A sleepy Saturday afternoon
Regan is running a fever and feeling sick, but his morning Tylenol seemed to help
He lies sleeping on the couch
I sit in the living room, typing about taking things for granted
He wakes to ask for a drink, and I bring it to him gladly
He is tired, but lucid
He drifts back to sleep again
A sleepy Saturday afternoon
And the minutes tick down, down, down
Suddenly my son starts thrashing
His body is jerking, convulsing
I rush to him
Jesus, what is happening?
I lift him
I call to him
I cry out for Aarick to run get Ryan
Regan, you have to stay with me!
Ryan comes running and the seizure goes on, the jerking and the horrid facial twitching
He picks Regan up
Is he breathing?
Ryan, he’s turning blue
My first 911 call and she asks for my address
I don’t think my son is breathing; what can I do?
Blood in his mouth from a bit tongue
We sponge him with coldness, we speak to the other children
On and on—three minutes? More?
It is like looking violent death in the face. Jesus, I think we’re going to lose him
Then a shift, his breathing changes and grows ragged, deeper now, though filled with fluid
His convulsions grow less and he lies there trembling
Pale, silent, completely unresponsive.
Six minutes after I dial the number, here is Amber at our door, an EMT
What is his name?
Regan, can you hear me, buddy?
She cuts off his shirt
She asks for more cold water, sponges him, rubs him, talks clear and calm to him
Someone else at the door—our friend Amos, come to take Aarick and Kelly
Amber works and works and suddenly he moves and begins to cry
Ohhh, that’s good. That’s very good.
You’re gonna be okay, buddy.
Ambulance drivers at the door.
We strap him in and I ride in the back, Ryan follows
My son is there but not there, does not flinch when they prick his finger
In the ER there are personnel, questions, lights, cool air.
His temperature is 102.9—a freak fever-induced seizure, but we’ll run tests to be sure.
It takes long for his eyes to move from staring-unresponsive to awake enough to look at us, follow us around the room
Will he ever be the same?
Longer still, a couple hours, before he will squeeze my hand, before the first spark of understanding lights his eyes, before he whispers his first word and then says a sentence
My son, my son
Admitted to Pediatrics for the night and we spend our weekend in the hospital
Some kids’ bodies are more sensitive to sickness, says the doctor.
I want to stay close to him
He is the one who will age us
I don’t know how to raise him but I want to, please Jesus
I love him
On Sunday, he is back to his impish grin, ornery tricks (miracle!) and we come home
I ponder these things in my heart.
Regan never naps on the couch. Ever. How would the story be different if he’d been upstairs?
How did Amber arrive so quickly?
How can the world fracture in a single moment, and in 24 hours be spinning normally again?
I am exhausted.
Jesus, thank you thank you thank you for healing my son…