I went and watched Beth swimming again yesterday. Bill and Bridie had a curriculum day so I took them and Bill’s friend Stevie for a swim while I watched Beth. Stevie had had a sleepover and as most kids do in the water, they had a ball, climbing up to the slide over and over again. I had organised to meet another mum from Beth’s school for a cuppa while we watched the kids swim. Her son is at Emerson because he has epilepsy, this in turn has affected his IQ, hence why he is able to attend a special school. I wont use their real names as I haven’t asked so I shall call them Jenny and Ben.
Often we only get a few minutes at the end of the day to have a chat. The kids are usually panting to get out of school and we all have younger kids to pick up from their primary schools. I’ve made a few friends though, I know they are real friends because we’re even friends on Facebook! One friend in particular has a son with autism so we’ve talked about the various therapies I’ve tried over the years and we always have a good laugh together. I haven’t had much of a chance to chat with Jenny though, just enough to know that she’s ‘my type of person’ if you know what I mean?
Anyway, we were sitting having coffee when Jenny got called over by the staff. Ben had had a seizure on the side of the pool. He just had enough warning (10 seconds mind you) and luckily wasn’t in the water when it happened. Jenny dealt with it with such composure. After a few minutes went by the staff got a wheelchair and he was taken in to the first aid room. When Beth’s lesson finished her half of the students went to the other pool for a play. I picked up Jenny’s phone, purse and coffee and went to find her inÂ first aid. Ben was having a sleep and Jenny was waiting to see how he was. By the time I left the pool I heard her hailing me from the car, saying she was taking Ben home and that she’d see me today.
I saw Jenny again at the pool this morning and she told me that Ben has a lot of these seizures. The longest he usually goes for is five days. He had brain surgery last year to try to help it but it didn’t stop them. Ben himself ran up to Beth and I, shouting hello to us. They usually get there just after us in the morning and Ben always comes up to say hi, commenting to Beth that she was the first one there one day. He’s a gorgeous boy, so outgoing and friendly. By the time I got home today Jenny had put on her facebook status that it was a good morning, no seizures at the pool. Then a little postscript a while later, she had spoken too soon, he’d had one just at the end of their play and she’d had to drive all the way back to get him.
I know this doesn’t have anything to do with Beth really, even though many kids with autism also have epilepsy.
Anyway, my point is that I was nearly in tears thinking of this beautiful boy having these awful seizures all the time. How unfair it is that we as parents are dealtÂ these shitty hands that we have no choice but to deal with them. I was so impressed with how Jenny took it all in her stride, how that’s what her life is about and how she still managed to smile and joke that one day, we will get that coffee in. And I wanted to say to all the mums out there (and I know that many of you are mums in the same situation as me) that you are doing an amazing job. We are given these little blessings that push out buttons left right and centre but we still battle on because that is our job as mothers. It’s bloody hard work at times and I don’t know how many times I’ve had people say that they don’t think they could do it. But we do. We fall head over heels in love with these babies as soon as they are born and that never changes, much as there may be times that we don’t like them much! What choice do we have? We do the best for our kids because that’s all we know. So Happy Mothers Day to all you wonderful Mummies out there, pat yourself on the back and reflect how far your little one has come, they couldn’t have done it without you! xxx