Thursday, August 23, 2012

Keeping on our Toes

When enjoying lunch or dinner, in the back of my mind, I know that Robert could have a seizure while he eats or while walking to the dining room table or while praying (he went through a phase where that happened frequently). 

The family laughs and talks and Robert enthusiastically tells us the food is delicious (no matter what we are eating) but in the back of my mind (and that of my family) is that Robert could have a seizure at any time.  That thought is always there.

When Robert slowly moves from room to room with his walker, I hover to be sure he makes it to his destination without incident.  (A caregiving mom I know describes herself as her son’s “shadow” because she does the same thing). 

Seizures come without warning so we have to be on our toes.

After one dinner earlier this summer, Robert had a seizure and while I popped up to get the seizure log, Daughter  held on to his plate since Robert seemed to have a death grip on it and we were afraid the plate and it’s yummy contents (no doubt a cheeseburger and fries), would end up on the floor.  (I’ve told you he likes food, right?). 

After another dinner earlier this summer, I encouraged Robert to spend some time outside.  It was a beautiful day which we couldn’t pass up.  Robert negotiated his way through the sliding glass door and sat to do his word search puzzle while Daughter and I took turns taking pictures of the three dogs (one was a loaner) roaming around the backyard. 

Ahh, so peaceful. 

It was time for Robert to get ready for bed so Daughter took the dogs in the house and Robert finished the puzzle he was working on and we stood to go inside. 

As I walked in front of Robert to open the back door, I glanced over to see Robert starting his familiar slump over his walker. 

Uh oh.

I jumped over behind him so he wouldn’t fall and thought the seizure was over so let up a bit. He immediately slumped even further and his legs gave out. 

I’m only 5’ 2” (okay, 5’ 1 ¾”) but have been able to catch Robert before, especially when I have time to position myself for his weight (it’s all in the legs, people).  I called for help (just in case) and Hubby and Daughter appeared on the patio in record time (they keep on their toes, too, apparently). 

Before they were able to help, I had gently laid Robert down most of the way to the cement but he ended up with a scrape on his elbow and palm.  It was a harder landing than I had planned for but much better than it could have been.  Once Robert was awake again, he was wobbly on his feet but with the assistance of Daughter and Hubby, managed to get inside the house and start his bedtime routine.

A Band-Aid and little bit of Neosporin later and his elbow was as good as new.

Robert's scrape has long since healed but having a seizure while on the patio is just part of what might happen during a beautiful summer evening.  Enjoying the sunshine and the dogs and time with family cannot be undone by also having to be on our toes.

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