Lauren woke me at 4:00 this morning. She was having a seizure, her second in two days. What’s this about? Lauren usually has one or two a month, not two in two days. I stroke her cheek in the cold, dark early morning and wonder...Is she getting sick? Has something changed? Have I missed something? She had the H1N1 flu shot a few days ago. Could she be having a reaction? I am alone and wondering what the next minute, the next hour, may bring. George is away this week and its just Lauren and I here in this quiet house on the hill. George and I have weathered every crisis in Lauren’s life together. If one were to arise tonight, could I handle it alone? I could, but I don’t want to.
Lauren is having a problem settling down after the seizure. I go in and comfort her every few minutes, rearrange her covers, make sure she’s alright. It takes an hour before she goes back to sleep and she’s still restless. I lay awake now listening to her breathe. We’ve slept with a baby monitor next to the bed every night of her twenty-four years. Sometimes George or I will sleep in the spare room and take the monitor with us. You don’t sleep very well when you’re listening for a telltale change in breathing or the rhythmic thumping that indicates a seizure. You have to take a break once in awhile. I leave the light on in the hall. The darkness was too deep, a murky pool representing delay should I need to reach her.
I fall asleep around 6:30 and the alarm goes off at 7:00. I make a quick cup of tea in the hopes it will clear out the cobwebs of too little sleep and too much stress. I open Lauren’s door and see her dark, sleep-tumbled curls framing her peaceful face. She wakens as I ready her clothes for the day and open her blinds. She’s drowsy and quiet but she seems OK. I wish I could have let her sleep but she needs to have her seizure meds by 8:00. I sit her up and put on her clothes, take her to the bathroom and brush her teeth, wash her face, comb her hair. On our way out of the bedroom we stop for a spritz of perfume, and then make our way to the sun-filled kitchen. I prepare her breakfast and wonder - what will today bring?