Tralee Life Life In An Irish Town


Talking Nonsense

A week of Christmas has gone by and all is well in our little household in Ballyard. Even though neither of us said anything, I think both Lisa and I feared that it would be a Christmas of shakes and seizures. However, we just had the most peaceful seven days in a long time. A veritable Christmas miracle…

Christmas morning broke and it was a miserable, dark winter’s day. The sort of day I love, when you don’t have to feel guilty for not moving off the couch, just beating a track from the kitchen to the front room and back. Fred woke at 8am and by about 8.30, he was ready for going downstairs. Lisa and Ruby were waiting for us at the top of the stairs and we went down to see if Santa had arrived. Under the tree there was a big red sack waiting for the man and he wasn’t disappointed. Godzilla and Ultraman gifts, Santa knows what our Fred likes. Ruby got clothes and makeup galore, within minutes, she was back upstairs to try them all on and I went to make the breakfast.

The rest of our day went smoothly. Every now and again we’d ask Fred if he was ok and by the end of the day, he was getting fed up with all the questions. He’s been on this new medicine, Clonazepam, half a tablet morning and evening, and it seems to have done the job. The involuntary jerking has gone, he’s not shaking and we just had eight days seizure free. The only problem is that its only recommended for short term use, it’s a valium derivative and, as the housewives of the ‘60s found out, it can become quite addictive. The neurologist only wants him to take it five days running at a time, preferably only three. It seems to have had such a good effect at stretching the gap between seizures that we’re loath to stop now…something we’ll have to discuss with Olivia in the New Year.

The eight days seizure free was only broken early Saturday morning. Fred had gone to bed late and only dropped off to sleep about midnight. The problem with holidays is we’re rising late and doing nothing all day. Its difficult to break the cycle when the whole household is lazy and the weather doesn’t encourage you either. When I went to bed, about 11.30pm, he was still awake, waiting for a bedtime story. I had to be tough on the man and refuse him a story; I didn’t want him to get in the habit of waiting for me every night. “Ok Dad,” he said when I told him no story and to go to sleep. He was still restless when I put down my book about 12.30am and I kissed him goodnight before closing my eyes. About an hour later, I was woken by the first frontal lobe seizure, no more that five seconds but he makes a noise as if he’s struggling for breath after getting a huge fright. He rolled over. Another struck about ten minutes later. The exact same as the previous one and I called Lisa.

Lisa came down and took over the night watch. About an hour later she called me…he’d had another four, all the same. We decided to give him a half shot of Diazepam, to try get him off to sleep. The seizures were striking just as he was falling into a deep sleep, thus preventing him from falling into a deep sleep and so the cycle continues until you intervene. We all get the sensation from time to time when going from stage 1 sleep to stage 2 sleep, its like you’re falling off a cliff and you wake to stop yourself. When you suffer from epilepsy instead of waking, you have a seizure. Thankfully, on Saturday morning, these were small five-second frontal lobes unlike the full seizures of other nights. Was this another sign that the new med combination was working? Unfortunately, you never know with epilepsy…

Fred slept the night from then on. I woke about 7.30am and went straight down to see what was happening. As always, I feared the worst but thankfully he was still in a deep sleep with Lisa dozing beside him. About 9am, we went downstairs and I went to get the breakfast. Fred wanted to help but Lisa and I were still unsure of his stability but he was having none of it. As he got up of the couch I took his arm to try hold him back but his legs went from under him, another five-second seizure. He looked at me in fear and began to cry, the fight upset him, as did the fall to the ground. Thankfully, he hadn’t been in kitchen turning the rashers…just shows how careful we have to be with him.

That was the last of them however and we spent the day in seventh heaven.

Ruby had Tara staying over and the two went into town shopping after breakfast. The ladies who shop and lunch then headed off to Dingle on the 4pm bus, probably good for us all to have a break. Certainly, mother and daughter had a good old set-to before Ruby left the house. Probably all about nothing and after apologies for things said, Ruby went off. Freddie and I did the sensible thing and stayed in the front room…”oh the noise” Fred said at one stage….

The big present for Freddie from Santa was a new portable DVD player. He’s had a few over the years, all did their service but the last one didn’t last kissing time. As a result, he’d been using my laptop for the last couple of months as we waited for the big man to deliver a smashing present. I’m not sure where Santa is getting his gear from these days but the DVD player kept on defaulting to French…

“This DVD player keeps talking nonsense,” Freddie said in annoyance, before I changed the settings back to English…

Oh how we all love Fred’s way of putting things.

Here’s to 2013 and more wonderfulness from our wonderful boy…




Posted by John Verling

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