bad will happen today. Nothing bad will happen today.
I just got off the phone with the nurse, who is coming next week to show Casey how to inject his Genotropin. I looked at the time - 11:11 am.
Now, I don't consider myself to be a superstitious person. Cautious maybe, but not really superstitious. However this 11:11 plague has been going on for several years for me, and sometimes it's a bit unnerving when it happens. I know people have written about this 11:11 phenomena, but I have never read any of their explanations - yet. If it weren't for one particular event, I might think it was amusing, and certainly just coincidence. If not for that one, scary night. Which of course, I'm going to tell about now.
I first started noticing that I often looked up at the clock, right at eleven minutes past eleven, back in 2006. Looking back on it, it may have developed because of worrying about Casey. He was in 5th grade then, and had been suffering from what was then, incorrectly diagnosed health problems, for two years already. I remember that I checked the time often, while he was at school, and I was even bringing him a fresh sandwich, and other specific food at lunchtime, because he was so picky about the quality of his food, and he would starve himself if the food in his lunchbox was not up to his "freshness standard". (He would never eat the cafeteria food - it made him nauseous).
At that time, he couldn't put on any weight, and he looked like he was wasting away.
It was early that year that I figured out Casey's symptoms were identical to Sensory Integration Disorder, and I got him into Occupational Therapy for an evaluation and treatment, which I had hoped would eliminate all of the sensory difficulties he was having. That summer, I noticed that I was seeing 11:11 much more frequently. So much so, that I finally mentioned it to my family. We began to speculate on the meaning of it. My logical husband pointed out the coincidental nature of it. It was just coincidence, nothing more.
Of course it was much more interesting to bring up the possibility of influence from "spirits from beyond", or ghosts, or my dead grandmother, etc. Casey, his sister, and I, all decided that some spirit was trying to call attention to that particular hour and minute - 11:11 - for a very important reason. Or, was it supposed to be November 11th that I needed to take notice of, or maybe even November, 2011?
It began to affect some of my actions, such as not making doctor appointments for Casey that fell on the eleventh day of the month, and consciously avoiding looking at the time if it was close to 11 am or pm (when I could remember to).
I remember that when Casey got his first MRI appointment I was glad it was in September, and not November. As it happened, his sensory problems made it too difficult for him to tolerate laying down on the MRI bed, with his head in the "cage", the first time he tried to do it, so we had to reschedule for an MRI in October, knowing he might have to be anesthetized for it if he couldn't do it any other way. This scared us a lot, especially since no doctor had as yet been able to diagnose the symptoms he was having, and I was secretly terrified that adding gadolinium dye and anesthesia drugs to the problem could have dire results.
I had just read at that time, that there is a chemical in the brain that causes manifestations of injury, three weeks after trauma of some sort, resulting in physical and mental deficits that can be permanent. Why it happens three weeks post-trauma the article didn't say, but I wanted to remember to watch for signs of this after Casey's MRI. (I have the name of the chemical written down somewhere, but I haven't been able to find it again).
So, Casey had his first brain MRI on Friday the 13th, of October. (How's that for not being superstitious?!) The "threat" of having to be anesthetized made him try harder to tolerate being in the MRI "cave", but he had a terrible time just before going in, shaking and crying inconsolably for about 20 minutes, in spite of reassurances from me, and everyone around that everything was going to be okay, he would not be hurt in any way etc. He was 10 years old.
Somehow, Casey got past his fear, and with continued reassurance from the nurse and me (both of us standing at his feet, rubbing his ankles) he was able to stay in for the whole 45 minutes required, and didn't even get upset when he had to go back into it after being pulled out for the gadolinium injection. He was wiped out after it was over, but I was so proud of him for working past his fear, and so happy he hadn't had to be anesthetized. (In retrospect, I think it was more traumatic for him to go through it the way he did. Anesthesia might have been easier for him!)
It was one week later that I called the doctor's office, to get the results of the MRI. October 20th, 2006, we found out that Casey had a pituitary "mass", 1.5 cm, suspected to be either a Rathke Cleft cyst, or an adenoma, with the possibility of a craniopharyngioma diagnosis. (It turned out to be latter).
