Dear Doctor

Dear Medical Professional,

You will ask about his medical history,
And I will repeat the story I have told 100 times or more,
The details fine tuned to the essentials I know you need:
He was born full term,
He has a 7 year old brother who is fit and well,
He is allergic to penicillin. 

You will ask me what happened,
And I will answer:
He is 6 years old.
He wasn't breathing for 7 minutes.
I gave him mouth to mouth.

I will hand over a careful typed piece of A4 paper.
It will tell you his hospital number,
The things he is allergic to,
A list of medications and doses.
You will take it and smile.
You'll tell me I make your job easier.

I will stand calm,
And in control.  You see my demeanour,
my hospital bags packed and ready,
And you say,
You've done this before.
I'll nod and say many times.

But remember this; That 6 year old is my baby.

That boy with the oxygen,
And the wires,
And the tubes,
Is my son.

I watched him turn blue. The first time,
The fifth time,
The hundred and fifty fifth time...
It was still …

I wouldn't change you ... But ...

I love you with all my heart son, but if I could take away your epilepsy, I would.

I sometimes wonder who you would have been without it. Would you be sitting now? Would you be walking and talking? Maybe. Maybe not. Either way the seizures are still a hinderance in your development. I don't think I realised the damage they were doing until you lost your ability to smile. When you couldn't open your eyes and you couldn't lift your head, I thought epilepsy had taken all you'd got.

You smile all the time now, my precious child; but when you look at me with such fear in your eyes, it breaks my heart. I don't know what's happening in your brain, but I know you're terrified.  It's scaring you. I wish I could make it stop.

I'm not sure what's worse; the seizures that scare you or the ones that scare me. Seeing you go blue like that will never get any easier. Seconds stretch to  minutes, minutes feel like hours. I force the air into your lungs, breathing for you while your brain resets, praying you'll breathe again.

Epilepsy doesn't make you who you are my child; you are amazing and wonderful and beautiful and brave.

Your epilepsy defines me at times though- I am scared and frightened and angry and sad.

I love you my son.
But if I could, I would take away your epilepsy in a heartbeat.



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