rude awakening

In the pitch black of the morning I ran, half asleep, to Calvin. I’m not sure what I heard but I knew he was having a seizure. It was six o’clock.

Michael and I caressed him, told him we were right there and to breathe. His hands were dark and blue. This seizure, longer than usual, lasted at least three minutes from the moment I reached his crib-side—no way of knowing when, exactly, it started. I wondered if this one was going to stop, but it did. 

As Calvin lies in bed next to me now, thick mucous from a month’s old virus makes it nearly impossible for him to breathe through his nose. He sucks his thumb for a few seconds at a time before coming up for air. Having trouble falling back to sleep, he remains awake and slightly irritable, banging the back of his wrists against his forehead.

I change his diaper and give him his seizure medicine, slightly early, plus two acetaminophen suppositories in case he has a headache from either the seizure, the sinus congestion or both. Gurgling next to the bed is the humidifier, misting out hot beads of moisture in a futile attempt to ease Calvin’s breathing.

The convulsions twist and tangle his innards. Calvin’s gut creaks and moans while he writhes to release the kinks. But he seems hungry so I spoon feed him the mixture of yogurt, oil and mashed strawberries that Michael has prepared. He takes it willingly with labored breathing between each bite. I think he’s going to be okay.

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