Whenever I feel like fate is trying to take me down, this is one of the times I look back on for strength. People say trouble comes in threes, but in my experience two is the norm.
This ‘Status in the Lab’ occurred during one of the scariest events of my motherhood. The fact that it was not Rose who was in danger kept surprising me. It was my super healthy, athletic son. My cross country runner, triathlete could not walk because of a mundane virus and his own overzealous immune system. He was fighting for his life against Guillain-Barre’ Syndrome. He was saved by a quick-thinking GP and an experienced neurologist. The expensive vials of IgG were worth the thousands of dollars. His determination brought him back to us, whole but thinner, twenty-one days later.
Each time I looked at him in the hospital bed, I had to do a double-take. Rose was always the one lying listless surrounded by medical professionals. I remember the first morning I woke up in our favorite hospital and looked over to see him. I was in shock and disbelief. I thought this was surely a nightmare and I was still sleeping.
I was teaching night classes at the community college then. Not one of my co-workers stepped up to take my place. I had never worked in a place with no camaraderie before. I was hurt by their lack of support. I was not going to let my students suffer, so I kept lecturing and having lab through the horrible weeks of my sons treatment and rehab.
Rose had to be dragged back and forth through this stressful period. I should have known to make other arrangements for her, but she insisted on spending time with her brother each day. There was no time to take her home, so she had to come to classes and labs with me.
The lab did stink with preservatives. Whole cats and animal organs were everywhere. I used to find dissection fascinating, but was over it after twenty years of pointing out the same parts.
So here was Rose, tired, stressed and in a stinky lab waiting to go home. I think that seizure thresholds have many factors that push the brain along until it crosses. All those factors collected that night. The two red drinks and then the stink did poor Rose in. Her brain could not take any more.
So there I was, Seizure Mama, on the floor again. Helped by my loyal students. A mother of a former student on one side and a crying sister of a brother with epilepsy on the other. I clearly remember sitting on the floor. Pausing in the moment.
Fate had us down again, but we got up again. Both my son and Rose are stronger people. I am a stronger person. I still cry like a baby when things get tough, but underneath those tears is a seasoned survivor.
Another TERRIBLE TWO pair of events will occur later in the book. We got through that, too. I am not grateful to be hit with double jabs in this life. I am grateful that I got back up. That is the lesson.