Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mommy, You Had a Seizure.

I had a seizure last week. It had been a little over a year since my last one and this was my third one since becoming a mother. The first one was when I was in the hospital and the boys were two days old  and the other one I was right next to Cal in his car seat as Brian was driving. This was the first one where any kind of  verbal language was possible for the boys.

It always surprises me how confused I get after I have one. I must have been standing up at my computer when I had it because I woke up under our kitchen table, feeling very confused about how the three kids could have possibly gotten themselves dressed. They were walking around calmly and playing quietly. I first of all called my dad, I guess because I was thought he was still visiting. I asked where he was, and though it was 6am in Idaho when he answered, he and my mom quickly figured out what must have happened and called Brian at work, who picked up and called his mom who works across the street from our house and is our normal emergency contact, but he couldn’t get in touch with her. So he raced home from work and I somehow had the presence of mind to email the mother of the little girl I babysit and she had her husband come pick up their daughter. And somehow in those next twenty minutes or so, when I was maybe lucid-ish, maybe not, the kids didn’t fall in a toilet or electrocute themselves or even fight each other. 

When Brian got home I went to sleep and slept most of the rest of the day, waking up every now and then to a splitting headache that I tried to control with Tylenol. Seizure headaches last all day for me. It hasn’t quite been a week since the seizure, but I can’t remember much of that day. My memory on seizure days is always like that. I pretty much lose the whole day. I found out that when I talked to my parents I kept asking, “What do you mean?” which pretty much sums up what I remember thinking all day that day. My parents tried to keep a boy on the phone to talk to while we waited for Brian to get home, but neither of them was interested and so we ended up being cut off.

Brian had a chance to talk to the boys about what happened while I slept and we’ve all talked about it since then. “You had a seizure, Mommy,” they’ve been telling me. “You fell down. You’re fine.” In my memory, I don’t remember the kids seeming scared at all, or even interested in me, but they told Brian that they saw me fall down and that they all three came over to me and cried, but I think they might be getting caught up in the dramatization of the scene as opposed to the actual scene.

This has all given me a lot to think about—beyond piecing together what must have happened based on where my bruises are. How much do I need to talk to the boys about seizures and what to do when I have one? I suppose the more they know the better, but I also don’t want to scare them. I’ve known that being a mom who can’t drive is my lot in life, but the fact remains that the reason I can’t drive is actually a reason that can be quite dangerous in many other ways as well—more dangerous than the inconvenience of not being able to drive. I want them to be ready and smart for when my brain freaks out next time. But mostly I want them to be safe. Hopefully the next time I have a seizure they will be able to pick up a phone and call for help. And hopefully they will call someone who is nearby, not in Idaho and asleep.


  1. First, I don't think this blog post should be labeled "embarrassing," my friend. And second, I think you are awesome and your boys are going to be awesome at this--and they can always call me, cuz I kind of know what to do...?

  2. Oh! Thanks for reminding me of that label. I had labeled it "embarrassing" because I originally had written a paragraph in the piece about parents embarrassing children and how that might apply to me...but I edited it out. Yeah, I think calling you would be helpful. You can never pick me up at the emergency room too many times I suppose.

  3. Sorry to hear about your seizures, but I'm glad you shared your experience. I can imagine that is very scary for everyone! It sounds like you've got yourself two (well, three I guess!) amazing "boys" in your life!

  4. Thank you Marissa! I do indeed have three amazing "boys" in my life.

  5. Dawn, I live and work within a mile of your house. If you want to add my cell phone to your speed dial I would be honored to be there for you and the family. The boys, or Brian, can call me anytime and I am within 3 minutes of your house. I will email you all of my contact into just in case!

  6. Jackie, that is so nice of you. I have your cell phone number, but if there are better ways to reach you, email them to me. I will keep you in mind. Thank you so much! It means a lot to have such nice people in my life who help me so often.


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