Yesterday marked the anniversary of an event that changed the World.
It also marked the anniversary of an event that changed my world. Three years ago yesterday, the husband suffered a seizure, in fact, he suffered half a dozen of them, one after another, and he ended up in hospital.
Honestly, at the time, I wasn’t terribly frightened. I went into crisis mode, which meant being calm and dealing with what needed to be dealt with, making sure that the husband was OK, and the kids were sorted out, and generally getting on with things.
The first seizure happened in the night, and it wasn’t terribly dramatic. I was asleep, and, although it woke me, I wasn’t entirely aware of what was happening, so when the husband simply wanted to go back to sleep, I let him. The fits kept coming, and in the morning I finally persuaded the husband that he needed a visit to Accident and Emergency. Of course, by the time we got there, the seizures had abated, and there was nothing left to witness or treat.
Quite a lot of people have a seizure at some point in their lives and, as always, the husband had been working too hard; we’d also ended the day with a celebratory meal and a bottle of wine, which had probably lowered his threshold for having a seizure. So after a consultation, we left casualty and hoped that was an end of it.
Four months, a series of episodes and a number of visits to the hospital later, the husband was diagnosed with epilepsy... And they were four extraordinary months that changed our lives.
The worst case scenario could, of course, have been fatal, and, faced with that, the husband and I spent a lot of time talking. We talked about what we’d done and had, and how wonderful it had been. We talked about what we might have done differently, and about what we could still change, and we talked about what we’d like to do in the future if we had the chance.
We didn’t spend those four months waiting and worrying. Confronted with mortality the way we were, I don’t think people do wait and worry.
Three years have passed, and things don’t change over night. It was important to normalise. It was important to work out which medication worked best for the husband, which took a couple of switches and then we had to optimise the dosage, and it took two years to get him back in his car. It was important to settle the kids, too, and the youngest has just left home.
Three years on, things are coming to a head, and the husband is getting impatient for the changes that we both know are on the cards. The work we’ve been doing since the epilepsy is finally beginning to pay off. We have plans for the future for work and for play, and just for us, and we’re about ready to implement those plans.
There’s still some way to go, but the second half of our adult lives is going to be different, and it’s going to be different because of the husband’s experience with epilepsy. In other circumstances, I’m sure we would simply have carried on as normal, and I’m sure we would have been perfectly happy, but I also know that it wouldn’t have been the same.
In the end, the epilepsy might just turn out to be the best thing that has ever happened to us. So watch this space, and wish us luck.