Head versus Heart

I have neer been very good at following my head, as my heart mostly dominates my decision-making. It is not that I have a useless head, it is just often overuled by my louder heart. But yesterday I tried very hard to allow my head to take over. Given the week that we have had with Joshua’s seizures and high temperaturesand his cold, we have decided not to go so far away on holiday. It would have taken 6-7 hours driving in the car and that prospect was not appealing to me, although the prize at the end was tempting me to ignore the facts. We are fortunate enough to have a nearer alternative and so today, hopefully, we will head off for a 2.5 hour drive to enjoy our half term break. My husband suggested it on Friday night and I reacted badly, adamant that our plans should not change but overnight I pondered the idea and came to the realisation that it was ‘the sensible thing to do’. In our partnership, my husband is usually the voice of reason.

A much more difficult and life-changing head versus heart decision for us both was whether or not to opt for Brain Surgery at Great Ormond Street when he was 12 years old. My husband’s heart told him no, it was too risky and that Joshua could end up much worse off than he was already; the goal was to improve his seizure control. My heart was much more optimistic and it told me that the surgery could represent a bright future that was seizure-free and that it had to be worth a try, as we had exhausted the drug options and had  tried and rejected the ketogenic diet. But this was too big a decision to simply ponder overnight, it took about a year of discussion, of meetings with the surgeon, of internet research and of talking to parents whose child had been through the same procedure. Joshua’s odds were good for success and we were convinced that GOSH was the best hospital and that he was the most experienced surgeon.

But in the end , it was heart that made the final choice, backed up by a carefully considered head decision. Joshua had a big tonic clonic seizure and had fallen backwards, as he did then, and had hit his head and we all ended up in A&E with him. It was at that point that I told my husband that we could not continue in this way and keep prevaricating, that there was a risk of death from surgery, but that he was risking death and injury everyday with his epilepsy, and so we made the decision to go ahead and it was booked in for March 2014, the day before his 13th birthday.

So while I am mainly controlled by my heart, I am an emotional person, I believe that for the important choices,  my head gets a say too, even though it often has to fight to be heard.


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