Thursday evening 10pm: I wake to Rick in seizure. He has nocturnal epilepsy, and grand mal seizures that come on about every three months. This is the eve of my girls trip with my six sisters-in-law and marvelous Mom. I had planned to drive up with baby Mase that night and have my Dad babysit while the eight of us girls headed up little cottonwood canyon to the Cliff Lodge at Snowbird. We had massages, facials, pedicures, swimming, Yoga, spa time, lots of girl talk, relaxing and sleeping on the menu. Earlier that day I had decided that I would leave early early Friday morning, fully rested so that I wouldn't have to drive all night. When I hear the familiar pre-seizure moan and the beginning of convulsions I feel:
  • Concerned for Rick. He is so near the edge of our bed that the only thing keeping him from falling off is my full weight pushing against him.
  • Grateful that I didn't leave earlier in the evening like planned, and grateful that he's having his seizure now, and not a week from now while he is on his trip to Barcelona and Marseille.
  • Sad. Because Rick's seizures sometimes come in clusters-- two or three in a few day period, this changes all plans. I don't want them to change. I want to go as planned and enjoy my time off. I want Rick and Vaughn to set up a tent in the backyard as planned and watch scawy movies, and build stuff with Legos. I want us all to have fun.
The night passes slowly. I come in and out of sleep. The dark room is bleary with my sadness. I realize that the only way I can go is if I convince Rick to come with us. He and the kids can stay at my parents while my Dad helps with the kids.

Friday morning 4am: I convince Rick to go. He's tired and sore, but he does it for me. He knows how much I want to get away. At one point as he's putting his bag together, he says with a scowl "I'm going, but I'm going to be grumpy the whole weekend." I burst out laughing, because he looks exactly like pouting Vaughn when he says it. It's adorable.

The drive is somewhat pleasant. We leave by 4:30 am and drive in the dark while the kids sleep. By the time we get to Southern Utah, the early morning sun makes all the red rocks look like they are on fire. There are yellow wild flowers along the road the entire drive. They seem so friendly and filled with hope at the same time. I listen to this song over and over on the ipod. It's my favorite for the trip, and makes me happy:

Friday afternoon 11am (one hour from destination): Rick falls asleep and has another seizure. This is the first time he's ever had a seizure while he's sitting up, and the first time Vaughn has ever seen him have one. I pull over and do my best to take care of him. Vaughn is surprisingly calm, and keeps saying "you okay daddy? You okay? You having a sejur? You need to go to the hopsital?" and pats his daddy on the shoulder.

Rick comes to eventually, and is very uncomfortable and has a sore back. I feel terrible for making him come-- selfish. I consider going back but we're too far now, and he can rest at my parents. I get everyone settled at my parents home, get the boys down for naps, and go up the canyon. It is as beautiful as ever. I enjoy the green trees, mountain air, giant rocks. I spoil myself and get a massage and facial. It's my first facial and I love it. I get some time to visit with my sisters-in-law, and enjoy a yummy dinner from Cafe Rio that my Mom brings up.

Friday evening 6pm: I go back home for a quick check on the kids and Rick, and to nurse the baby and get everyone settled for the night. My Dad and brothers have planned a big sailing trip for the next day, and are busy readying my Dad's sail boat for the trip. Rick is still really sore and out of it. Mason's face is completely scraped up. Vaughn is wearing a bloated diaper that I put on just before nap time just in case of an accident. The house is in chaos. I feel bad that I've dumped my sick husband and kids on my family at the last minute, and again selfish. I feel like I'm neglecting my family. I do my best to get everyone taken care of and ready for sleep, and head back up the canyon.
All the girls are here and we visit, snack, and enjoy the outdoor pool and hot tub under the stars and pine trees. Everything is so fresh and cool and I feel relaxed again.

Friday night 10pm: My Dad calls to say that Rick is having another seizure. My Mom and I head down the canyon again, and when he comes out of it he's in extreme pain. He can't sit, crawl, kneel, or stand. His back is hurting like crazy and we don't know what to do for him. I feel so sad that he's in so much pain, and pray that he will be okay and can recover in time for his trip that he is looking forward to so much.

If I can paint a picture for you of Rick let me show you this: First-- I was able to convince him at 4am Thursday morning after just having a seizure the night before, being extremely tired and sore, to travel 7 hours to a different state, with two little kids in the car. He came because he loves and cares about me. and second-- in the middle of his horrible back pain, after a third seizure, while wincing and writhing in pain, not even able to stand he says things like "I'm so sorry for ruining your girls trip. I'm so sorry." As if it were his fault that he experiences these seizures. As if he had any control over it. It should have been me repeating over and over that I was so sorry. This is the man I married. Rick. My sweet husband.

And just for the record he didn't ruin my girls trip. It didn't go exactly as planned, and I can't say that it was the best weekend I've ever had, but there were moments of beauty in it. I had fun with the time that I had, and look forward to many more girls trips ahead of us. I also had a great time at my sister-in-law Rebecca's baby shower on Saturday night. I'll post more on that later.

Also...Rick is feeling much better. We took him to a doctor the next day and he was having back spasms, which are subsiding and getting better. He can walk, went to work today, and is anxiously awaiting his trip.

Viva la Spain!