It is 3:00 am and I can finally hear Brian, the love of my life, breathing normal; regular, steady, clean breathing. And I am beyond relieved because a few hours ago, through snot and tears, I was telling him to go, that is was ok to leave me, that it was ok to die.
Let me take you back a few hours, when his first of four seizures began today. Yes, the first of four. The first one came immediately upon returning from a beautiful walk together. He started to feel it coming; the waves of pain at the back of his head, the dizziness, and lightheaded feeling that creeps up before the storm strikes. Walking up our winding staircase to our apartment, I thought it was going to happen right there on the stairs. Because it's happened like that before; me trying to hold us both up, teetering on a stair where one slight slip, would send us both tumbling to, at the very least, a few broken bones and at the very worst, well, you can imagine.
We made it inside, on the bed, where the seizure immediately hit. The rigid body, arched back, screams of pain and then nothing. No movement. No pain. No breathing. Absolutely nothing. This is where I begin my count. Slowly, calmly, 1, 2, 3...to 20. Nothing. I began CPR and he jolted back to life, gasping for air after only two pumps on his chest. Relieved and thankful, we settled in to our regular routine; him resting or on his laptop, me on mine. Life as normal, except this is not normal at all.
The second seizure hit soon after, a repeat performance of the first, but this one lasted a little longer and was a little more harsh in every way possible. A few hours later, seizure number three came on, fast and furious, followed by number four...the worst one yet. The aftermath of number four led me to my pleas for the love of my life to leave me. He returned to me groggy, slightly incoherent but still able to talk, and it was the words that he said that led me to believe that perhaps it really was time.
After a seizure, he is sometimes in what I call, the in between world and tonight, he stayed there for longer than usual. His eyes were closed, and his face was completely relaxed, feeling no pain whatsoever, and he smiled. I asked him why he was smiling and he said, It's Akila. I asked him who Akila was and he said it was his Husky. He also said that Max, Forte and Cinnamon were there too and they said to him that they could carry him over the bridge. I thought I knew everything there was to know about Brian, but I found out later, that in fact he had a Husky named Akila when he was a small boy and the others were dogs from his and our adult life. During our in between conversation, I asked him why he couldn't go with the dogs and he said that once he stepped on the grass and onto the bridge, he wouldn't be able to return to me. He then looked up towards the ceiling in our apartment and smiled. I of course asked what animal was there now and he said, No, it's mom and dad. He reached his arm off the bed and said that his mom wanted to hold his hand and she asked him to walk with her. He held it there for a few seconds then frowned, dropped his hand back on the bed, and said, mom's mad at me. She says I have to stop fighting so hard. I can't win every fight. But dad says that I should do what I have to do.
Then he began to cry and through ragged tears managed, I can't leave you yet. I'm just not ready.
Right then and there I made a selfless decision to let him go. To not beg for him to come back to me. I saw the peacefulness on his face, the painless, crease less, beautiful face and I knew that his mom and dad and our dogs were on the other side, waiting patiently to take care of him for me. And I had to let him go.
But the thing is, he's not ready to leave me.
So I sit here and I listen to his breathing, hoping that it continues, wondering if he'd be better off if it didn't, wishing he wasn't also so selfless to be concerned about me when he is going through such hell every single day of his life. It's an impossible situation, and it's one I have to release control of. Whatever is going to happen will happen, but I truly take solace in the fact that when the time is right, he will be going to a wonderful pain free existence, with loved ones, human and canine alike.
This I believe with all of my heart and soul.
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