I’ll never forget September 11, 2001. I remember exactly where I was when the tragic life changing event of our century took place. I remember watching the first tower burning on the news with astonishment. I remember sitting with Jim on the edge of the bed and holding Jimmy while I sobbed. I remember being in complete disbelief and then it happened again…another plane flew straight into the second tower. I remember brushing my teeth with Cinnamon Close Up toothpaste and feeling sick to my stomach. I still can’t brush with Cinnamon Close Up without feeling queasy. There was so much confusion, commotion and speculation and it was still unclear as to why the first plane hit the first tower, and then the second plane hit. As the day’s horrific events unfolded, and more reports came out about the other planes—the one into the Pentagon and the one that crashed into the field in Pennsylvania, it was obvious that it was the sinister work of Hijacking Terrorists.
I remember not opening our store that day, being afraid that this terror attack could strike in more and more cities throughout the day. I was glued to the news. I remember not wanting to leave our house and being scared about not having enough food and supplies should this turn into some kind of horrifying and devastating World War on American soil. Those events that day shook all of us.
We took Jimmy out in the boat again tonight so that he could knee board. Grammy was home from her vacation house so we asked her to watch the Doodle. He’s been doing so great with the seizures this last week. And then we got a call from Grammy. He had a grand mal tonight around 5:30 p.m. He was having a good time jumping in his bouncy house and then it happened. He likes to climb in and out of the jumpy and he fell down and went into a seizure. My mom doesn’t know if the seizure caused the fall or the fall caused the seizure…It was the bad kind. She said it lasted about a minute. Usually after he has a big seizure, he is out of it and exhausted. He sleeps and you can’t wake him up for at least 20 minutes to a half hour. This time he screamed and cried for a long time right after. She said she couldn’t calm him down. I’ve heard from people who have had seizures that they can wake up from a grand mal and be nauseous, agitated or have a headache. Since the Doodle doesn’t talk, he can’t tell us what he is feeling.
It’s 11:17 p.m. and the Doodle is laying next to me and Jimmy watching the Backyardigans while I type. He’s all wound up and won’t sit still since he slept for a couple of hours tonight with my mom after the seizure. Out of the blue, he just let out a yelp and went into another grand mal seizure. This was one of the worst one’s I’ve seen, his face was contorted with his eyes rolled back into his head. It’s hard for me to watch and then I looked over and saw the look for terror on Jimmy’s face. Even though he’s scared, Jimmy is trying to be so strong. He said, “It’s OK Mom, I’ll go get Dad.” And then he ran in the other room to get Jim. The full body convulsing lasted about a minute and now the Doodle is sound asleep, exhausted from the reign that just took over his precious brain, body and soul.
Jim told me the other night that he felt like the Doodle’s body and brain had been invaded by a Terrorist. He was right on the money.
Although the Doodle’s seizure disorder is not as gravely morbid, economically and politically devastating as 9-1-1, living with Epilepsy is similar to living with a Terrorist. Once the seizure strikes you are scared, effected and confused. You’d do anything for the seizure to stop. You pray, making desperate deals with God. Once it finally stops you are hopeful that it will not return. Then the seizure returns…and your hope has been crushed and there is nothing you can do but wait. First you wait for the seizure to stop and then you spend the rest of your day or week waiting and watching for the seizure to return. You can’t relax. Even if the seizures have gone away for a few hours or days…you know they are coming back; planning their attack at the perfect and unsuspecting time where they can inflict the most terror, damage and pain. This type of terrorist is not concerned with age or innocence. It leaves bodily injury, brain cell destruction and confusion in its path for all close to it.
You cannot rest living with this terrorist called Epilepsy, it’s all you can think about. Even when you aren’t thinking about it, you are thinking about it. Things are no longer up to you. You have no control over the situation or the seizure. The Epilepsy Terrorist feeds on your despair and anxiety while you wait for the other shoe to drop.
I still don't know which seizures are worse, the big ass kicking seizures or the quick drop you to floor seizures. We get both.
I will sleep with one eye open tonight as I listen to the breathing patterns and watch the Doodle’s movements in the glow of our dim night light.