“You’re a Kind Gentleman”

My husband asked me this morning (as happens more than is ideal, though “ideal,” I guess, would be “never”) if I remembered that I had had a seizure immediately before bed last night. I did, vaguely, but I could tell that he was excited to report a seizure-related detail to me. I thus requested more information as to what had happened rather than passively nod and get on with my day.

“Well, I asked if you needed a painkiller, and you said, ‘No, but you’re a kind gentleman.’ It meant a lot to me since I do my best to take care of you when you’re suffering.”

He was clearly touched. It was a nice moment.

This fits with a key aspect of my personality when I’m recovering from a revolt of my neurons: though I often don’t recognize my husband as such in the immediate aftermath of a seizure, I am (usually, with notable exceptions) strangely polite towards him. Not only do I thank him for his assistance and overuse “please,” but I frequently throw in “excuse me”s and “sir”s for good measure. I like to think that a core feature of my being bubbles up in these moments—that when stripped down to my essentialness, I’m the  most polite person in the universe. However, I suspect that either: a) when postictal, I’m confused and don’t know who he is and am therefore a little afraid of him and want to get him on my good side and on some level know that obsequiousness is a valuable quality on this long, hard journey called life and/or b) that I’m simply neurologically compromised and have no idea what I’m doing.

No matter what Seizure Me’s motives for being so courteous, she has one thing right: my husband is, indeed, a very kind gentleman.


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