Two nights ago, everything was different. Two night ago, I was lying in bed with my husband about to fall asleep just like any other night, when my daughter yelled for us from downstairs.
In our house, the first thought when someone yells for us is that the cats have gotten into something. My husband started downstairs. I got up slowly and followed him. What I saw when I reached the bottom step will forever be ingrained in my head for the rest of my life.
My son was lying on our dining room floor convulsing. His face was turning blue, and there was blood running out of his mouth. My first thought was that I was watching my son die in front of me. My second thought was that I was going to have to do CPR on my own child. I've never been more thankful to have learned first aid and CPR in my entire life.
We got my son on his side, and he began to breathe again. My daughter who had been watching a movie with him, called for an ambulance. It was the longest three minutes of my life while we waited for help.
I normally wouldn't share such a very private and personal family crisis, except my son and I decided that if we could save just one life by sharing our story and encouraging families to get CPR and first aid trained, then it would be worth it to share this terrifying experience with others.
I don't even want to think about what might have happened if we hadn't been there. I'm not going to lie and say that I haven't rushed to check on my son the last two mornings or that when he doesn't answer me right away when I call for him that I don't automatically rush to his room to see if he's having another seizure. It's PTSD, and I'm sadly not a strange to it. I spent half of the night in the hospital researching seizures online because that's how I handle things. What I learned from that and from doctors so far, is that anyone can have a seizure for a number of reasons and then never have another one. We'll have to wait six months to see if he has another seizure and needs treatment. I can tell you that this will be the longest six months of my life.
I can also tell you that in moments of total crisis like my family experienced two nights ago, it becomes completely crystal clear what really matters, and for me, it's my family. I would literally die for any one of them. When I was able to see my son in the ER and hold him, nothing else mattered, not books, not my legal career, not my messy house, not my car that needs servicing, not the bills I have to pay this weekend, not my kids' bathroom that I know they didn't clean this week. None of that mattered because my son was alive and OK.
So, please, get first aid and CPR trained!! There's plenty of places to do it. Most local fire departments offer it for free. I know we are all busy. I get it; I really do. But by taking a few hours out of your schedule to learn what to do in a medical emergency, you could save a life, and that life could be your own family member's life.