It is 11:02 pm and I finally get to sit down tonight. I was to complete “An Intentional Act of Kindness” today in memory of Meaghan Gerringer’s 18th Birthday. I suppose I can say that maybe it was telling the EMS responders to my 911 call thank you would be sufficient. What do you think Meaghan? I promise next year when we are to complete an “Intentional Act of Kindness” in your memory, I will do one better. However, we get a Double Act of Kindness when I witness the fire truck pull to my curb and EMS vehicle pull into my driveway on this mist, cloudy day, opening the back doors of the vehicle and coming toward us with a gurney and equipment. My thoughts are how quickly they move and I am so grateful to not be caring for Meghan alone. I have some support this time. Crying and saying, I didn’t know who to call, and I am sorry, the heroes assure me this is their job and they are here to help…
I am tired and it is a struggle to wake Meghan most days…an ordeal sometimes so I was not a nice person today. I hate this part of the day. I have my own version of autistic meltdown that probably a mother or father who has unconditional love for their child with autism truly understands. However, I get over it, apologize to Meghan, tell her I had no right, and I continue to scream to myself what a piece of crap I am, and Meghan deserves better. I just need a break, not a few hours but a couple of days. Somewhere quiet.
About 3 in the afternoon, just when I think I can watch Green Bay and Seahawks football game, Meghan wants to go outside and look for bugs in the yard. and although I try to talk her out of it, nope, no such luck. So we get her brand new North Face coat on from her dad and that her sister,Lacy Margaret ordered for her for Christmas, put on her helmet, locate her purse that her late Grandmother gave her with her most precious dvds—Back to the Future Trilogies. This is what people with autism do…they have precious possessions that mean EVERYTHING to them. Don’t expect them to part with any item either, not one…unless you are prepared to fight in the World Wrestling Championship or play in the Super Bowl. This, folks, is the equivalent of the football…protect the football, always.
While Meghan is walking around trees in front yard searching for ladybugs in the frozen tundra of the trees bark, I clean the junk out of the piece of junk truck that I drive and dispose of it in a garbage can. I also carry clothing to donate which have been placed downstairs in the corner of the living room by the side door and put in the back of the truck.ife is done in steps and takes forever. This is because Meghan needs constant supervision due to her seizures. Meghan is heading towards me and I hopefully asks if she wants return inside since ladybugs aren’t co-operating. Instead, she crosses the driveway and starts toward the cedar shrub which hides our trash can where she can continue to look for a ladybug. Just one, Lord, just one little ladybug and we can go inside so she can love one to death, literally.
Then I heard the familiar screeching sound coming from Meghan which warns me she is beginning a seizure. I turn toward Meghan to see her fall backwards like a chain-sawed tree hitting the earth, slamming her head on concrete and begins convulsing on the driveway. Not our lucky day, she is having a violent gran mal. And I have Louie on a leash, no phone and no VNS magnet. I am trying to hold her head and back up above the driveway while she seizes and at the same time protect her limbs from the powerful jerking against the concrete. So powerful, that once she crushed a heel when she fell down the stairs while having a seizure. When the convulsions end, her lips are blue, her eyes are rolled back in her head and she is not breathing. You know, those few what seems like hours are the worst time for me because I don’t know if this will be SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy) that her neurologist says could happen…” If seizures are uncontrolled the risk of SUDEP increases to more than 1 out of 150.” Meghan is considered at risk for SUDEP. She starts breathing and foaming at the mouth. Louie who is with me is barking and licking the foam off her face that comes from her mouth. This is what Louie does when she has her seizures. He is very protective of her and he has decided this is his job. I am holding Meghan’s head up and trying to move her so fluids can drain from her mouth. This is difficult as she is dead weight and my back is hurting from the process. She is lying on the cold, damp driveway. I look around for a few seconds and no neighbors are around so I lay her head back down on driveway (no other choice) and I dash inside the house door to grab pillows, my cell phone and blankets off couches. Running back out, I place these items under her head and cover her. I am crying because I don’t know what the Hell to do. I seem to do that a lot lately according to Meghan. We are outside on the damp, cold driveway and alone. Most times, we are in the house and I can put pillows under her head and body until she can recover enough for me to help her to the couch. But this isn’t an option on this surface. No neighbors are outside, I have few friends with husbands, and her father rarely answers his phone or texts. This is when I call 911 not knowing if they will come in this type of emergency. A stupid thought, but stupid thoughts have become a part of me over the last few years. Exhaustion does this to your brain.
The nice, kind, strong heroes place Meghan on the gurney, and into the house. Oh what a miracle this is! Meghan is starting to awake but is in a very discombobulated state. She is pulling at her clothing, her hands and at me as she is in a post seizure daze. She doesn’t understand what I are saying to her. When the EMS heros check her vitals, and I answer questions about Meghan’s seizures and autism, they leave assuring me that I can call anytime she has a seizure to assist in moving her to a safe, more comfortable place. Meghan sleeps 3 hours. When she awakes she says her head hurts, and refuses to eat. So thank you, Lord, for this experience. I no longer have to be alone and can get help for Meghan. And most importantly, thank you, dear God for allowing Meghan to survive another seizure.