2006: Tuesday after Memorial Day. Clayton had his first seizure. It was one of the scariest moments of my life. He had another one a couple of months after that that scared us just as equally, if not more. It was the second one that officially put him in the "has seizures" category.
2010: Friday before Memorial Day. (My birthday) Clayton woke in the night with seizure activity. Doctors treated it as a shunt malfunction; but knowing what we know now, and the debacle that unfolded after his shunt was "fixed," it was most likely a seizure just like those in 2006.
2013: Friday before Memorial Day. Clayton fell asleep around 10:30/10:40. Jackson and I were both laying in the bed with him. Sometime before or around 11:00, Clayton's left arm shot up and I immediately started asking him if he was alright. When I got no response I realized something was very wrong. I'm pretty sure I knocked a sleeping Jackson out of the bed running to get Brian, who was across the house. :( By the time we got the lights on and figured out what was happening, Clayton was in a full tonic-clonic seizure. It waned for just a bit as the firefighters arrived, and Clayton was able to slightly respond to them by nodding his head in response to their questions and directives. It only lasted a couple of minutes though, as he began seizing again as we all watched. It wasn't quite as physically violent the second time, but still just as disturbing. Watching his eyes become completely lifeless as they darted back and forth was almost too much to take.
Clayton's seizure continued for almost two more hours. After two doses of Valium, two doses of Ativan, and a thousand extra milligrams of his regular seizure medicine, he finally started coming out of it, just in time to fight the nurses as they started a second IV. I hated that he was fighting them (for their sake), but boy was I glad to see that personality emerging under the fog that he was in!
We had a great experience in the ER (is that an oxymoron?), and the nurses and doctors we dealt with were extremely diligent in their care of Clayton and on explaining more in-depth the seizure phenomenon. (Since it looks as if, indeed, Clayton does have a full blown seizure disorder, given his history, we were full of questions).
As of yesterday afternoon, Clayton was finally starting to smile just a bit more often than we had seen the whole weekend. He is still pretty drained, and although he thinks he wants to do something, once he gets into it, he realizes his body just doesn't have the strength to carry through. I'm hoping another day off from therapy today will give him the extra rest he needs to get back into the swing of things.
And in the meantime, what the heck does he have against Memorial Day weekend?! It's almost cyclical the way these have happened . . .
2006: 2 3/4 years after brain injury
2010: 4 years since last seizure
2013: 3 years since last seizure
It's almost as if his growth pattern includes having a major seizure as a rite of passage into the next phase? But then again, I wonder if we've missed any since he has begun sleeping more and more often through the night by himself. At any rate, I'm not much on coincidences, and you can guarantee that this time next year, I'll be on guard more than ever!!