“OMG!! There is an ambulance at Keven and Katie’s house!” That is a text my neighbor sent me about 8:30 this morning. I immediately flew off the couch and out the front door. Because I’m nosy? I am nosy but that’s not why I jumped up and ran. Our neighbor, Katie, is about 6 months pregnant. At the beginning of her pregnancy she had some complications and a cancer scare. She is fine now – at least that’s what we all assumed here on our little cul-de-sac. That is what got me up and running. If you are a regular reader of mine then you know how close all of us (well, most of us) are on our cul-de-sac. We are always looking out for each other and keeping up with one another. We are not one of those streets where no one knows their neighbor. So we were all concerned.
When I got outside I wasn’t sure what I thought I was gonna do but I just kind of went where my feet carried me – which happened to be right up to the back doors of the ambulance. I could see Katie inside holding their 2 year old, who was crying. I called her name and asked if she was ok. All she could say was “get his tee shirt”. I immediately went to the front door and went in the house to get the baby’s tee shirt like she wanted. When I got inside her husband was in there – who was getting everything together. I asked him what happened. He said that the baby had a seizure when he woke up. I could see that he was very calm and on his way to drive behind the ambulance so I excused myself and went back down the street so as not to get in the way. I informed all of the others what was going on. We all stood in the street as the ambulance drove away. We all chatted a few minutes. Pretty soon we heard the siren leaving the neighborhood and we went back into our respective homes.
That’s when it all came pouring back in my mind. I relived it all again. We lived in Auburndale Florida where we pastored a church. It was 1998. I had a hard time sleeping one particular night so I decided to sleep on the couch instead. About 5:00 a.m. I heard a thump! I take Ambien so most of the time I don’t have any trouble sleeping and I could sleep through a tornado. So the events of that night were out of the ordinary. I got up to investigate the thump I heard – which sounded like it came from the kid’s rooms. I stuck my head around the corner of MIchael’s room and didn’t see him in bed. I glanced across the hall to the bathroom to see if he was in there. He wasn’t so I walked into his room. I saw my five year old boy had fallen out of his bed. I bent over and picked him up under his arms like a baby and gently laid him back down and covered him back up. I turned to leave his room. However, when I got to the foot of his bed about to leave the room I literally felt something stop me. I remember feeling pressure on my chest. I glanced back over at Michael. That’s when I saw that his head was cocked to the side in an unusual way and his eyes were open but blinking in a very regular and quick manner. His right hand was also drawn up on his chest. I went back to him to try to wake him up. I assumed he was having a dream. I called his name and laid my hand on him to give him a little shake. That’s when I noticed his body was as rigid as a board. I screamed for Ron. When Ron got to Michael’s room he picked him up and carried him to our bed and turned on the light. We could clearly see then that he was jerking in a regular pattern as he continued staring to the side blinking his eyes and clinching his teeth. I told Ron he was having a seizure. I have never seen anyone having a seizure before – I just knew. We grabbed the phone and dialed 911. Then we called one of the deacons in our church because we needed someone to come stay with Lauren. Ron left with the ambulance. I waited for the deacon to get to the house to pick up Lauren and then I took off.
That was probably the scariest parenting day we have ever had. As it turned out Michael’s seizure was a fluke of sorts. He wasn’t running a fever. He hadn’t been sick. We spent the next month with him sleeping between us in bed to be sure we would notice if he had another one. He endured tests. Everything came back clear and he’s never had another problem of any kind.
I’m thankful that I wasn’t able to sleep that night so I could be on the couch – close enough to hear him fall out of bed. I’m thankful for that hand on my chest that stopped me from walking out of his room. I’m thankful that he never had any more seizures. I’m thankful that I recognized the problem even though I had never had any experience with seizures before. I’m thankful for a caring church family who responded at a moment’s notice when we needed them.
And tonight I am thankful that Keven and Katie’s little boy is better and checked out fine. God sent me straight to the back of that ambulance this morning so I could find out what was going on because i truly understand what they experienced this morning when their little boy woke up with a seizure. So much to be thankful for tonight.