During our journey with Jackson, one of my favorite songs has been "He's My Son." The song brings me to my knees every time. The lyrics mention a boy needing help and the parent has done all he can to help his son. The song is incredibly moving. If you have a child with medical issues, I'm sure you have had some scary moments as my family has.
My son Jac has autism, which can be hard at times. It doesn't scare me the way his seizures scare me, though. Jac started having seizures at three years old. We have had some bad ones over the past 17 years. However, we have always managed to get through them without going to the hospital. Instead, we had emergency seizure medication at home and could call our pediatrician. He instructed us on what to do and when. That was, until this past February.
Jac had been hospitalized three times around Christmas. Twice for surgeries, and once for a drug interaction that made him really ill. We were finally released. A month passed when things seemed to be settling down, and Jac was able to return to school.
Then, in the middle of the night, my husband heard Jac get up and say something about having pooped. I got up to get him some new pajamas and underwear because I was sure Jac hadn't made it to the bathroom in time. While I was getting the clothes, my husband was yelling for me frantically.
My husband never panics. Nothing seemed to rattle this man until this night. I ran to the bathroom. Jac was sitting on the toilet, white as a ghost, with his mouth wide open, leaning back and totally out of it.
We tried every trick we had learned over the years to get him out of that seizure. We did the deep sternal rub, pinched his calves and threw ice-cold water on him. Jac was unconscious.
I called 911. My husband cried and yelled at Jac, "You can't leave me now, buddy. Come on, Jac. You have to wake up."
Hearing and seeing my husband so frantic scared me as much as seeing Jac unconscious did. In our 29 years of marriage, I had never seen that side of my husband. The EMTs arrived when Jac was beginning to come out of his seizure and after we had given him his nasal emergency seizure medication. Jac was transported to the hospital, and we stayed only to get IV medications to stop the seizures.
I don't think I had cried much over the past two months, but this broke me. I was scared for Jac, for my husband and for myself because the seizure reminded me once again that our days with Jac are just a gift.
We never know what the day will hold. That day was one of our worst.
Later that night, when we were at home, I checked on Jac several times to watch him sleeping. I thought of the song “He’s My Son” because it is just so special. Sometimes I must admit I struggle with remembering that yes, Jac is "my son," but he's mine only while here on this earth.
Having a child with a disability means adapting to life repeatedly.