I took Joshua into school yesterday and he was definitely showing his black eye off and enjoying the attention that it brought him. As we walked through reception, the two receptionsists wanted to know all about his fall and how he was now. He stood patiently next to me while I explained Friday’s saga and seemed to be posing for them to admire his cut and the bruise, which is now turning yellow. Then after that, lots of staff enquired after him as we walked to the classroom and he wore his steri-strips like a badge of honour, as if he had won some dangerous fight.
Joshua has a leather padded helmet that he wears at school and at respite, to protect his head from sudden falls due to seizures. I tend to take it off when he is in my charge as it looks hot and uncomfortable and it covers up his face. When Joshua was more mobile, he wore it at home too and always when outside surrounded by hard surfaces. But since his brain surgery, he is less upright and he fits less often, and so he only wears it at home when he looks vulnerable to seizures and will not sit still, but insists on getting out of his chair and walking around. If he has already fitted once in a day, he wears it then too, even though that might well be bolting the stable door, after leading him to drink.
It is a security blanket, although it is not 100% effective as we saw on Friday afternoon as it did not protect his eyebrown area and other times at home, sharp objects have sneakliy found their way in through the gaps in his helmet when he has fallen. Joshua’s epileptic seizures come suddenly and often without warning and he falls like a felled tree, as though he has been shoved from behind and of course, in the grip of a seizure, he cannot put his hands out to save himself, so his face or the back of his head, depending on which direction he falls in, will always take the brunt. Now that Joshua is so tall and leggy, there is nowhere, other than a padded cell, where he could fall and not bang into any furniture and his height ensures that he falls with a real force too. It is his falls onto a brick hearth, window ledge and a ceramic toilet for example that encouraged us to have the brain surgery, to try to reduce his chances of injuring himself. But clearly, as Friday’s seizure and fall prove, while it is less likely post-surgery, that risk sadly has not been completely removed, even when he does wear his protective helmet.