I clenched my fists, bit my lip, and screamed as quietly as I could since one of my twins was napping. Tears were pouring down my face as this helpless feeling took over my body. I slid down to the kitchen floor while the other twin cried with me. I was trapped and gave in to the self-pity that I normally don’t entertain.
I have relished my independence, especially ever since I earned that driver’s license when I was 15. That piece of plastic changed my teenage world. I had a seizure while driving my car when I was 21 and was soon after diagnosed with epilepsy. I had to give up my car keys. I moved out East for better public transportation and had seizures everywhere—at bus stops, on streets, on sidewalks, in the passenger seats of cars, and at home.
I don’t have them often—about twice a year—but the risk takes away any chance of me driving. Now that I am a mom of twin toddlers, I have a whole new series of complications. Before, I had to allow extra time to get places since I took buses and trains, and I had to bum rides off people, but I’m easy-going and don’t get stressed out much, so it wasn’t a huge problem. Now with kids, everything takes more planning. When I need a ride, I need room for myself, two kids, two car seats, and an overflowing diaper bag. Because we live in a walk-able area I can get to almost any place I need to be when the weather is tolerable, which is a blessing.
But that feeling of dependence is still always there, always lurking, always making me feel a little less than others.
The helpless feeling and quiet screaming on the kitchen floor the other day was from a basic and natural need that all parents have—to get help for their children. My boys had been sick for a week. One afternoon one of them woke up from his nap screaming and dripping with sweat and I knew I had to get him to a doctor and fast. I called and they said they could squeeze him in—in 20 minutes. It takes about 8 minutes to drive to the doctor’s office. All I wanted at that minute was to get my baby to see the doctor. My husband couldn’t get home from work and then to the doctor’s in time. I called nearby friends to see if they could take us, but I either didn’t reach them or they were busy. I called my mother-in-law last, even though she is closest in location to me. Typically she would be the first I would call, but she was having a particularly busy day at work, so I was trying to figure out another way. She was at our house in a few minutes; we loaded up the spare car seats, and were only a couple minutes late to the appointment. I was glad I followed my instincts and eventually got him there, because he tested positive for strep throat and we got him on antibiotics.
I despise the helpless feeling I had that day on the kitchen floor and that I’m a mom who can’t drive her kids to baseball practice or even to school. But if it weren’t for my dependence, I wouldn’t know how thoughtful people around me are. I am blessed to have wonderful people in my life who drop everything to help me. It takes humility, but I have nothing to cry on the floor about.