Bethesda Magazine

Our family was hiking in Hawaii when my son had a terrifying seizure. The subsequent day we schooled what caused it, and what he still had to face.

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Nadya Sagner and her son, Charlie. Photo by Skip Brown

I told off my son’s neurosurgeon. I’m not customarily a confrontational person. I’m shaken around people with believe that distant surpasses mine, generally when it comes to things like modernized math or science. we indispensable this alloy to perform mind medicine on my 14-year-old son, Charlie, though so distant a male had come off as brusque, unrelenting and dismissive. Charlie was shocked of all from his medical lingo to his death-grip handshake. But this was a surgeon we’d been assigned, and he happened to be a one everybody had recommended. 

It was late final August, day 3 of a stay on a neurology building during Children’s National sanatorium in D.C. we had hardly slept, carrying only rolled out of a automobile vinyl couch-bed in Charlie’s room. He was heavily medicated and bending adult to an electroencephalogram (EEG) that was monitoring a electrical activity in his brain. And here was that surgeon, breezing toward us. we didn’t wish Charlie to arise adult and panic, so we stopped a surgeon as he walked into a room and rushed him behind into a hallway. 

“I know you’re brilliant,” we told him. we explained that he had frightened Charlie with all a speak about what could occur during surgery, how he could finish adult with debility on his left side or repairs to his engine cortex. “Tell me a frightful parts, we can hoop it,” we said. “But don’t tell him. He doesn’t need to hear it right now. You have to be some-more gentle.”

Looking back, I’m broke that we pronounced any of this. Blame it on fear, depletion or adrenaline, though we had to mount adult for my kid. Normally, Charlie’s not simply rattled. He’s deferential and respectful, and he’s also got a spiteful side. So distant he’d rubbed this whole experience—the universe of hospitals was totally new to us—with calm and even amusement. But a thought that he was carrying mind medicine was too most for him, and something in me was triggered. Maybe it was a utterance of my maternal plea, or my apparent desperation. Maybe a surgeon was only fervent to pierce on with his morning rounds or get divided from a crazy romantic mother. Whatever a reason, he listened. 

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