double whammy

Wednesday night Calvin suffered another double whammy: a grand mal at 7:30, then another one at 1:45 a.m. I had meant to get up at midnight to give him an extra dose of THCA oil hoping to avoid the second seizure, but since Calvin slept soundly in the wake of the first one, forever sleep deprived I snoozed right through.

In eight days Calvin suffered eight seizures (four grand mal and four focal ones.) It's not a good spate, and he remains lethargic with little appetite. I can see he's losing weight. As I laid next to him yesterday morning for hours, my mind raced over so many vexing thoughts and unanswered questions:

is this the anemia? is he oxygen deprived at night? is the calcium in the yogurt i give him at bedtime blocking the absorption of his antiepileptic medications? is the iron supplement triggering his seizures or causing some other stressor? should we try the palmetto harmony cbd oil again? it worked so well for a time. should we consider another antiepileptic pharmaceutical? would the drug treatment be worse than the seizures, like it has been in the past? would he succumb to their dangerous and troublesome side effects, some of them lethal? will we ever get our relatively lively boy back again? is he somehow slowly dying?

I imagine that last question might come as a shock to some of you. But this is how we—the mothers and fathers of children with epilepsy and other chronic and acute conditions—think. I remember a time when Calvin, because of a high dose of a powerful antiepileptic, didn't smile for a year. I feared I would never see his cute, dimpled grin again. I remember a time when I cried every day with a child who had become a raging little monster. I remember a time when Calvin was two when Michael and I sat next to his hospital bed preparing for his death during a forty-five minute seizure that wasn't responding to emergency medication.

Today, again, I lay with Calvin on the green couch as he catnaps. We have walked outside only about once in over a week. Thankfully, from our cozy spot in the corner of the house we can see the garden and all the lovely trees in their yellow, chartreuse and orange glory. An unknown donor dropped off some soup and cake yesterday. It's raining and the rhododendrons are super happy. The house is quiet. I'm optimistic about a sea change come the election. I have hope for the future, despite these double whammies.

a familiar hangout


  1. SO hard. So true. Sending kind thoughts your way. Thank you for sharing. xoxo

  2. I would imagine all children with epilepsy worry about the possibility of their child dying. How could you not?

    Katie has no illnesses or chronic conditions and I still worry about her dying suddenly, even after twenty-eight years.