Friday, July 10, 2009


Six months and two days. That's the record for now. For the first two and a half years the seizures happened once every three months.

I feel disappointed because with a new event, Jan's hope of driving one day moves further into the future. She has to be free of seizures for one year to be able to take again the driving test and obtain a license. Her freedom of movement is on hold, although she can move in the public transit very well.

This time it happened as we were having breakfast. She began chanting as she does when she feels an aura. Five seconds later she sprang to her feet and went to the sink facing the window and continued singing, this time louder. Within 5 or 6 seconds she turned towards me with arms outstretched and began the seizure standing! I run to her and clutched my arms around her waist. I was afraid she would collapse and hurt herself. But her body was already rigid and the shaking began in seconds. I lifted her and carried her to the bedroom. I had to negotiate the doors because her arms remained in an outstretched position. I placed her on the bed and waited about a minute and a half until the seizure stopped. She was unconscious for about three minutes and then opened her eyes, but she didn’t really see anything. Hey eyes were fixed in space. She was moaning. I covered her and wiped her saliva from her face. About five minutes later, she was back, she was conscious again. She could follow my movements and shifted her body to a more comfortable position by herself. She could not talk for about an hour. She began crying more out of disappointment than out of pain. I brought some tea and lay there with her for about 20 minutes, until she fell asleep.

I had mixed feelings the rest of the day. On the one hand, I felt more decisive in my reactions and decisions during and after the seizure; on the other hand, I was pained to see my wife suffering like this. Waves of compassion and sadness came and went. I did not struggle anymore with the feeling of powerlessness I used to have. I did not argue with God or asked the usual why? I felt some resignation, and wondered what was the meaning of all this, was this a way to test our individual faith and resilience? Is this the “wilderness” we have to endure in order to be ready? I felt tired.

About two hours later, Jan woke up and said she was feeling fine. She thought that the recovery time was getting shorter, however, later in the day she felt again weak and dizzy.

We count our blessings –including the aneurysm and the aftermath- I know that we have been given wonderful lives, I just have to find the strength to focus on the blessings and not on the illness. Tough goal.



Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Fede,

My name is Muhammad Haroon and I was a student of Ms. Walton at C.R. Marchant Middle School a couple of years ago.

Ms. Walton was the best teacher I had in middle school. I was really upset to learn of the hardships she has been going through, yet I was happy to realize what caring family and friends she has by reading some of your posts.

I remember how she liked saying my name 'Haroooooon' and once she even asked the whole class to say it like that. I remember her bell in class that she'd ring whenever someone was misbehaving and we'd get a time out. We'd walk out the class and write some sentences a certain number of times.
I remember how she'd stamp on our music sheets (in guitar class) whenever we did good. I remember her unique mnemonics for remembering musical notes. Her story of the six fret sisters was always entertaining to hear.

Her in-class activities were so different from other teachers and so much fun!

Mr. Fede, I was wondering if I could meet her. It's really been long and Ms. Walton was truly a special teacher. Or, if at least you could pass this message along to her-- and also that I remember her and I miss her--I'd really appreciate that.

I wish and pray for her and her family all the best!

Best regards from an ex-student,

Haroon, M.

LRinTO said...

Dear Fede, I think this Scripture, which I read this morning, is for you:

Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion,
which cannot be moved, but abides forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the LORD surrounds his people,
from this time forth and forevermore. (Ps. 125:1-2 ESV)