day eight again

This time it gripped my boy at three o’clock. I’d seen it coming for at least thirty-six hours, though he’d had a good enough day for me to think he might make it to day nine. But at dinner last night, Calvin was oddly calm and his balance fell totally apart, telling me he was destined to seize before dawn.

When I heard him cry out—the spasms compressing his diaphragm—I instinctively called, “Seizure!” I rushed to his bed, unlatched its netting and lowered its safety panel, then tried my best to push him back from the wooden edge so he wouldn’t break a finger or toe. Behind me, Michael started the timer, I grabbed the vial of lavender and held it under Calvin’s nose while Michael stroked and kissed his head.

Whenever Calvin's seizures occur that early, they are bound to cluster, my boy sometimes suffering one or two more before daylight. So, though it was three hours before his usual morning dose of benzodiazepine, and because the drug has a very long half-life, I decided to give it to him anyway, to prevent a rash of fits and having to give him Diastat, rectal Valium.

After the seizure was over, I drew the sticky whitish liquid into a tiny syringe, gently braced Calvin's head between pillows and squirted the drug bit by bit inside his cheek, each time waiting for him to swallow. I chased the dose with water, given in the same manner. Clobazam reaches its peak blood serum level about an hour after dosing, which would have been right at the time when Calvin has been having his seizures recently: four o'clock a.m. To be safe, I also dropped a half tablet of Keppra on his tongue and washed it down with water.

Calvin suffered no more seizures.

The extra half tablets of Keppra we’ve been giving to Calvin on days when he has grand mal seizures have seemed to rid him of the partial ones that, several months ago, started to come in their wake. I often wonder, once Calvin is free and clear of the benzodiazepine, if Calvin's grand mal seizures will diminish or even disappear. I've read that cannabis can work better when it doesn't have to compete with pharmaceuticals, especially ones like clobazam which us the same liver enzyme to metabolize.

He's back in bed now having had a decent day considering how it started; I'm on my way there in a bit.

Photo by Michael Kolster

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