The longest day of the year was followed by one of the longest nights of the year for Calvin and for me and Michael.
A few hours after I had come home, giddy from attending my dear friend Lauren's annual summer solstice party, Calvin began to whimper and stir. I got up to give him his second dose of THCA cannabis oil having earlier expected an impending seizure. Within half an hour he was beginning to writhe, rub his head and cry. I gave him a tylenol, then when that didn't work, I managed to get him to swallow an ibuprofen. Despite my efforts to assuage his pain, he continued to thrash and cry and scream. In bed next to me, he pulled my hair, scratched my neck, pushed my throat, whacked my head, kicked my legs again and again and again. Somehow, I was able to maintain my composure as he flailed for two-and-a-half hours, promising him in whispers and kisses that he'd feel better soon and that I wouldn't leave him.
It was then that I again thought about the Central American child refugees separated from their parents, some of them infants, others toddlers, left crying alone with no consolation, children who don't understand or speak English, don't understand why they've been marshaled away from their parents by strangers, children who might never be reunited with their momas and papas for weeks, months, years—if ever—the damage and suffering being done in haste by a president and his administration without a plan of action in place.
Yesterday, I heard an audio of young detained children, one of them crying "Papa!" repeatedly, until his/her little voice became hoarse. Hearing their cries made me weep.
Finally this morning, my boy calmed, though never went back to sleep. We eventually got him up, fed him some breakfast, packed his lunch and sent him off for his last day of school. A few hours after we had put him on the bus I got the dreaded call while paying for a special cake I was about to bring to his support staff at his school: Calvin was having a grand mal seizure. His ed tech's voice was trembling as she described how he had vomited during the seizure, fearing he might aspirate. I told them that I'd be there soon.
On my way I stopped by home and quickly filled two syringes with cannabis oil. Thankfully, the junior high school is less than a mile away, so I was able to give him the oil within minutes of his seizure, a tactic I take aiming to prevent further seizures.
As Calvin slept, his teacher and aides sat with me in the dim Zen Den, named for its bean bag chair and strands of calm yellow lights strung on the walls. As we watched my boy sleep, I told them of past seizures, most notably the forty-five-minute grand mal he had when he was just two. I described how Michael and I had thought he might die that time since none of the emergency meds had appeared to be working, but that it had finally stopped when we began kissing on him.
After almost an hour's sleep on a spongy floor mat, Calvin stirred and awoke. I gave him his lunchtime Keppra, chasing it with a couple of sips of water, then picked him up and carried him out to the car.
Now, as I sit at my desk writing, I can watch him spin in his industrial-strength johnny-jump-up. He is poking his eye, humming, and bubbling up foamy drool. My gut tells me he isn't out of the woods yet, and I wonder if I'll ever get my seizure-free boy back from where these sinister meds and fits took him years ago.
Then I think again of those innocent migrant children separated from their parents, every day their longest day, every night too, their lives likely ruined by the mistreatment this neighboring and prosperous nation has subjected them to. I wonder about the hundreds who have epilepsy (one in one-hundred of us do), wonder how they will fare without their meds, wonder who will hold them when they seize, wipe the blood trickling out of their mouth from bitten tongues, wonder who will whisper away their fear, their pain and tears. I wonder how the reckless president sleeps at night, he who has told his citizenry legions upon legions of lies, the worst of which, perhaps, denies the real grief and suffering these children are having to endure. The potus (the guy is not deserving of all caps) may not sleep well, but he doesn't sleep on a mat or a cot with a mylar sheet under banks of cold florescent tubes in a cavernous, cement-floored, fenced-in holding cell. But I bet he sleeps alone.
And as I wrap this up, my sweet innocent boy rolls into another grand mal, but in the safety and love of his mother's arms in a place we call home.
|Calvin after a seizure|