In the last several decades, Halloween in America has become quite the event. “Everyone” dresses up in costumes, and children go door to door trying to collect as much candy as they possibly can. This tradition is exhausting for kids without medical issues. Children begin choosing their costumes in July and August. By the time the end of October rolls around, many are so excited and anxious about this one evening that they lose control, and throw many a temper tantrum.
I have said this before, and I will say it again. We have always tried our best to not let epilepsy have a hold on our family. We strive to live as normal a life as possible. Seizure medications, though, wreak havoc on the brain, and on the body. They can make you tired; they can make you have a slower response; they can make it difficult for you to keep up with the crowd. On top of that, the medications must be taken every 12 hours, even on holidays.
Bella dressed up for Halloween as she was growing up each and every year. She became ornery, she got tired, and we often brought her medicine with us so that she would take it on time, even if that meant pausing between houses during trick-or-treating. It was annoying, but so important.
Many families use a wagon to make it easier for younger children to partake in the festivities. We used a wagon for more years than most. Bella always enjoyed Halloween, but was never quite as excited about the candy as some kids. For this, I am thankful. She usually was ready to call it a night halfway through the neighborhood, even as she got older. Having a seat with four wheels was a saving grace.
My biggest goal was for all of my kids to get dressed up, and to have a fun night. Being sure Bella did not have added stress, and being sure she got enough rest, and being sure she took her medicine on time were my biggest priority, though. I tried to let those be my worries. I tried to be sure her sisters didn’t feel the stress that I did. I know that I let them all worry with me. I know I let my fears be felt by them, as much as I tried to hide them. I hope they think back to the many nights of trick-or-treating, and that they have fun memories.
I am thankful that this year, Bella is happy to sit at home with me as we pass out candy to the young ghosts and goblins in our neighborhood. We will be relaxed. We will give compliments to the cute and scary costumes as we watch the game 6 in the World Series. There won’t be a fight about taking her medicine. She grew out of those years that I sometimes thought would never end.
Enjoy your Halloween, and have a safe and healthy night.