Today’s round robin is on the scariest thing that has happened to you? With Halloween just around the corner, this is a very à propos topic. Normally, I would trot out one of the many paranormal encounters I’ve had, but, to be honest, none of them are the scariest thing that has ever happened to me. The scariest time in my life lasted three and a half years. Even though it’s been past for nearly three years now, echoes still resonate in my life.
You see, the scariest moment in my life was the day my daughter Lily had the first seizure. She had seven total—the shortest being a few minutes, the average lasting about 20 minutes. (Thankfully, she has grown out of them.) All of them were partial complex, except one, and came on in the middle of the night, usually around 1-2 am. All of them were frightening. None of them were more frightening than the other, but that one unlike the others… That one was something out of the exorcist.
It came on like all of the others. She started grinding her teeth then she threw up and the noises started.
We raced into her bedroom. Her eyes were stuck looking left and wide open. One side twitched. With each twitch, she emitted the noise, “Uh.” I talked to her and told her to wiggle her thumb if she could hear me. She did. So, part of her brain was still aware (this and the fact that it affects only one side is what makes it partial complex), although she never remembered them afterward. (I am grateful for that.)
This particular one, it wasn’t continuous, which was unusual in and of itself. It stopped for a minute before starting again. We would talk in between. Since she was aware, I told her that we were taking her to the hospital if it didn’t stop within the next few minutes. She hated going to the hospital. They stuck an IV in her and affixed those adhesive pads for monitoring her system on her chest. These adhesive pads hurt when we removed them. She cried every time. Even in the midst of the seizure, she didn’t want to go.
The seizure started again. Pushing away from me, she started walking, one hand along the wall to feel her way as she couldn’t see—her eyes still stuck to the right.
I followed her into the hallway and then the bathroom, not quite sure what was going on. I kept thinking it might stop, but, after a few minutes, I realized it was just time to go. So, I picked her up and said, “It’s okay, honey. You’re going to be all right. We’re going to the hospital.”
Hands on my shoulders, she pushed away from me. Then she did something I’d never seen before, and hope never to see again. Her eyes became “unstuck” and tracked a circle around the ceiling of the hallway. Her head moved with the movement of her eyes. When she finally looked at me, I shivered. Even though I know it’s not logical, at that moment, it seemed like she was possessed. Her entire body convulsed, and the seizure became a grand mal. (The one and only grand mal, thankfully.)
She’s grown out of them. Her last one was three years ago around Christmas time. It came on from a fever. Although considered old for febrile seizures at that time, her temperature hit 106°. It didn’t last long, maybe 5 minutes. Needless to say, I am always on top of it when she gets a fever and don’t sleep much at all until they’ve passed.
If you’ve never seen someone in the throws of a seizure, be grateful. I am just grateful we are past that stage and I can sleep again, although we still have a baby monitor. Charlie thinks we can get rid of it. Lingering fear keeps me from doing it because there’s always the “what if” in the back of my mind.
Please visit the other authors participating in this month’s round robin: