I was playing a game on the computer. My cell phone started ringing. I thought it was my brother to discuss plans to help my grandfather over the coming days. I didn't answer the phone, I was in a competitive game. The phone rang again, they never left a message, must not be important...when the phone rang for the third time I answered...."Rachel, Dad is having seizures again, paramedics are trying to get him loaded up now." I opened my front door - this is what I saw. Every time I hear sirens come down our street, I panic, I rush to the front of the house and in my head I repeat, 'just keep going, just keep going.' A few times, they have stopped at my parents house and when they do, followed by the 'just keep going' is 'oh no they stopped.' Sometimes I don't even make it to the door when I see the reflection of the lights through my front door. This time they did not have sirens on, but the panic was still the same. This will never become any easier to see.
Like every other time, I sprinted down to the house. I must say if I could channel that into some race, I am sure I would win. This time when I left the house I didn't have shoes on, my feet ended up bruised and scraped but the pain didn't phase me. Got down to the house to see the paramedics struggling to get dad on the stretcher. He was still having seizures. That also will never become any easier to see
He was telling us that he wanted to die in between massively seizing. He was taken to Mayo, and I think about an hour after the seizures originally started, and with medication from the ER, he was not having seizures but was also not very alert. It would come and go. Seizures leave him completely drained and weak. There are still certain little neuro tests they do to just keep tabs on him. Concerned over his lack of response, the following morning he was sent for a CT Scan. No new brain damage...always a relief. Who would have thought that, 'no new brain damage,' would be a "relief." He had some seizures throughout the night while he was being monitored at Mayo. Mom didn't leave his side.
As we got more results and news from the doctors about how to once again tweak his medications, mom decided to go to work the following day. I told her I would go up and sit with him. It felt like old times. An odd, but familiar; uncomfortable but comfortable setting. I ordered him his typical Mayo Breakfast and a few smoothies, is it sad that I pretty much know the menu? Doctors made their rounds and with the new medication on board, Dad was improving. I left him rest in the morning but when I saw the doctors down the hall I told him he had to be alert and answer their questions if he wanted to get home. When they came in he was awake and answered their questions and they said they felt he could go home, just have somebody with him for support and what not while he builds strength back up. This is the picture right after the doctors had left the room, he just kept saying, "I'm going home" and had a big smile on his face. He asked me to text this picture to my mom. He was impressed with how symmetrical his smile was!
So at precisely this time last week we were just hoping the seizures would stop. We were taking turns going back to see him in the ER as you are only allowed 2 visitors at a time. We may have bent that rule a few times. We were keeping each other company in the waiting room while others of us went back to check on him. Just being there for each other during a time when we were uncertain about how things would turn out. It seems dad goes through the ringer with these seizures, just about every other month. I don't know how he finds the strength to keep going. Oh wait, I know...mom is standing beside him every step of the way and refusing to let him give up! I love their love for one another.
I hate everything he has been through. It doesn't seem fair. It scares me and makes me angry at times but yet it also serves as a sobering reminder of the fact that this fallen world is not our home. There are days that his physical body has left him feeling so discouraged and let down. I remind him that he is still the same on the inside.
Don't hesitate to reach out to somebody.
You just might be the encouragement they need to keep going.