We were sitting at a stop light waiting for the officer’s signal to turn left into the church parking lot. It was family weekend and we were discussing lunch plans and events to do around the university. Mom must have gotten warm because she cracked the car window. The officer was finally giving us the go ahead and we slowly started moving forward. Weirdly slowly. I looked over expecting to see my mom playing on her phone. “Mom!” Something was wrong. Her head was down, her arms and hands slightly twitching. Instantly my eyes overflowed with tears. “Mom! Mom, wake up!” I panicked! I started hitting her trying to stimulate something in her and yelling loudly. It only lasted a few moments, but they were the scariest moments of my life. My mom had completely randomly passed out and had a small seizure-in the drivers seat! Thank you, God, that we had stopped at a light.
That was the first time I had ever truly feared for the life of a loved one. I had no idea what to do. My mind instantly went into overdrive trying to wake her up and think of how to steer the car if I needed to and a million other things all a once. I have no idea what the officer thought was going on. I have no idea what anyone around thought. The world around me disappeared as my mother sat, unconscious, and I exploded into a teary mess. This had never happened before. There was nothing that should have brought it on. She had no idea what had happened.
She woke up quickly and drove us straight into the parking lot as I curled into a ball in my seat releived, but uncontrollably shaking and crying from shock.
She ended up having more episodes like that for a while before medicine was prescribed to manage it. We still don’t know what caused these seizure-like black outs. For a long time after that I freaked out whenever anyone who I rode with dropped their head down while driving, which happens a lot in our smartphone filled world. I cried out of panic the first time my boyfriend looked down at something while we sat at a light.
Panic is such a strong emotion that it sticks with you. It can become a part of who you are. Years later I still feel a sense of panic when I think about that day. But thankfully, my mother was kept safe and as many times as she had those episodes, she never had another one in a car.