We didn't know what to think of this information. It sounded devastating, but the nurse on the phone sounded very reassuring and the doctor we saw a few days later was very unmoved and factual about it. In fact, Casey seemed to be feeling much better when we saw the doctor (that happens a lot, doesn't it), but the doc wanted to get a CT scan done in addition to the MRI, which started another round of anxiety for Casey and me.
Due to various circumstances, the CT scan kept getting postponed. Eventually, it was set for Dec. 15th. In the meantime, I had been watching for anything "weird" to appear with Casey's symptoms, 3 weeks after the trauma of the MRI. November 3rd came and went, with no unusual changes. He was in 6th grade now, and I was still bringing him fresh food at lunchtime. Getting him to eat anything was becoming more difficult, and he was still not growing or gaining any weight. He had taken a liking to some "sausages" made from grains and potatoes, with sage in them. It was practically the only thing he wanted to eat at the time, so I let him have as many as he wanted, which was about 4 or 5 a day - and they were good-sized sausages. He still would not eat any real meat.
Casey woke up late on Saturday, November 11th. He had an upset stomach, but it resolved in the afternoon. He spent the day on the computer, and had more of those "sausages" for dinner. It had been a good day. We talked about what to do for his upcoming 11th birthday. He wanted to invite some new friends from school to share the day with, and we made a list of kids to invite.
I asked Casey to get ready to go to bed around 10 or 10:30 pm, but he was hooked on a game on the computer, and didn't move. I had been watching tv, and had then started cleaning up around the house. I was standing next to the hall closet when he suddenly came hurrying toward me, and sat at my feet. He said he didn't feel well. I asked him what he was feeling, but he couldn't answer me. He was shaking a little, and shaking his head. He wouldn't look at me. He just said, "Mom, I feel REALLY BAD!" I made him get into his bed, asking him questions, trying to figure out what was wrong. He was extremely upset, leaning on one hand, then the other, back and forth, over and over, unable to "escape" whatever it was that he was feeling.
I started to rub his back, which he normally enjoyed, but he knocked my hand away and said, "Don't touch me!" Now I was really frightened. He was not himself, and he wasn't able to tell me what he was feeling at all. At about that time, I happened to look up at the clock on his wall. Yup. It was 11:11 pm, on November 11th, no less. I started to cry, but stopped myself. I needed to help Casey, not fall apart. I didn't want him to see how scared I was. I thought I should call the doctor, but what would I say? "He's not feeling well" didn't do justice to what I was witnessing.
For about half an hour Casey continued to have symptoms of distress. As he slowly "came out of it', he was able to verbalize what he was feeling. As I remember it, he said he felt intense pressure, weakness, possibly nausea, and got very cold. He didn't describe any pain, but thought his heart was racing. And, he was terrified. He'd never felt anything like this before. I stayed with him until he fell asleep. He was sweating profusely.
He woke up late again the next morning, but as I recall he didn't have any of the symptoms of the night before. He went right back on the computer, and seemed well enough. I didn't know if I should mention to him that his "episode" of the night before happened at 11:11. I eventually did, but we couldn't make up our minds to believe it was destined to happen, or a warning, or whatever.
I later came to the conclusion that it was either a worsening of his pituitary condition (maybe pituitary apoplexy?), causing low blood pressure, low thyroid hormone, low cortisol etc. , that plagued him that night, or it might have been a reaction to the sage in the sausages. I found out soon afterward that sage is highly estrogenic, but only last year read that craniopharyngiomas have estrogen receptors!
In any case, I stopped serving him the potato/sage "sausages". He still wouldn't eat meat protein however until 2008.
I remember that I didn't notice 11:11 so often after that, enforcing a disturbing belief that, that night Casey was "weird" was what it was all about. That was what I was being warned was going to happen. That, in fact, was the beginning of much more serious symptoms and problems.
Casey enjoys teasing me now, telling me to look at the clock, when it's 11:11 am, or pm. I have been noticing it more often again anyway, but it doesn't disturb me the way it did prior to his pituitary surgery.
So, what do you think? Coincidence, or a warning from a spirit, or something else?
I'll let you know how it goes with the Genotropin injections. Now, I gotta go wrap a Birthday present for my brother.
Happy New Year everyone!