Rose made it three years without a seizure. An EEG was done. It was normal. She was weaned off of drug 3S during the summer. She grew taller, quicker and smarter. We felt this childhood epilepsy was behind us. This was due to all those ear infections and fevers. She was growing and thriving. We were so relieved.
Rose started third grade without much worry. Everyone involved with her care knew her history. We shared her medical information as a precaution. She had a very fun teacher. She was in a classroom near the office. She was happy. We were happy.
We were all getting into our own grooves. This lingering fear had loosen its hold on our family. I restarted my garden art business and began scheduling shows. Her brother was now in middle school. She was at her school without her big brother. No worries.
In mid- November, I had a two-day art show in a neighboring town. It was about forty-five minutes from Rose’s school. I can confidently say that both her father and I, both at once, had not been this far from her since her diagnosis. Anytime I was away from her I wore a beeper and carried a bag phone.
The week of the show, Rose got another ear infection. She had hoped to go to her first sleep-over at a friend’s house just across the street. I was preparing for the show. Everyone was busy, too busy.
We kept Rose out of school on Thursday to recuperate and rest. She seemed to feel better. Friday morning was frantic. I gave Rose some over the counter NSAIDs and her antibiotics. I also sprayed her nose. All this was by her ENT’s directions. We thought we had covered all the bases. My gut was still screaming. This was too much at once. I did not have a good feeling about the two-day show, the sleep-over and especially being that far from Rose.
My husband and I delivered our two children to their separate schools. Then we headed to the town of the show in separate vehicles. He was to help me unload into my booth and immediately return home. As we were unloading my heavy pieces of garden art, my beeper went off. I looked at it. It was the number for Rose’s school with a 911 at the end. This was our agreed upon signal to drop everything and run. I am so thankful we had this signal in place.
I explained to the artists in the booth beside me that we had a medical emergency. They assured me they would pile my art under the table and cover it. We jumped in the truck and my husband drove as I called the school.
Our friend in the office answered the phone. He said “It’s Rose. Get here quick.” I explained that we were headed up the interstate, but were forty minutes away. Our hazard lights were on. I was waving a white sheet of paper in the windshield. Still some people refused to pull over into the right lane. At one point we passed in the grass and lost a hubcap. The beeper kept going off. The calls kept coming. “What hospital do we take her to?” “How far away are you now?”
My one question, ” Is she still breathing?”