response

it was around 2am. it was silent. i was writing even though my eyes were barely open.

the bed began shaking. I looked over at my daughter. sleeping in the middle of a grand mal. at first it seemed i might be dreaming but the anxiety rippling though my body and widening my eyes said differently.

“not you too,” i thought while watching helplessly at a presentation i was unfamiliar with. it always looks as if they’re going to die. i waited for the jerking and stiffness to stop before calling the paramedics. by this time she was snoring and i was fully dressed. i didn’t think it was a life-threatening situation but did want her seen by a doctor and was in no state to take her by myself and risk her seizing on the way there. i’d done it before with her brother so learned my lesson.

i woke her as gently as possible to dress her. though compliant she was understandably confused, especially when five paramedics walked in a minute later. the place is too small not to wake anyone and it was the oldest who woke and walked in on us to ask what happened.

after an explanation i told him I’d be back later to take everyone to school. he nodded. it wasn’t his first rodeo either. for whatever reason i began to feel better on the way to the hospital, because if i were a judge of seizures, i’d have put her type at a level three and her brother’s at a level twenty.

a few years out and all is well with both of them for the most part.

she still sleeps with me, though i learned there are bracelets to monitor these kinds of things. before the seizure i wasn’t keen on her sleeping with me at her age but space was a temporary constraint.

the hardest part isn’t them; it’s not knowing how to attend to my needs and frankly, it’s believing my needs aren’t important enough to be attended to.
awareness of wrong thinking isn’t enough to be a convert, it’s just enough to ask questions without taking time to examine the point of the inquiry.

she taught me why constraints sometimes exist and how they can be justified by an unanticipated need to be confined. she taught me that i still thought too much of myself, that i needed to find humility in the assumption of health, gratitude for insomnia and for being prepared with how to respond.

a few years out is now. i will always respond with love and all will always be well.


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