Pulling Out of the Fast Lane

THEN and NOW: Chapter 18, Rose Goes Homebound

I had always thought that overprotective mothers had issues. That assumption bit me back. I should have known better. But it is so much easier to judge than to understand.

I did not want to take Rose’s reins back. I had restarted my own life. The fear had abated. We were happy. We were all busy. We were ‘bad busy.’

I had not coined the term yet, but you know what that means. Skiing vs. swimming. Flying vs. walking. It means that we were moving so fast that we were missing things.

Status epilepticus is not something that can be missed. Rose’s seizures rarely stopped on their own when she was young. Her brain fired away until it was stopped by emergency medications.

When I was weighing the choice of school or homebound, I kept coming back to a seizure we missed when Rose was small. She was in the bathroom in the basement. My whistle was not returned. I went to find her. She was on the floor, unconscious, covered in vomit. How long had she been there like that? She was cold. She was limp. I had to clean her up, cover her up and wait for her to return.

I sat on the cold floor beside Rose wondering. How long was the seizure? How many seizures had occurred? Was she hurt? Was she whole? What was I doing that was so important?

I was now considering an unnoticed seizure sequence at school. In a bathroom? Behind a book shelf in the library? Under a table in the cafeteria? The question was not if she was going to have another seizure, instead it was when and where would it occur?

It was time to pull out of the fast lane. I trusted her teachers and the school, but this was too much risk and responsibility. I had spent a lot of time in schools as a teacher and volunteer. They are a wonderful swirls of action, movement and noise. Not a place for a silent seizure to be noticed.

I did not want to be a helicopter mother. Rose and I were tethered together again by her epilepsy. The seizures may be sporadic, but the fear is constant. We needed all eyes on Rose until we figured out medications and triggers. Education could wait.

This was not an easy decision, but it was the right one. This choice would be made another time, much later in her schooling. It was the last semester of her senior year.


Author: Flower Roberts


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