When plans go wrong

In the spirit of good mental health, I must register my disappointment that my best plans have been dashed to the rocks.

I won’t labour the point, but when tickets, accomodation, time off work and good food have all been setup, the anticipation meets a level where, when it doesn’t follow through, disappointment follows.

Let me explain in summary:

One of my favourite bands growing up as a young man was the Inspiral Carpets. Being from a northern English heritage much like me, they rank as one of the top five studio bands I have ever come across. All their recorded material, right from early 12" Singles and EPs, through to epic studio albums, the Carpets have literally been on my playlist for over 30 years. I have managed to see them twice live. First was a great gig at Manchester Uni. Stood at the back, bobbing along and taking in the sounds. Second was an opening day on the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury festival. They were on second, following The Darkness, who played a blinder of a set. The Carpets set wasn’t as good and fell flat in the rain.

But I love everything they have put out….including the recent stuff.

So when they announced their first visit to Australia since 1993….with a venue that was the close to me, tickets went up for sale, money was ponied up and they were bought. I wanted to take my eldest son.

The gig was a couple of days ago. Bookings had been made at a suitable establishment for lodgings. Arrangements had been made for suitable downtime, annual leave taken, younger kids were taken care of. Transport was laid on taking the two would be concert-goers, to good feed eatery before heading to the venue.

It was during this meal, that my boy got sick. I don’t want to go into loads of detail about his health, by he had long and degenerative full tonic clonic seizure. I mean FULL ON. Over a prolong period of time. I should really document it:

We were eating at a Smoke House, a place I have been before. We were cutting it a little fine in terms of time, doors for the gig were 7:30pm and although I wanted to arrive fashionable late, we didn’t sit down to eat util 6:45pm and didn’t get a order in until after 6:55pm. Fantastic meat arrive and we both tucked in. The boy concentrated on the meat of his plate first and ate with gusto. Then he just kept going….and eating with great intensity and focus. He stopped talking.

He then started complaining that his was having an episode, our term for a light and passing epileptic moment, that usually pass in 10 or20 seconds or so. After 1 min he said that it was a bad one. He wanted his hand holding, which is normal for a regular seizure which have thankfully become a lot less infrequent recently.

This went on for a further two mins, which is now getting unusual. During this time people at nearby tables start to look over and offer assistance.

Between 3 and 6. mins were mainly taken up with him complaining that he was going to be sick.

At 6 mins in he seem to lose his where-with-all and became vacant. This trigger an alarm for me and an ambulance was called. He then started to become unresponsive with his head turning from left to right about four times. He presented sagging lips and drooling. He kept moving his head, despite it being reset to the middle three time.

Still unresponsive and getting worst in coherency.

At about 9 mins in, he started to convulse and needed to be gotten out of him chair and into the recovery position. Lying on his right side on the cold flag stones. We were helped fantastically by a group of gentlemen at a near table, the restaurant staff (who provided blankets) and a passing by medical student. All great and very helpful.

After a further 2 mins, the boy showed signs of coming out of the seizure, and expressing the usual overwhelming desire to sleep. He was calmer and no longer showing outward signs of distress or sickness. Just a young man laying on his side on the cold floor, before the ambulance arrived some 20 minutes later.

The bill was paid and gig was missed.

We set off for the remainder of the evening getting safe and well, in the back of an ambulance. I can’t saying anything better than the care and attention we both received from Queensland Ambulance Service. The two ladies from Caboolture were nothing but professional, empathic and caring. No panic and everything focused on getting the situation right. Unbelievable care. Thank you.

The kid came back to the swanky apartment and started getting well again. He’s back to his normal sate now….apart from a very sore shoulder for being subjected to his body weight and cold floor for a prolonged period of time.

It was all very scary!

So we missed the gig….and I need to say that I don’t blame the kid. He was ill and as his dad I needed him to be safe. He shares the disappointment and I dear say he is more worried and unsettle about the situation than I….or maybe he takes it all in his stride and shows the maturity, capability and good grace that make me love him so. Keep smiling and living life son.

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Dave’s Downtime @davesdowntime