rough patch

A fortnight ago, Calvin completed nineteen weeks—three and a half months—without having any seizures. It was an all-time record. It's not hard to remember a time not that long ago when nineteen days would have been a record, and even nine days seizure-free was considered pretty good.

Sadly, the next day Calvin suffered back-to-back grand mals amid a low-grade fever. Four days later he tested positive for Covid despite not having any significant respiratory symptoms. It might sound strange to you, but I was actually relieved to know that he had Covid, which meant at least there was a knowable trigger for his grand mals as opposed to them just happening out of the blue. It will be interesting to see if he can go another months-long stint after he recovers. If history is any indicator, he may not.

And so, this past Monday was Calvin's tenth day at home resting, and during that time my patience thinned more than I'd like to admit. Calvin remains restless as ever, likely because of the drugs he has used in the past and/or the ones he is taking now. He still bites surfaces incessantly, and has begun to lean over and beaver away at the molding on the walls to either side of where his jumper hangs, he's that tall. He puts his fingers in his mouth and drools as much as ever, and puts his hands on my face constantly, so it is a miracle that I haven't gotten Covid from him. He has had terrible trouble falling asleep, and instead bangs on the wall or kicks the inside panel of his safety bed sometimes for hours despite being laid back down often. It drives me and Michael up the wall as it is impossible to ignore. We aren't sure why Calvin is tossing and turning as much as he has been since the Covid. It might be because of the Covid, but we can't be certain.

It's blogs like these that cause me to consider scrapping it all together. I've become weary of writing the same damn thing over and over for almost thirteen years. Nothing seems to really change. I imagine a lot of you are tired of reading about the tedium, too. I'm not sure I'm learning anything new by exploring the same topics ad nauseam. Moreover, I want to feel less of the things that make me worry and mad and anxious. And it's hard not to believe that putting this stuff down in words isn't doubling the insult to me and my readers.


On a couple of non-Calvin-centric notes, I've continued running and have been training for my first half marathon on October 1st. I love the way running makes me feel free, alive, and unencumbered. I'm also assistant coaching a parks and rec kindergarten through sixth grade co-ed cross-country team like I did in the spring, and it is so much damn fun.

Calvin is back at school and no longer has to wear a mask. He's begun eating better again, and last night was slightly more restful than of recent. Here's to hoping this recent rough patch is soon over. Cross your fingers and knock on wood.


get ready to cry

Long ago, my brother Scott forwarded an email to me. On first glance, it appeared to have been one of those chain emails that I loathe receiving, the ones that, at the end, tell you that you must forward it to others and something good will happen to you. But it was not one of those. Rather, it was a list of incidents relating people's humanity, empathy, gratitude and grace, and what made it even nicer for me was its absence of any mention of God; it was simply an account of the amazing creatures we can be if we are open, loving and mindful of others.

Thank you, Scott, for knowing that this was something I'd appreciate, even though I'm often cynical and despondent, and for sending it on.

Here it is for the rest of you. Enjoy:

Today, I interviewed my grandmother for part of a research paper I'm working on for my Psychology class. When I asked her to define success in her own words, she said, "Success is when you look back at your life and the memories make you smile."

Today, I asked my mentor - a very successful business man in his 70s- what his top 3 tips are for success. He smiled and said, "Read something no one else is reading, think something no one else is thinking, and do something no one else is doing."

Today, after a 72 hour shift at the fire station, a woman ran up to me at the grocery store and gave me a hug. When I tensed up, she realized I didn't recognize her. She let go with tears of joy in her eyes and the most sincere smile and said, "On 9-11-2001, you carried me out of the World Trade Center."

Today, after I watched my dog get run over by a car, I sat on the side of the road holding him and crying. And just before he died, he licked the tears off my face.

Today at 7AM, I woke up feeling ill, but decided I needed the money, so I went into work. At 3PM I got laid off. On my drive home I got a flat tire. When I went into the trunk for the spare, it was flat too. A man in a BMW pulled over, gave me a ride, we chatted, and then he offered me a job. I start tomorrow.

Today, as my father, three brothers, and two sisters stood around my mother's hospital bed, my mother uttered her last coherent words before she died. She simply said, "I feel so loved right now. We should have gotten together like this more often."

Today, I kissed my dad on the forehead as he passed away in a small hospital bed. About 5 seconds after he passed, I realized it was the first time I had given him a kiss since I was a little boy.

Today, in the cutest voice, my 8-year-old daughter asked me to start recycling. I chuckled and asked, "Why?" She replied, "So you can help me save the planet." I chuckled again and asked, "And why do you want to save the planet?"  " Because that's where I keep all my stuff," she said.

Today, when I witnessed a 27-year-old breast cancer patient laughing hysterically at her
2-year-old daughter's antics, I suddenly realized that I need to stop complaining about my life and start celebrating it again.

Today, a boy in a wheelchair saw me desperately struggling on crutches with my broken leg and offered to carry my backpack and books for me. He helped me all the way across campus to my class and as he was leaving he said, "I hope you feel better soon."

Today, I was traveling in Kenya and I met a refugee from Zimbabwe. He said he hadn't eaten anything in over 3 days and looked extremely skinny and unhealthy. Then my friend offered him the rest of the sandwich he was eating. The first thing the man said was, "We can share it."

photo by Lyle Owerko–Gamma