Sarah Stultz: Three steps forward and two steps back

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Nose for News by Sarah Stultz

I’ve written about my son’s battle with epilepsy numerous times before, and it’s back in the forefront of my mind again today after a weekend stay at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester following a seizure episode on Saturday.

Landon has had epilepsy since he was 1 week old, and it has been an exhausting nine years since dealing with the highs and lows that come with the disorder — at times just as things seem to be going well, he’s hit with an unexpected major seizure episode and he takes a few steps back.

We have been in the hospital for overnight stays at least a handful of times over his lifetime related to seizure emergencies, and over the years, there have been changes in both his daily medications and emergency medications. In some ways it has been like a trial and error of sorts as we learn what his body responds to and what it doesn’t. Even when he may respond to one medication today, that does not mean he will respond the same way to that two years from now.

This weekend we found out he did not respond to his new emergency medication, which led us to calling 911 and Landon being taken to the hospital.

In recent months, Landon has only had smaller seizures and has come out of them on his own without the use of his emergency medication — but this weekend was different.

Every time one of these larger incidents happens — where he does not come out of the seizure or where he has back-to-back seizures, I am reminded of how fragile life is, and I take a deep breath as I know that Landon ultimately takes a few steps back on his progress and starts over again.

My husband and I had a meeting with Landon’s teacher and special education team this afternoon that had already been in the works before this weekend, and it came up how some of the behaviors and knowledge that Landon had mastered as recently as last week, have been a challenge again this week.

There is not much that can be done about this other than trying to keep the seizures at bay and trying to find a solid emergency medication that will work in the event he does have one.

We and the teachers just try to continue moving forward, keeping hope that what he has lost will come back quickly.

To the firefighters, EMTs and hospital staff who helped us this weekend, I am grateful for your kindness and compassion in caring for our son and for helping us during one of our lows.

It is a comfort in the back of my mind that if we do have instances like this take place, we are met with people with caring hearts.

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Wednesday.