O, God, where to start retelling last night?
Got home from work in the late afternoon with two consecutive days off coming up. We had a fun Chinese pick up dinner; Joey downed his own weight in Lo Mein.
Melissa and I were settling in to binge watch something and I was so relaxed that I had a second beer. Then a third.
Then, a floor shaking bang and noise like the fusion of snoring, opera and a train going by. Joey had a seizure.
It must have been abrupt because he usually senses them coming and gets to a couch. This time he was down on the floor in his closet with his face shoved into the floor. It was hard to get to him and we needed to make sure we could keep his airway open.
I’d just downed that third beer…
Melissa managed to wedge herself in with him, get a hand under his head and get his nose and mouth out of the carpet so he could breathe.
When she got her hand free, it was covered in blood.
As the seizure subsided, Joey began to rouse himself a bit and we were able to get him out of the closet and inspect his head. There was running blood all over his left ear and we couldn’t tell if it was coming from an external cut or from inside of his head.
Melissa said, “We need to take him in,” meaning to the ER as it was evening, and she was right. But I’d had three rapid beers and she was going to have to drive.
So we loaded up, her hair a mess and no makeup (that doesn’t bug me but she hates going out like that), Joey and I in shorts despite the winter temps.
I had the presence of mind to call the ER and let them know we were on the way and what had happened.
OK, OK, I need to back up just a bit so I can tell you about the BS. As soon as we realized that we had to get to the hospital, Melissa had the insight that Joey gets combative after a seizure. He just wants to sleep and doesn’t want to be poked, prodded, asked questions… it is like a man-cold on steroids. He can get violent if pushed, no matter the pushers’ good intentions.
So she showed Joey her bloody hand and said, “Look, Joey, mommy has an owie. I have to go to the doctor. Will you help take mommy to the doctor?”
It worked. She actually turned him into a caregiver, and, although we could see he’d rather do something else (hey, that’s a working definition of care giving, ain’t it?), he wanted to help mommy be OK.
This morning I realize that autism worked in our favor. His older brother, the engineer, would have asked, “Hey, if mom’s injured, how come she has to drive?” No such problem with Joey.
At the ER, Melissa quickly informed the staff of the BS story under which we were operating. It was wonderful – all of them, from the receptionists, to the nurses, to the admitting clerk, to the doctor – adopted the line. “So, what happened to you,” they asked Melissa, “and where are you hurt?”
Meanwhile, they convinced Joey that getting his blood pressure would be helpful to treating his Mom.
They very dramatically cleaned the blood off her hand so Joey could see mom getting fixed, then told him that some of the blood was on him and they needed to clean him up, too.
Thanks be to God, the bloody wound was an external abrasion. No stitches, just some topical disinfectant and a day of rest (today) at home.
And, because of Melissa’s impromptu and epic BS, no combat.
No pics to share. I wasn’t thinking of blog illustrations at the ER.
So here’s one of last night’s empties and some morning coffee. In a mug that Joey painted for me.