Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Post-ictal family dinner

Sunday, January 27, 2013

***Post-ictal is a word I learned from the paramedics who assessed and transported Gery to the hospital.  It means the period immediately following a seizure in which the brain is still recovering.  I'm using a little poetic license because it's usually not more than an hour unless the seizure was very large (and Gery had a series of large seizures).  

Family dinner was and is a staple of our lives - every Sunday, we have dinner together.  We talk about the things that happened that week, we have inside jokes, we catch up on each others' lives, we have wine, we eat off of each others' plates, we yell, we argue, we love each other and I can't quite capture the essence of it other than to say it can be the best and worst part of my week.  Nobody holds you accountable like the people who love and know you best.  

We walked into Gery's parents' house together like we'd done so many times before.  Sarah exploded through the door because she had a lot to say to her grandparents, her aunts, and her cousins.  She had gone sled riding on a big hill, ridden in the back of a pickup truck, slept in a sleeping bag... her weekend had been amazing.

I knew there would be meatloaf.  It was Gery's favorite.  Mine is okay, but nothing compares to his mom's.  I haven't eaten meatloaf since he died.  He seemed a little confused and kind of awkward, like he wasn't sure what he was supposed to do or say.  I was relieved, honestly.  I had gotten him to his mom, a nurse with a lot of experience and education, and I had done it without further incident.  For a couple hours, I was not in charge.  I did have some of the answers, though, even though we all had many more questions than answers. All I really knew was that I would call the neurosurgeon on Monday, and that I wasn't going to work because I didn't know what to do with Gery.  He couldn't be alone, and he couldn't drive, and he was still easily confused and very quickly tired - so I was off work to make a plan.

I wish I could give details of the conversation, or of the questions, or of Gery's reactions, but the whole thing is a blur to me.  I was so physically and emotionally exhausted (though I had no idea that I was at the very beginning of what I would end up being able to handle and stand up to) that I just checked out and let someone else pay attention and take care of him until it was time to go home.  

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