The high school spring sports season just started, so Fiona’s not getting home until almost 7pm. As soon as dinner is over, the rest of her evening is devoted to studying. Ronan’s big sister works hard both in the classroom and on the field, so when I found out she didn’t have school on Friday, in the midst of some errands I had to get done, I planned a girls’ day out for just the two of us. We weren’t going to do too much, especially after we found out that the coach set up a last-minute practice session for the team, but we were going to make the most of the few quiet hours we had together.
All was going as planned on Friday until Ronan had a seizure. It wasn’t a big one, but no matter the intensity or the duration, seizures don’t just stop Ronan in his tracks; they have a way of stopping me in my tracks as well.
The seizure was quick, and within a few seconds, it was over. Right before it happened, one of Ronan’s therapists arrived to the house. She and another young therapist had a full day of activities planned for Ronan. Instead of confidently walking out of the house like I usually do when these women arrive, I contemplated staying home. Assuring me that they were able to do “seizure watch” for me – which includes knowing when to administer emergency meds should they be required, I tiptoed out of the house.
As we drove away, Fiona asked, “They know what to do, right?”
“Yes, honey,” I replied. “They know.”
One of the young women has a sibling with epilepsy. Having witnessed the havoc they wreak on her own family, seizures were not new and not scary to her. The other young woman has been with us long enough to recognize not just behavioral changes but the physical changes that sometimes accompany Ronan’s seizure activity. I told Fiona that I trusted our staff and that we could still go out. Even though he was in good hands, I felt guilty leaving Ronan. As tough as it was to walk away, that’s exactly what I did.