Was there a connection between Linda's spontaneous affectionate moments and seizures?
| One evening, right after dinner, as Linda and I were about to go into the living room and relax, she stopped me. “I have a better idea,” she said teasingly. Saying no more she quietly took my hand and led me to the bedroom.
“Whaa…?” I started to ask. She quickly put her finger to her lips, kissed it, then touched it to my lips to silence me, and motioned for me to sit on the edge of the bed. I obeyed. She stepped up to within 3 inches of me, looked at me with that loving, devoted look she always gets when she's thinking about me not walking away like all the others did as soon as they found she was an epileptic, and she began undressing. I knew better than to say anything; I’d already been silenced once. I just left my eyes glued to her as she stripped. Always did. Never could resist watching her. Not the way she did it. No, not the bump-and-grind thing. That wasn’t her style. She did it slowly, teasing me every step of the way. She knew I never tired of watching her, and she never tired of seeing for herself, once again, that her body was just as appealing to me now as it was that night in the woods so long ago. She was 16 then, I was 17 (at a time when the legal age in Ohio was still 21).
Naked now, she reached for my hands, took them in hers and pulled me to my feet. Then she simply stepped up to me, took my hands and placed them on her chest, just as she had done so teasingly during those late-night dips we had shared in her parents’ pool during their vacation trips the two years before we were married. I began massaging her breasts.
“I always love the way you’re so gentle with me at times like this, Jim. It lets me know that I’m still that important to you.”
Before I could respond, she took my hands from her chest, put my arms around her, then embraced me, pressing her warm, naked body firmly, lovingly, and most willingly against mine. My thoughts immediately went back to that day in my first apartment, above Judy’s parents, when she met me there wearing that brown, wool dress that she so teasingly unzipped, then dropped to her waist, offering herself to me without saying a single word. (That was just a week or two before that night in the woods .) “This time, we aren’t so shy, though, AND there’s no reason we have to hide anything or be careful,” I said to myself as I squeezed her and ran my hands over her.
She pressed herself against me even harder, and whispered, “Thank you, Jim, for making all my dreams come true. I love you!”
We didn't make love that night, but just the same we were certainly both reminded of just how close we were, how devoted we were to each other, and how deep our love and affection really was. And we cherished every moment of it.
The following night, Linda was washing the supper dishes. The water running, I heard the occasional clink of china and glassware, and the equally recognizable clang of silverware as she worked. I was peacefully reading the paper in the living room, some 25 feet from where she stood.
Suddenly a plate hit the floor. CRASH!
I laid the paper down in my lap momentarily, waiting for the usual "nuts!" or maybe even "damn!", if she happened to cut herself. Instead I heard that all too familiar yell of "Ahhh...", rapidly increasing in volume from just a whisper to full blast as a seizure struck. I dropped the paper to the floor as I stood, and raced to the kitchen. As I ran that 25 feet, and in the midst of that yell, she hit the floor with a loud thud.
Just then I turned the corner. She lay before me, on her stomach, trying to go through the usual motions. But this time, both arms were beneath her, in strange positions. Her jaw was tightly clamped shut, her teeth biting unmercifully into the tip of her tongue. Again.
Her breathing was again rapid and deep, like a marathon runner who had almost reached her limit of endurance. Her entire midsection rose from the floor each time she inhaled. I rolled her over onto her back so that she could breathe easier, making certain not to leave any limbs in awkward positions, or underneath her, to avoid injury and maintain blood circulation. Her motions were now the same as always. Soon she began to slow down, heading for Phase II.
It was then that I noticed that her lip was bleeding. Lightly, but steadily. By now she had ceased moving about. I got a warm washcloth.
She lay there, breathing through a small amount of un-swallowed saliva which bubbled up through her clenched teeth and around the tongue, as always. That had even become an extremely reassuring sound to me over the years. Hearing it let me know that she was still breathing and would be OK as always. That nothing going on in her head had changed the way her body reacted to a seizure, especially where the crucial position of her tongue was concerned. I wiped her face and cleaned away (2 or 3 times) the saliva from her mouth to help breathing. And I wiped off the blood that was coming from that cut lip. She had cut it on a piece of that broken dinner plate when she fell. I gently pulled the fragment from beneath her lower lip and discarded it.
I suddenly remembered that spontaneous, affectionate mood she’d been in the evening before, and realized that there might be a pattern here. I resolved to try and watch for a seizure within a day or two of the next time she acted that way.
A footnote. Ironically, even after I mentioned the idea of a connection between the two events to her, neither one of us could seem to remember to think ahead here. We always remembered the pattern, but not until the seizure had come a day or so after the spontaneous, affectionate mood. But we did notice that the pattern certainly seemed to be a valid one, and we wished we could have remembered to watch for it. JAW 06/25/2004.
Had we been able to think ahead on this pattern, we could have made certain to stick to safer places and activities until the anticipated seizure happened, and then get back to normal activities. That would have been another way we could have minimized the chances of injury, and possibly reduced the severity of any injuries. Even now, 35 years after her death, the humorous frustration of looking back and remembering how we never could seem to remember to look for that pattern still brings a smile to my face. JAW 09/09/2015.