Summer Night Good Samaritan (Part 2 of 2)
I sighed, part in relief, part in anxiety. “My brother has epilepsy. For many years, I’ve known what to look for and what to do.” She nodded her head. “Thanks, again.”
No sooner than she had disappeared around the corner, the ambulance and policy arrived. Jay, Dana, my husband, Rob and I explained what we saw, our actions and Randy leaving, in fact, refusing medical attention. The officers completed their due diligence of walking the surrounding blocks to make sure that he had not fallen again after leaving us. He hadn’t. They took off.
I saw Randy sitting later, by himself, at a table out back, where the music was muted and there were very few people around. I resisted the urge to speak to him and ask any questions. Its not because I didn’t care. It’s because I know how my brother feels. He dies a little inside of embarrassment after an episode. He is irrational and any perception of pity makes it worse. I’m not sure that he even saw me.
Personally, I felt raw with emotion. It brought back every fear, every hurt, every indignation I had ever felt on behalf and for my brother. I was unprepared and wasn’t sure where to put it.
My friends told me I was “bad ass” the way I took charge and “saved” the boy from further damages. They had one million questions that I did not feel like answering. But I did anyway. I attempted to keep it clinical. My voice only broke twice. I didn’t share the whole story with them. I kept to the facts. Part of me couldn’t speak the words that my mind knows. The story is locked away in my heart for safe keeping. One day I will tell it. One day I will forgive myself for being the sibling that did not carry on the curse. One day I will feel that I have atoned for being the lucky one. I am forever changed, just as my brother is.
Epilepsy impacts the entire family unit, you see. Not only physically but emotionally and mentally. Parents feel guilt and depression, siblings feel anxiety, jealousy and then guilt and depression, and the one stricken with epilepsy feels all of that plus hopelessness and crippling trauma.
Being part of a community that seeks ways to support families impacted by epilepsy helps make having this disease bearable. Activities with others who have the same disability as you – who understand- creates an environment where the whole family can learn to thrive. It’s not just the science or medical aspect – it is the emotional side as well.
Source: Diana Webster