In order to go on with the business of life, you have to tell yourself a certain number of lies.
One of these lies is that the way things are now is the way things will always be.
Charlie hasn’t had a seizure since six months of age and at some point I stopped worrying about them. I didn’t think they were an impossibility–seizures occur in people with no brain issues and we’ve got hardware and areas of significant damage–I just assumed that if and when the seizures did come, I would be able to handle them.
So when my husband came in our bedroom on Friday night and reported that Charlie was having a seizure, I was calm. He brought Charlie to me and I held him in my arms and waited for it to pass.
But it didn’t pass.
Emergency meds didn’t help either and before I knew it we were strapping his seizing body into the van so I could take him to the emergency room. I got about six blocks before I realized I can’t do this. I swerved in front of town hall and waved down the police officer doing a detail at Friday night bingo (it’s a small town). EMTs came immediately and made sure Charlie was OK while we waited for an ambulance.
Forty minutes later he was still seizing and a nurse tried to reassure me as I began to cry. It’s Ok, mom.
It was most-definitely not OK. No matter what that lady said. They inserted an IV in one arm and drew blood from the other.
A dose of IV meds and he stopped twitching, but still wasn’t moving.
A second dose and he started to move–except his left side, which was paralyzed. He smiled at me a lopsided smile–loopy from the drugs. His good arm–the one he uses to eat and drink and communicate–lay motionless at his side. My stomach lurched, taking in this new development. Grinding my teeth, I smiled back.
Once he was out of the seizure, they loaded him up with another heavy-duty dose of anti-epileptics and arranged to have him transported to the Big Hospital where his neurologist works. It had been ninety minutes since he’d begun seizing at our house. A long, frightening 90 minutes.
We spent Friday night in the hospital and all day Saturday sleeping off the effects of the gallon of drugs they had to give him. We’re home today (Sunday). Late Saturday evening he seemed to be fully recovered–able to point and select with his left hand and no signs of the droopy-sided smile.
I’m reminded for the zillionth time that life can change in an instant. We are lucky this time, but there are no guarantees. I don’t like to think about it much more than that. You can’t go down that road and stay sane. I’m grateful for what is and that’s all I’m going to think about right now. Squeeze your babies tight, y’all–you just never know.