Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Mama, You Catched Me.

I've heard those words from Monkey #2 a lot this summer. Those words raise the hair on my arms, and not because of his grammar, but because too often I can't...catch him, that is. Cameron has epilepsy, and up until July, I thought ten-ish absence seizures was a tough day for my little man, then something in his brain's chemistry changed. One morning, he paused in the driveway, half way to the car. I looked ahead of him to try and see what had caught his attention, and in my periphery I watched him collapse, face first onto the pavement. I screamed for help, but all the neighbors around us had long left for work. He didn't shake, twitch or stiffen, he lay limp and unresponsive in my arms for the longest ten seconds of my life. Then he cried, and my heart started to beat again.

I couldn't catch him that day, and the scrapes on his chin, hands and knees were a painful reminder of that. After trips to the ER, and pediatric neurologist came news I didn't want to hear: his epilepsy is getting worse. While many children outgrow their seizures, some don't and Cam is one of those kids. He still has ten-ish seizures a day, now they vary from absence (a lapse of awareness/ staring spell) to atonic (abrupt loss of muscle tone/ collapsing in a boneless heap) seizures. I haven't left his side for weeks. I can't bear the thought of him hitting the ground like that again, and that is the very painful reality until we can find a medication that works. I catch him a lot, thank God. In fact, the other day I let go of my shopping cart to catch him in the grocery store. My cart accidentally bumped into another cart, which brought stares from the couple it belonged to. "What's wrong with your boy?" They asked. "He has epilepsy," I grunted under the force of 85 lbs. of limp monkey. They looked on in horror, then pity, once Monkey #2 was upright and speaking "Mama, you catched me." The gentleman tried to ease the awkwardness by cracking a joke, "You ought get him a helmet," he chuckled at himself. Sadly, he's not far off the mark. Our neurologist wants him in a helmet, but my monkey also suffers from autism and sensory integration disorder. He won't let anyone close enough to trim his shoulder length hair, let alone strap on a helmet. How much can one kid handle, right? Apparently, a whole lot, because none of this slows him down a bit. Not even a little...even though I find myself wishing he would.

The silver lining has been the time I've been able to spend with Cam. Time away from the fray of the publishing world, away from social media and the demands that my career places on me. In turn, I've spent less time scolding and more time snuggling, less time banging my head in frustration and more time simply playing. At the end of the day, I find myself more thankful than I've been in a really long time, and not because my books are doing well or someone left a stellar review of my writing. I'm thankful for each and every time I'm there to catch my son. That is more precious than anything in life.

Ugga Mugga Super Cam, I love you. xoxo- Mama.