Either I’m in heaven, or I’m in hell
Am I losing my mind here?
(‘Cause I can’t tell)
I’ve been waiting for answers for way too long
Seems I’m always waiting around

– Spiderhead

“We are fucked”.

I said this to Mike as we sat in the waiting room of the children’s hospital, where Noah was having an MRI for his fractured elbow.

He fractured it during a skateboard class, and since this was the same elbow he dislocated almost exactly one year ago (I’m NOT kidding), our amazing orthopedist wanted an MRI done to get a clearer picture of the injury than an X-ray provided.

Having dealt with a pre-summer injury almost exactly one year ago (I’m NOT kidding), I knew that this meant a drastic change to our METICULOUSLYCHOREOGRAPHEDPLANS. Starting with the week between school and the start of camp, when he was supposed to be in tennis camp.

Hence, us being fucked.

Dig me out
Dig me in
Out of this mess
Baby, out my head

– Dig Me Out

And so Mike – being Mike – immediately got on his phone and found several mini camps for that week, that a one-armed boy could participate in. I busied myself with a book, and then about 20 minutes into the procedure the technician came out and asked me to join him in the room where Noah was. I literally thought nothing of this.

And then I saw Noah lying limply on the table, as the technician asked me if Noah had a history of seizures.

And then I literally thought everything.

Spiders in my head, spiders in my mind
You may take my eyes, but baby I’m not blind

After almost 4 years being seizure-free, Noah had a seizure. And here was my first thought:

“Please don’t be dead”.

He opened his eyes. But was just kind of laying there, listlessly and silent. The technician asked him who I was. My second thought:

“Please do not have had a stroke”.

And he looked at me and said, “Mom”. But slurred, and a slackened mouth. My third thought:

“Please don’t have brain damage”.

And as he was rolled down to the ER (because now we had to have bloodwork done, and an EEG), he answered “hospital” when asked if he knew where he was. Still slurry, but still. Thoughts 4 through 527:

“Please don’t let the ESES return”.

“Please don’t let him start regressing”.

“Please remember all the things we’ve spent the past 4 years teaching you”.

“Please be our Noah”.

And so on.

And all of a sudden, that week between school and camp meant nothing. His fractured arm meant nothing. The MRI meant nothing. All I focused on was watching him closely, and getting that damn EEG done as soon as possible (which, thanks to the intervention of a good friend, happened). See, though intellectually I knew that what I saw immediately following his seizure was very much in keeping with what I SHOULD be seeing, emotionally it was quite another story. Watching my normally engaged, chatty, full-of-life boy just laying there, slurring his (few) words, triggered all the PTSD feelings that I have carried (and carry) with me since this ordeal began.

And then slowly he started to come back to himself. He was tired (as to be expected), and quiet (ditto), but was lucid and responsive and I started to breathe again.

It all works out in time
You know I’m gonna be alright
You may take my eyes, but baby I’m not blind

The EEG was done – and turned out normal. He came home the next day and did all of his homework with the same ability as he has done every day before. We went out to dinner, had game night, and he went to sleep. And woke up the next day.

And as for the elbow? Well, the tiny fracture that accompanied last year’s dislocation was now a not-so-tiny fracture, and will require surgery. And a cast for a few weeks. And some physical therapy. And – just like last year – time will pass, he’ll return to his regularly scheduled life, and all this will be behind us.

Till the next time.


Do you parents out there do this too? That thing where you make micro adjustments in your head, to cope with the incessant “things” that keep coming at you? You know the script – “at least it’s not”/”well as long as it’s not”/”thank god it’s not”/”if it’s not…..then we’ll be okay”.

You got me
For now
I’m here
For now

Click here for more info on ESES.

And here, for my other posts on our journey  with epilepsy:

Fried (Not a Recipe Post)
End of the Week and Such…
What You See…
I Wish You Knew
Shapes of Things
Lost. And Found.


  1. Shalagh Hogan on June 4, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    Oh Sheri, I was so right there with you. And I completely get the PTSD . How can we not start negotiating and pulling focus. Your kid is all in and you would never deny him that. And I have tears in my eyes and a huge amount of compassion to hug you with.
    Keep on doing just what you do.
    Love you you and yours from me and mine,

    • sherisilver on June 4, 2018 at 2:32 pm

      Thanks as always Shalagh – you never fail to “get it”. xoxo

  2. Barry Chaffkin on June 6, 2018 at 11:19 am

    What great perspective. After almost 30 years of working with children and families, I truly believe parents sharing their stories with others is a super powerful support. Thanks Sheri ( a high school friend from Brooklyn ) for sharing your story

    • sherisilver on June 6, 2018 at 12:33 pm

      Thank you Barry – I so admire the work that you do and appreciate this so much……….

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