Chapter 32: Spring: Let’s try something new
With her casts finally off Kayda now flourished and shone and fully enjoyed life. She still had to wear her Scottish rite abduction brace all the time, but she no longer needed the extension on her left leg. By this time she and I were very accustomed to her awkward positioning.
Ever since about the age of 6 Kayda was totally off all seizure meds and despite being told by various people that she was having seizures, I was convinced that she wasn’t. But, then in the spring of 1997, she started having small shiver type seizures. They never lasted long and they were usually over before you could hardly notice them. But, after keeping a log of these episodes for awhile the pediatrician decided that she should go on a new anticonvulsant called Vigabatrin or Sabril. I looked it up on the internet and found that it wasn’t available in the US at that time but that it was extremely effective in controlling a number of types of seizures but especially Infantile Spasms. I read the side effect list and then promptly forgot it. I shouldn’t do that, should I?
About 4 days after starting the Sabril, Kayda woke up all congested and I automatically assumed that she had a cold so kept her home from school. By mid morning, though, while lying down she sounded fine so she went back the next day. Her oxygen level was fine too. She started tending to get a little more gurgly than usual but otherwise seemed fine. She was happy and her seizures seemed to have disappeared.
As you can probably gather from what I have and haven’t said, Dave mostly did his own thing while I stayed home and cared for Kayda and did all that needed doing at home. One of his passions was sailing-anything to do with the water. Well, one of my biggest fears is of water. So, I decided that in order to overcome this fear he and I should take a cruise and learn sailing holiday. About 2 weeks before this holiday, while Kayda was at respite for the weekend Dave & I went to a nearby lake for the afternoon. My plan was to sit on the shore and read while Dave sailed. Good plan. But, the water appeared fairly calm when we got there so I decided to go in the boat with Dave. Everything was fine for awhile. Then he tried to change the direction we were going and all of a sudden I realized that we were going to tip. I remember wondering as we went over whether or not the sailing school gave refunds for the course we were booked to take. As the boat tipped over, I was caught in all the ropes (sheets they’re called) for the sails and was trapped under the boat. That only lasted for a few seconds but was much too long for me. At first I was panicking and grabbing onto Dave and just about pulled him under. Then I remembered my Life guard training from when I was 12 when we were told that often panicking people can try and drown their rescuer. I didn’t pass the course at the age of 12 but that memory helped me to settle down a bit. Here we were a fair way from the edge of this lake with an upside down boat. It was late May but the lake was very deep and fed by melting snow, so it was very cold. Although it was a large and popular lake there weren’t any people in our vicinity who had seen what happened. I climbed up and sat on the hull of the boat. After a few minutes Dave told me we had to go back in the water and try to right the boat. I said no, I wasn’t going anywhere near being in the water again. He finally convinced me that that was what had to happen. We got the boat turned right side up but it was full of water. In the boat had been a boat motor, my glasses (I was wearing sun glasses), 2 cellular phones, and a lot of other stuff which was now all gone.
I don’t know how long we were out there. Finally someone on a jet ski came by. Dave convinced him to take me back to the dock and to then try and find some help. I got up on that thing and the guy took off really fast. I was terrified but I figured that I’d already nearly drowned that day so what more could happen. By the time we got to the dock I was clearly on the verge of hypothermia so someone who had a cell phone, phoned 911. That was an afternoon I’d much rather forget. Dave & the sail boat finally got towed into the dock and we were both treated for hypothermia in the ambulance but refused to be transported to the hospital. When we got home I was still freezing. I think it took over an hour of sitting in a bathtub of hot water for me to finally warm up. I was absolutely shattered over the accident. Dave commented that night that he finally realized how terrified I was of water (by the way, he’d almost drowned me another time on that same lake years earlier when we’d rowed across this 2 mile wide lake in a 2 person inflatable dinghy and a storm had come up) and that I really would never go along with his dream of sailing around the world or in the south pacific. My philosophy was then and still is, was that boats tip and people die and I wasn’t having anything to do with them.