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Damn Those Monsters

Monsters on the ceiling.

Once wrapped in a cocoon of happiness I would start my days worshiping the sun and my nights caressing the moon. Unlike the ethereal family portrait taken just two weeks before my moment, the picture of my life shattered and I've been walking on broken glass and fragments of metal since. The only sign of my life, it seems, is the bloody foot prints I leave behind as I'm always running from the monsters.
My moment came one late evening in August as I was getting my 7 month old baby boy, Riley, ready for bed. Riley Alexander, my gift. Riley means "courageous" and Alexander means "defender of men", such a strong name for a little baby. That night something very strange happened. Riley shrugged his shoulders, his eyes darted up with force, and he saw monsters on the ceiling. His face looks so frightened that even I got chills down my spine. His expression so distorted only sheer horror could have created it. Eye to eye with the demon, my son was so brave. I held him close and whispered, "everything is ok, momma's here." Kissing his cheek with my eyes closed wondering what the hell just happened. Then it happened over and over for what seemed to be forever. I sat on the edge of my bed and in that moment knew my life, his life, our lives would be forever changed. One week later "it" was named seizures. Riley was diagnosed with Tuberous Sclerosis and epilepsy.
The past 8 years have been filled with too many ups and downs to count. Our life is a constant merrry-go-round of medicine trials, medicine side effects, autistic behaviors, rage attacks, damaged furniture because of Riley's rage attacks, anxiety, and always more seizures. Riley is scheduled to have brain surgery in February and we hope surgery can take away the seizures once and for all.
I remember my moment clearly as looking through a pane of glass. I remember feeling like life was a fairy tale and Riley was my perfect angel and as quickly as flipping on a light switch we fell. I fell out of LaLa land and have walked the trenches of reality ever since. I do wish that night there had been real monsters on the ceiling. I could have chased them off, cast them away, or even pleaded with them to leave. Damn those monsters.

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