Tralee Life Life In An Irish Town


The Yoga Incident

For the last week or so Fred has been asking me to get tattoos for him. The press-on type, not the full needle mermaid across his chest that he may choose to get when he’s older. As with all his obsessions, wolverine claws, Thor hammer, having Conor on a sleepover, he goes on and on about it for ages, and then stops for a while, before taking up the pestering again. When the pestering fails or his Mother tells him, in no uncertain terms, that what he’s looking for is an impossibility, he’ll stop. Usually this is followed by deep sighs and an ok, the sad face capable of breaking a million hearts. His one trick, before the pestering goes too far, is to throw his hands up in the air and sigh a lot. When asked, he’ll reply in a heartbroken little voice … “I’ll never get those...” Just his way of giving you a gentle reminder…

On Friday I got the gentle reminder and on the way home from work I popped into a shop that sells everything from toys to religious memorabilia. They had a choice of pink princess or pirates. Knowing my boy as I do I got the pirates and headed home. The look of delight on his face was worth a dozen Euromillions. Pirates, sea serpents, swords and ships were applied all over, and I have to say his mother looks hot with her tattooed arms. We all went to bed Friday night covered in tats.

About two in the morning, Fred woke up screaming…

“Oh Daddy I had a bad dream,” he cried, “a terrible nightmare.”

I asked what had happened.

“The pirates were chopping me up with the big swords,” he said before drifting off to sleep in my arms.

I don’t know if it’s the meds or his powerful imagination but Freddie has some great dreams and gets nightmares from the most unlikely sources.

On Wednesday evenings Freddie does yoga. An idea of Jillian’s and going is part of our trying to get back to normality. With the encouragement ofTemple Street, we’re trying to get back out in the world and not let the epilepsy imprison us in the house. Fred goes with Lisa and Jillian but Mummy isn’t allowed near him once he gets to the centre. It’s his thing and he likes doing his “exercises” as he calls the session.

The three set off and I went shopping.

When I got back, the others were just arriving home. Far too early. During the yoga Fred had got a look in his eye, Lisa, though not next to him was still watching him like a hawk and knew the signs. Apparently without notice, she swooped in and took him off to the car. Jillian, who’d never seen Lisa in action in these circumstances, did what she was told and drove the two home. On the way Fred had the seizure in the back of the car. Lisa the wonderful, caring woman that she is, saw it coming, she knows her boy inside out. Jillian was amazed by the whole event but it came as no surprise to me.

Inside, Freddie was lying out on the couch and we settled in for a night of watching him. Since the cluster of last week, we’d feared this night. We knew that only time would tell if the bad cluster was a one off or if we were back to the regular hospital visits. Though we weren’t talking about it, we both knew it was on our minds. Lisa had put up his Tegretol dose to try increase the levels in his system; maybe get some control of things again. The downside of this is that he can be very dopey when on an increased dose; it takes the body about ten days to absorb the change, to get used to processing the extra medicine.

Every move he made made us jump. The first hour is always crucial. By about 7 O’clock the first hour was over and we could relax a bit. I made dinner for Ruby and myself, trying to get on with things, hoping that the cluster wouldn’t develop.  Freddie woke up about half eight, dopey but hungry…”where’s my dinner?” he asked. Phew.

The rest of the night went smoothly. We went to bed after watching a DVD and Fred slept a good comfortable sleep, no nightmares.

At 6am though, he woke with a seizure, quickly followed by another about twenty minutes later. Two full blown, minute long, tonic-clonics.

As Ruby had to go to school, I carried on and Lisa stayed with the boy. By the time we left about 8 O’clock, he was sleeping in his mother’s arms. Maybe his morning meds were taking over, slowing things down.

At work, I called home and he’d had another tonic-clonic. The same as the two he’d had earlier.

It just doesn’t leave him alone.

When I got back for lunch there was Freddie sitting up on the couch, a plate of food in front of him.

“Hi Dad,” he waved at me, as if nothing had happened.

I just love how he gets on with life.

After work I went off shopping and coming out of the off-licence, a text came through from Lisa…

“He just had another tonic-clonic,” it read.

Talk about a kick in the teeth, one would have thought by that stage the seizures would have left him alone.

He was asleep by the time I got home but thankfully, he didn’t stay asleep for long, maybe the hunger took over. We spent the night watching him again but it seemed that the five o’clock seizure was a parting blow, just a reminder that the epilepsy can strike at any time.

Now it’s Sunday morning. Ruby is on a sleepover “back the west” and the two men are on the couch. We had the Sunday morning big breakfast and my hero is laughing it off watching Austin Powers. He never tires of the jokes.

Freddie is looking forward to Hannah coming over for the night.

No doubt he’ll show her his tats.


Posted by John Verling

Filed under: News Leave a comment
Comments (0) Trackbacks (0)

No comments yet.

Leave a comment

No trackbacks yet.