December 14, 2010

The Toughest Question

When I thought about the hard questions my kids would ask growing up, I figured the tough ones would be about where babies come from, if Santa is real, relationships and questions of my own experiences as I entered adulthood. I've already dabbled with answering the first two. I know there will be more questions that will test me, but I kindof know they are coming and in some small way I'm expecting them, ready or not. My approach has always been to be honest and give them small pieces of information until they are satisfied with the response.

Tonight as I was helping Evan get ready for bed, he caught me off guard. He looked up at me and asked in his sweet 7-year-old voice, "Mommy, do you think I'll have another seizure?" It felt like a kick in the stomach. I'm glad he's old enough to talk about his epilepsy and how it impacts him but it also means he's aware enough of the seizures to initiate a conversation. I smiled weakly and said, "I hope not" to which he responded, "I hope not too." He said he hoped he didn't have one on Christmas or Christmas Eve. I told him about the seizure he had last year on Christmas Eve and how he woke up in the morning, opened presents and had a great day, just as if it had never happened. I assured him that if he had a seizure we'd take care of him and he'd probably feel fine my morning and he seemed to agree with that.

This conversation was spurred by a seizure Evan had early this morning. It was only 3:30 am and it lasted 15-16 minutes. We gave him the rescue medication we keep by our bedside and after 5 minutes when the seizure wasn't stopping we gave him another dose and called 911. By the time the EMTs walked into the house Evan's seizure was ending. We didn't go to the hospital, but this is the longest one he's ever had. Evan always goes back to sleep and wakes up at the normal time for school, often not remembering having had a seizure. But he remembered this one -- I guess it makes more of an impression when a bunch of paramedics arrive at the house.

As the sedative effect of the medication took hold, Evan told them with his eyes closed that if he was going to ride in the ambulance, he wanted to go to the hospital in New York. We all chuckled and I thought, yep, that's Evan, even as he drifts off to sleep he's cracking jokes.

I'm sure there are more tough questions to come on this topic, but in some small way I'm expecting them, ready or not.