Say It to His Face

IMG_3704What do you do when someone is having a seizure in the bathtub?

Hold on to your hat now . . . This just might be the funniest punchline ever . . .

Throw in a load of laundry.

Twitter was alive with the sound of stigma at the recent news of Kelly Osbourne’s possible diagnosis of epilepsy.  And as part of the unedited response to this announcement, the above (fill in the blank) was retweeted seventy-seven times in a single day.

That one person thought this was worth posting is disturbing enough, but seventy-seven?

So, I pose to the seventy-seven:

Would you be able to look into my son’s eyes, into my eyes and say that out loud?

Are other health conditions also fair game for similar vitriolic commentary–maybe something with which your mother or sister or child or best friend may have to contend?

And to everyone else who understands the horror show this truly is, I must ask:

How do I begin to explain the depths of human pathology to my seven-year-old son who has epilepsy and to his brothers who have watched him have seizure after seizure–including in the bathtub?

How do I hold onto hope for the next generation’s evolving understanding of epilepsy when Twitter, the social media playground of the young, is home to such venom?

And tonight I ask myself:

How do I look my seven-year-old son in the eye and say anything other than “I am so sorry”?

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4 thoughts on “Say It to His Face

  1. Mark Twain gave up writing “humor” when he came to the realization that it is always aimed at someone. And, if judged by that standard, there really is very little we’d laugh about. Slip[ on a banana peel, anyone? Pie in the face, anyone, how about a bride or a groom? Funny? Not to all.
    We need to be more sensitive to what we find humorous, and who may be the “butt” of the laughter.
    Peace,
    len

  2. No one who has ever witnessed a loved one have a seizure would ever find that joke even remotely funny. It really makes yo wonder what kind of people exist in this world. I totally agree with you. Thank you for writing this.

  3. I don’t have twitter, so I am thankfull because that would have upset me too. I think people can just reel this stuff off on the faceless pages of disconnected social activity because they don’t have to look people in the face to see the pain they are causing or take responibility for their actions. Not everyone thinks like that. Take heart.

  4. My daughter had/has Rasmussens which caused seizures every 10 minutes at its worst. We ended up having a hemispherectomy to stop them, but it continues to amaze me the idiocy of some folks. I always remind myself that this is one reason my family was chosen for our daughter. I can stop folks in their tracks with one look for inappropriate comments, and sadly I have to use it often.

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