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Witnessing a seizure is a very frightening experience. Parents who witness seizures in children fear for their child’s life. It is extremely traumatic. Even now, as a trained professional, knowing all the steps I could ever need to take care of the problem, I will feel my heart rate climb with a knot in my stomach as adrenaline starts to flood my system to this day.
So it’s not surprising that in the past, seizures were thought to be caused by demonic possession. Many an epileptic in the middle ages were treated with exorcism.
When I was in the third grade, I learned about this very cool thing called a bike-a-thon. I could take my bike and by just riding it help cure cystic fibrosis, a disease that I had no idea what it was, but sure sounded bad. In my idealistic eight year old mind this just seemed like it just having fun for a good cause, so I signed right up and went for it.
My second grader sister heard about the same thing and decided she had to do it as well. That was a pain. This meant every pledge I went to get had to pledge equally to the both of us by royal decree of my mother. I was irritated, but we both pluckily canvassed the small town of under 1,000 inhabitants, all of whom knew our family, and gathered pledges. I knew no fear in those days, heck, I didn’t even realize knocking on doors asking for money is annoying in my innocence.
Pledges were made per mile and so the first question we were asked was how many miles we were going to bike. I pulled the number twenty off the top of my head as it seemed a nice even number. I still remember some of the amused, patronizing smiles as these wordly wise adults then penciled in their donation. Our pledges piled up and we ran out of room to contain them, requiring extra pledge sheets. What’s the harm in donating to a couple of naive kids playing grown up biking on their Schwinn’s after all. Read the rest of this entry »