Monday, September 14, 2009

A wedding and a seizure

Yes, big events have a way of flocking together into our lives like Canadian geese. Except, for us there is no migration out of the cold. At least, no yet.

I went camping with Jan on Sep 12, to be at John and Carol's wedding. This was happening at a camp next to Bass Lake. John, Jan's Dad, is in his early seventies, but that was of no significance for him and his bride to be to married at the beach in picnic shelter at Camp Lake Bass. Beautiful setting, but I had only seen young people do this back in the 1960s. Anyway, maybe this was for them a trip to the "good'old" days. Kind'a romantic, in a way.

We pulled into the camp Friday night, and with some difficulty, and lots of help from Jan and Mom, I was able to set the tent and get the things ready for the night. I could not find the matches to start the fire, so we went to Dad's camping place to share the warmth around the fire. After a while, we went back to our camping spot and started our attempt at having a reasonable night's sleep. It didn't work. I didn't have a pillow, so, I could nor find the right position to fall asleep. Turned and turned until I lost consciousness. Jan got chilled all through the night, in spite of lots of blankets and sleeping bags. Not a good sleep for both.

In the morning, feeling damp and smelly, I wanted to take a shower. Jan knew where the showers were but could not tell me, she was having problems with her speech. Jan has been camping in this park since she was little. With no more directions that "follow the path" (I noticed that there were more than a dozen paths), I went on in my adventure. It was around 8am. and Jan looked tired, not having slept well. It took me about a half hour to find the showers, and then, I quickly used a very wet and impractical shower room. Even though my clothes were hanging on a hook on the wall, the got wet. I put on my soggy clothes and found my way back.

When I arrived at the camp site I found Jan on the ground under the cherry tree in front of the car. She was semi-unconscious laying on her right side. I knew immediately that she had had a seizure while I was gone. I felt upset with myself for leaving her alone. If I had been here... but I know well that nothing would have been different, except that we may have had a chance to go back to the tent before the onset of the seizure. She was grunting. How quickly dignity and propriety dissapear in these circumstances. I Took her head and placed it in my left arm while I was trying to put her left arm around my shoulder and lift her by the waist with my other hand. I don't know how I managed to bring her back to the tent, about three meters away. I placed her on the inflatable mattress and covered her. She was beginning to come to. I asked her if she wanted me to call an ambulance. She said OK. I told her I was going across the road to look for her aunt Mary and Glenn, her husband to ask them for help. they came and after a while, Jan felt a bit better and decided to stay. She really wanted to be part of the wedding ceremony. I don't know where she found the strength, but she got dressed and we attended the ceremony. Jan was leaning against my shoulder all the time, unable to stand by herself, and at lunch time she took a nap on one of the picnic benches.

What marked a new beginning for her Dad was marked for me with a reminder that I have a long road full of uncertainty and illness ahead of me.

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