overnight in september

Overnight, autumn arrived. The wind chilled, leaves turned rose and yellow, pine needles and temperatures fell. Overnight, Calvin suffered his sixth grand mal of September. In addition to those, he had two focal seizures, totaling eight for the calendar month. And though one seizure is one too many, I'll take eight over August's fifteen.

As I look out over the garden, now dark and damp after last night's rain, I remind myself that Calvin, though he continues to have reliable seizures, rebounds from them so much better. Gone, it seems, are the hours he used to spend perseverating, hyperventilating, fingering, heart racing in the wake of a grand mal. He—we—would often be up for hours unable to settle, and deprived of most precious sleep.

Seated in my creaky wooden chair, I regard the gangly lilac trembling in the wind outside my window and I think of Calvin who has grown so much since June, his limbs long and lean, his gait often unsteady as if he could be toppled by a breeze. Amid these weekly and biweekly seizures, I console myself knowing he is on far less pharmaceutical medication than in recent years, and yet not suffering a huge, sustained uptick in seizures. I just wish we could find a way to lessen them to the level he had (half a dozen to none) when he was on enormous doses of three powerful antiepileptic drugs, without suffering the unbearable behaviors those drugs caused. Even then, his number of seizures reliably crept up each month until we increased his medication, leading to a vicious and unsustainable cycle.

At times, on good days, I see glimmers of a more normal child in the gaze of his sky-blue eyes. I keep hoping, as he gets older and stronger, Calvin might outgrow his plight, just as robust plants are less susceptible to disease. Or perhaps the epilepsy will go dormant, like what happened to some trees as if overnight in September.

Photo by Michael Kolster

1 comment:

  1. I dream this for you too. It moves me to tears to wish for something so simple, to have a healthy and aware child.