I realize that since I live in Ontario, I have no business being surprised by super-cold temps in January. The last week or thereabouts, though, has been cold-weather-warning cold, let’s-not-leave-the-house cold, three-layers-and-still-not-comfortable cold.
So yeah, it’s been incredibly cold, in case that wasn’t clear from the previous paragraph. This quasi-arctic weather—and I say this as someone who’s visited the very Northern Territories (in the summer, but we can ignore that part?)—has posed a special concern for me and my husband this year, one beyond the normal “what are we going to do with ourselves while we’re stuck inside for the next several months” that always flashes through my mind with the first really frigid spell.
Our worry? My nighttime, postictal wandering, which is a relatively new development in my seizure patterns.
I’ve written before about how every so often, and not incredibly predictably, Seizure Me decides to leave our apartment (I’m too lazy to find the post, or posts, in question, so I won’t provide links). In the warmer months, this is dangerous but not horrifyingly so. When it’s −25°C, the danger posed by my going for a middle-of-the-night walk, alone and barefoot in a pair of sweats and a novelty T-shirt, is significantly higher, and so is our fear that Seizure Me will decide that she wants to get some fresh air.
As you may have guessed after reading this lengthy preamble, this has happened a few times since winter’s arrival. The most recent occurrence was around 3:00 a.m. on Friday morning.
We aren’t complete idiots: we do have safety precautions in place to stop Seizure Me from getting out the door. The most important of them, however—the doorbell loud enough to wake up my husband, which is supposed to ring whenever the front door opens—malfunctioned on this last occasion. My husband luckily has a finely attuned Seizure Sense and, from the depths of his dreams, magically guessed that something was wrong, woke up, noticed that I wasn’t in bed next to him, and went looking for me. I was standing a few metres from our apartment in a pile of snow. You know, as one does.
I consider myself pretty darn lucky that my husband found me relatively quickly. He got me inside and warmed me up, and there doesn’t seem to be any lasting damage. Nonetheless, this is scary business.
It was thus time to take action. When I woke up the next morning, my husband informed me that he’d ordered an elaborate, highly rated alarm system, complete with lasers and stuff (I think—I wasn’t listening very closely). It came yesterday, and he set it up. So far, so good.
I’m going to stop here. This is a weirdly upsetting and tiring subject to write about, and I still have lots of Christmas chocolate to eat and pleasure reading to do. I’ll close with this: may this new, slightly creepy alarm system catch Seizure Me before she flees from now on. Better yet, may the alarm system not be needed at all.