We’ve had a pretty rough week in the Chouinard household. The kids have had the awesome opportunity to participate in rehearsals for the Music Academy Summer Musical. They’ve also had playdates and pool time. I am so thankful that they have been spared much of the drama going on in our lives. And we have a new nephew, Drew Liam Chouinard, which brings joy to everyone’s hearts. But for the adults, it’s been a bit rougher than for the kids.
Ben continues to have seizures almost daily. On Monday, he tripped walking home from the pool and got pretty badly scraped up. On Wednesday he fell down the stairs and had to go to the ER. We thought he broke his arm, but it was only badly bruised and incredibly swollen. On Thursday we lost power and kind friends took our children overnight (thank you, Plaisteds and Shannons!). Ben fell asleep in our hot home around 7:30pm, and I spend most of the night fearful that he would awaken and be disoriented by the lack of power. Thankfully, he managed to sleep through the night and our power was restored by morning.
On Saturday Ben had a very rough day with many seizures. I had planned to work all day, catching up on administrative items for work and preparing for next year’s busy schedule. But Ben called me several times and it was clear that I needed to come home to care for him.
He was sleeping when I arrived home, but then I heard the telltale “thump” indicating that he had fallen out of bed. I went upstairs immediately to check on him, and he was disoriented and in pain from hitting his shoulder. I tried to help him back into bed but he fell out again and was complaining about pain in his shoulder. When he fell a third time I realized that I just couldn’t help him any more. I called the paramedics and gave Ben some painkillers.
By the time the paramedics arrived, Ben had no memory of falling out of bed or of hurting his shoulder. He continued to remain disoriented and displayed symptoms of having had multiple seizures. But neither one of us really wanted to go to the ER. So after the paramedics did a quick assessment of Ben, we sent them home.
I debated about writing about all of this publicly. But I’m hoping that it will help people know how to pray for us. Ben definitely needs ongoing care. His seizures effect not only memory, but his coordination as well. He is bruised and bloody and sore right now from his many falls.
Part of God’s grace is that Ben has very little memory of the events of the past week. But I am worn out from them and from juggling my many responsibilities: caring for the kids, caring for Ben, caring for the home, and working. In September I begin working full-time, including teaching several classes that I have never taught before (and will need to create my own curriculum). I love teaching and am very thankful that God has provided a job that allows me to be at school with my children and work on their schedule. But I am also very, very overwhelmed when I stop and think about all of this.
We have a new doctor’s appointment in early August with the top epilepsy specialist in New York. We will discuss changing medications and see if there is anything else we can do to help Ben.
Would you please continue to pray for us? Pray that we would not lose heart. Pray that God would give me energy and ability to fulfill my many obligations with joy and not with anger or frustration. And please pray that we might find a new medication that helps Ben, even if only for a short time.
2 Corinthians 4:16: So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.