When my mobile phone rings there is one number that pushes my anxiety levels to overload. Before I’ve even answered the call, I am preparing for the worst.
‘Hello Kelly, it’s Fran from the front office at school, we’ve called an ambulance. Your son is having a seizure.’ This is the call that I dread the most!
I drop everything and run! Run to my car and drive as fast as I can to be by my son’s side. One time I got the dreaded call, I was with a friend and she could tell how distressed I was as I yelled “fuck, fuck, fuck” as we ran to my car. My friend insisted she drive. I am not sure whether she’d ever played Gran Turismo or whether it was a lack of oxygen we were both suffering from the dash to the car, but she got me to my son in a time that Daniel Ricciardo would be proud of.
Every time there has been an ambulance called at school; I’ve managed to make it in time to hold my son’s hand on the journey to hospital and be there when the epilepsy fog clears.
My mobile phone became a permanent attachment after my son’s first seizure. I will never forget holding his lifeless body and that gut wrenching feeling that my son was going to die. He was blue, cold and his eyes fixed looking to the corner of the room. He was covered in sick and he’d wet his pants. He was floppy like a lifeless ragdoll. I called out his name, but he could not reply. He kept having seizures that day and after almost 12 hours of being pumped full of God awful drugs the torture stopped. It left my little boy and our family broken. He was medicated with anti-convulsive drugs and we were told to get on with our lives.
The first time the school rang after the epilepsy diagnosis, my heart sank. It wasn’t because our son was having a seizure but because of his out of control behaviour caused by the meds. Over the years, there have been a lot of phone calls! I have honestly lost count. The medication was for all intense purposes working – it was stopping the catastrophic seizures, but had turned our little boy into an emotional mess.
After years of trial and error, things have settled for our son and a small dose of one medication seems to be working for him.
He recently moved schools, which is a big deal for any kid especially one who needs routine. It wasn’t long before I received a call. My son’s behaviour had got him into trouble. A long and serious chat followed!
A week later the school called my mobile phone again. I thought what has he done now? However, this wasn’t like the previous call. ‘Your son is on the bed in sick bay, there’s been an incident.’
Bloody hell, has he had a seizure and they’ve not called an ambulance? Why didn’t they call me as soon as the seizure started? The adrenalin was starting to kick I was getting ready to run to my car.
But before I managed to set off on my Cathy Freeman-like sprint, the teacher explained my son was playing cricket and had copped a ball in his eye.
‘Oh is that all?’ I thought to myself. Relief flooded this Ragdoll Mumma!
Wow, this was the first time I had received a “normal call”. I know an eye injury can be serious, but in the scheme of things I’d take “a ball to the eye” call over “we’ve called an ambulance” call any day!
I may have been a little bit happier than most when I collected my son with a throbbing black eye from school, but it was exciting not to see him strapped to a stretcher receiving oxygen. I guess it’s all relative.
For the record, I did take my son to the GP and got his eye checked and it was fine. Awesome, just add ice!
*Today is Purple Day – a day to raise awareness about epilepsy. Please remember epilepsy is much more than just seizures. Do your bit by wearing something purple and support those who live with epilepsy.
Ragdoll Mumma Kelly