The other night, about 20 minutes after I go to bed (around 1:30 am), light penetrates the dark hallway.
I am occupying my parent’s bed, because they are gone on a retreat in the mountains. You know, married couples’ time. My twin brothers’ room is right across the hallway, and that’s where the light comes from. I hear a strange sound (I later find out it’s my brother’s labored, sporadic breathing), and a forceful, worried “breathe, C—-, breathe!” (Apparently, he had stopped breathing for fifteen seconds, and his twin, Z, was somewhat frightened. I would be, too.)
Then in an urgent, raised voice sounds out “Sabrina! Get a cold glass of water or something!”
“Why?” I ask, dreading the one-word answer. “Seizure!” So I stumble down the hallway (this is actually quite comical, because I am still in my sleeping bag, which I shed halfway down the way), pounding on my 22 year old brother’s door on the way down to the kitchen. By the time I return to the room, plastic cup of water in hand, the poor boy is being turned over to his side to ease the complications of very labored breathing that seizures bring. As we three siblings all stand around his bed, anxiously awaiting the ceasing of the seize, he moans and tries to move. We speak to him, and he looks at us, eyes wide open, not understanding. After his seizure is gone, I speak to him as he looks for his pillow, and he looks at me, but doesn’t respond. His pupils are dilated. His gaze is blank. Finally, after getting him his pillow and being satisfied that he could relax, we all go back to bed.
Fifteen minutes later, I am still trying to sleep. I hear someone get up, go the bathroom, and knock over a bottle of pills. It’s C. He comes into the parent’s room after putting the pills back in the bottle and sees that I lie awake. “What’s up?” he says, in his normally jovial tone, crooked grin on his face, holding the same plastic cup of water that I had held earlier.
“Did you take your pills last night?” I ask, somewhat worried, mildly annoyed.
Again, more seriously, “DID you forget to take your pills last night?”
Shrug. “I dunno.”
“Did you know you had a seizure?”
“I did?” Incredulous. Doubting.
“Yes, you did,” I affirm. “We were all standing around your bed, looking at you.”
“You were?” C looks over into his room, as though that would help him remember. “Really?”
“Yes. So the first thing I want you to do when you wake up in the morning is take your pills, okay?”
I wake up after about 4.5 hours of sleep, and slowly climb out of bed and out of the sleeping bag. I put on my trusted hoodie and walk down the hallway. C finds me, ever so certain of himself, and exclaims, “I took my pills at 9 o’clock last night!”
“What?” I spit out. “You had a seizure!”
Guess what, folks.
“Sabrina, the pills don’t keep me from getting seizures, they just keep me from getting bad ones!”
Um, okay. Great. Dandy. Capital.
So I should expect that at any night, I will be awakened by C having seizures in his sleep, because his medication doesn’t prevent them. Not desirous, at all.