Rob and I have been married for almost 9 years and in that time there has been many medical dramas because of the epilepsy that Rob was diagnosed with at age 6. Well last week we had another medical incident; it was serious enough that an ambulance had to be called. Rob having seizures has sometimes been a part of our daily routine and normally I know how to deal with it and stay calm at the same time; however last week was something I don’t think I’ve had to deal with in all the time we’ve been married and I actually went into panic mode.
In the days leading up to the incident, Rob had realized that he had missed a dose or 2 of his medication and would try to make up for it which would have been fine with most of the medication he’s on but one particular one just increased the level in his system and the level rose to a dangerous level. The amount of this medication in his system put him in an almost comatose state and it took the medical personnel about 6 hours to have him more alert and responsive.
On this day I felt torn between being with my husband or being there for our younger children who were at home, fortunately a friend who lives in our vicinity was passing by and when she saw the ambulance she came in and took over with the children as I was in no state to make decisions. My sister-in-law had arrived earlier and taken over with dealing with Rob and was the one who told me to call the ambulance. She was also willing to pick up our eldest boy from school if need be and had taken the initiative to phone the school to let our boy know that she was picking him up. Though by school pick-up time I was in a calmer state and able to pick him up myself while my friend looked after the younger two kids at her place.
Epilepsy has made life hard for Rob, because unless you see him have a full-on seizure or know about the epilepsy you wouldn’t know it affects him, this has led to some well-meaning but misplaced comments. I’ve had people comment asking why he can’t work “as they know people who have epilepsy and work” more often than not these people don’t realize the extent of the epilepsy. In Rob’s case it’s not something you can understand by reading a text book or comparing it to others, as very few people in New Zealand have it as bad as him. We’ve even had some medical personnel try to treat him like any other epileptic which has not helped. Rob seems to know more about his condition than most doctors he has come across.
In my opinion, one of the hardest things for him is the fact that for the meantime having a job/career is not on the cards for him and that out of necessity he is required to rely on others for transportation. There are times when I can’t leave our kids with him as he’s in no state to watch them and be responsible for them and when that happens he feels hurt; not being able to leave them with him can also be an inconvenience for me yet that it is sometimes the way things play out. Rob probably feels at times that he’s not living up to society’s expectation of men and that makes it hard on him as well.
There have been times when people have made snap judgments concerning his intelligence because his speech can seem slow due to a stroke on the operating table at age 11. However he is very intelligent and if someone actually had a proper conversation with him they would come to that realisation.
Many married couples have their rough patches and sometimes it feels like we go through more than most; and if I’m honest there are times when I feel like ending our marriage but then those storms past and the sun comes out (until the next storm). It’s the good times and loving moments that make it worthwhile because no matter how bad things seem at times I often just have to ride the storm and hold on until the sun comes out which can be easier said than done, but I choose everyday to hold on and wait for the storm to pass as it always does