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Mysterious Ways: An Early Morning Emergency

It all happened in our last hour of sleep, before the alarm sounded…

Her Son Was Safe Thanks to Mysterious Ways
Credit: BernardaSv

It was before dawn when I felt someone pulling at the bed sheets. “Too early, go back to sleep,” I mumbled. The tugging continued. I cracked open my right eye. The blurry figure of my five-year-old son, James, climbed beneath the covers. Strange, I thought. He never asked to sleep with his dad and me before, and now he was too big to fit comfortably in our bed. I wanted to shoo him away. But a voice in the dark argued against me–“Keep him with you, it’s only an hour.”  

Was that my husband, Ed? I turned towards the clock. Indeed, there was exactly an hour left until our alarm would go off. I was too tired to question the voice—or my son—further. “Just this one time you can sleep here,” I whispered to James. He was already unconscious. Soon I was too.

Violent shaking woke me up again. The blankets were ripped off, tossed aside. What was going on? I flipped on the light. James. He was convulsing, heaving, and all I could see were the whites of his eyes. He nearly thrashed off the side of the bed… I grabbed him just in time. Ed was already up, standing next to bed, frazzled and alarmed. Our son never had a seizure before. What should we do?

I ran to dial 911 while Ed held James. With the paramedics on their way, we talked to our son, trying to calm him—and ourselves. His convulsions gradually ceased, but he remained unresponsive. My mind anxiously went over the possible explanations: James had a brain tumor. James would be epileptic for the rest of his life. He would need surgery…

The paramedics arrived, took James’ vitals and gave him an IV. “He’s stable now, but it might take a while for him to become fully coherent,” one of them said.

A piercing sound interrupted the commotion. It took me a second to realize what it was. The alarm clock. If I’d turned James away and snoozed until now…

At the hospital, the doctor informed us that James would need some tests done. We eventually found out that he’d had an episode of Benign Rolandic Epilepsy, a mild seizure disorder in children that goes away in adolescence. James’ health wouldn’t be otherwise affected, but the seizures could be terrifying. “If you hadn’t urged me to keep him with us, he would have been alone,” I told Ed.

Ed looked confused. “I was dead asleep. Had no idea he was in our bed.”

Then… where did that voice come from?

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