Thursday, March 22, 2012


The morning after a nocturnal seizure.

Late last night CB had a nasty grand mal seizure, knocking her out of bed and face first onto the floor.  I found her convulsing violently with blood oozing from her nose, spattering everywhere with each forceful exhale as she gasped for air.

After 2 minutes of the grand mal seizure and another few minutes of petit mals, I was able to move her back into her bed though her weak and shaking body was barely able to stand.  In the dark, I cleaned up the blood on her arm and face and rug.  Then I sat with her for a long time until she was safely asleep.  Returning to my bedroom, I brushed my teeth and tried to forget but my hands were speckled with red like a Jackson Pollack painting and I kept seeing its pattern on my pale flesh long after I washed it away.  Much like Pollack's canvas, I didn't know what it all meant.  

Nights like this used to make me break down, but I'm beyond crying after bearing witness to this for the past 17 years.  The tears are literally gone.  I don't know if it's strength or emotional survival.  To go on autopilot, dissociated from the worry, the grief, the fear, the ache, the guilt is probably more self-protective than courageous.  I was only too eager to fall into sleep so I could wake up in a new day and bury yet another episode in the soil of yesterday.

Sleep was not as fulfilling as I had hoped.  Rella came crawling on top of me at 2:00 am and after an hour of being unable to move under her weight, I relocated her back to her own bed.  She returned at 4:00 am and this time I allowed her to stay plastered up against my back, figuring that perhaps I wouldn't get much sleep but at least I was giving comfort to one of my girls.

Dr. Fabulous had to leave at 6:30 am so I gathered myself out of bed, nursing a chronically sore back.  I jumped into the early morning hub-bub of a school day unrefreshed and flying solo.  The three little girls woke up none the wiser to any of the drama that occurred while they slept and despite my bloodshot eyes, I don't think I appeared any worse for the wear.  We sang songs, I made pancakes, we chatted, and all was quite typical.

I allowed CB to stay in bed as long as she needed and was relieved to find her back to her "regular self" after a recuperative sleep.

I thought of how the two of us looked like nothing bad had happened only about 10 hours prior.  The shadow of a bloodstain on her carpet, the only evidence to the contrary.


Elizabeth said...

I was JUST saying to a friend that it's so weird to carry on normally with our lives with all this sh@#$# going on, too.

I'm sorry and can only express that and my utmost empathy and solidarity.

LoopyKat said...

Such a heartbreaking picture of CB, she's lucky to have such a great mum

kario said...

It somehow seems wrong to comment on how beautifully you wrote about the terror that happened, but I am so struck by your use of visual language.

That said, I wish that the twisting of my gut as I read about it had some sort of useful power to restore your energy or heal CB or protect her against future seizures. But instead, I am only feeling sad on the opposite coast.

I will send you all love and light and hope it reaches you. If nothing else, I can completely relate to the sore back that comes from being pressed up against a sweaty, bed-hogging child for several hours in the middle of the night.

Moonbeams and Eco-Dreams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sunday said...

I'm so sorry Alicia...most of all for CB as I am sure she finds the seizures most terrifying of all.

Does she have them often?

Thinking warm comforting thoughts for you both.

Lexi said...

This makes me ache. It's haunting and beautifully written. I have a hard time believing how scary things to me can be so normal to you. You amaze me.

ajax said...

I agree with Elizabeth, isn't it weird? During weeks of more frequent misfiring it's impossible not to be fixated on it, hyper-vigilant, and/or half waiting for a sudden storm, yet the rest of the world putters by so seemingly carefree.

Funny. once i fell and struck a bathroom wall and left the giant blood spatter for a while. I called it a Jackson Polluck also (my last name's Jackson so i thought i was fairly clever at the time) Strange the things you might find in common with another life sharing the seizure theme.

Related Posts with Thumbnails