On my son Brian’s first day of kindergarten, he woke up nicely, babbling to himself in his bed. When I heard him singing to himself, I jumped out of bed and administered his first dose of morning medications.
I took him to the potty, then walked him to his favorite recliner to sit. I went to the kitchen to get his snacks packed. A few minutes into packing, I saw Brian tense up and slip into a tonic-clonic seizure. Of course his first day of school would begin like that.
Thankfully, it seemed to be a mild seizure that ended in about 15 seconds. Brian bounced back and resumed his morning. I finished packing Brian’s essentials, including his lunch, backpack, helmet, a pack of diapers and wipes, a drink, and his metal straw. I think I remembered everything!
Brian’s big sister, Coralynn, and I took him outside to wait for his bus. After having the kids at home for more than five months, I think everyone was excited to get back to a somewhat normal routine.
Brian insisted on sitting in our car while waiting for the bus. I usually assist him while getting into the car whenever we have to drive somewhere, but I figured I’d let him try on his own. After some careful thinking and maneuvering, Brian climbed into the car all by himself. I take pride in anything Brian accomplishes, no matter how big or small!
As Brian’s bus turned the corner, I pulled him out of the car. The bus stopped in front of our house — but where was his wheelchair? At the end of last school year, Brian was assigned a wheelchair to be lifted onto the school bus. Although he manages to climb stairs, the wheelchair was needed for safety reasons after he suffered several seizures on the stairs last year.
Understandably, this was the first day of school, and all of the kinks were being worked out. There was no wheelchair that day, but one would be available for him any day now. In the meantime, we got some stair practice in.
Brian was very sweet with his new bus driver and assistant while they seated him. He gently reached for each of their hands and pulled them toward his helmet chin strap, a sign that he wants it taken off. The silly guy knows that the helmet stays on when we’re not home, but he pushes the boundaries like any kid would.
I gave Brian a hug and wished him luck on his first day of big boy school. Although starting kindergarten is normally a big deal for most kids, Brian was as cool and collected as he could be. I wonder how much he’s able to comprehend, but at least he seemed happy. He loves going for rides and being in new places, so I was at peace knowing he’d have a fun day.
Big sister Coralynn and I waved goodbye as Brian’s bus pulled away.
Brian was rezoned from the school he attended pre-K, so I hope the new staff is as patient, loving, and understanding as the previous one was. The blessing is that Brian’s new school also happens to be the same school where his mom, Jendi, teaches third grade, so she’ll be there for any emergencies. (Jendi would have taken him with her in the mornings, but the bus timing worked out better to allow her to get to school early to prepare for the day, while also allowing me to see Brian off and get to work on time).
Jendi said she has no concerns, and the staff at the new school is great, which eases my nerves. I exhale as the bus leaves my sight and head in to start my day.
Good luck, Brian!
Note: Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
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