As you know, I am prone to subverting emails that carry horrific information by opening them, reading them, digesting them and then coldly and methodically mocking them. Said horrific information includes nearly everything related to epilepsy, particularly SUDEP, that lovely acronym for Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy Patients. And while I'm enough of an Italian -- and a southern one at that -- to have embedded in my genetic code a proclivity toward deep suspicion and a concomitant belief in the power of jinxes, I use sheer willpower to over-ride those impulses and get down to it.
Today's horrific email came, once again, from a wonderful website dedicated to all things epilepsy, epilepsy.com. The lead article is titled Electric Shutdown of the Brain: Is It A Cause Of SUDEP? . Now, if you've been a reader of this blog for any amount of time, you'd know that this is a subject that quite literally strikes fear into the heart of a parent of a child with uncontrolled seizures and a person who struggles with seizure control. And up until quite recently, information about SUDEP was relegated to hushed whispers -- there was very little information at all until, I believe, a group of dedicated families in England started shouting about it. It wasn't until very, very recently, in fact, that there has been a positive plethora of information about SUDEP -- not so much answers or cures or huge understanding of it -- but recognition and awareness about it, along with suggestions for prevention. In any case, I clicked and opened the article, scanned the contents in a vain attempt to find anything new and -- actually -- found something new.
I don't think you need me to explain what anti-suffocation pillows are, but I did go onto the UK website and will be ordering a couple very soon. When I do these things -- open emails about sudden unexplained death in epilepsy patients (SUDEP, again!), note my own daughter's high risk of SUDEP (override the Italian peasant jinx mentality in seeking information!), scan for information that I don't already know (why, why, why don't they know more about these things?), skip over to foreign websites about anti-suffocation pillows (!!!!!!!), use a Coin Converter to see how much said pillows cost in U.S. Dollars (cool tool!), wonder if the material they use for the cover is gross, imagining some kind of thin, motel paper like consistency (feel sheepish that aesthetics trump survival for an instant!), wait to order because the pillows are so expensive and I have to do some financial juggling, first (what if she dies before I order the pillows!) -- well, I am struck by the absurdity of this life I lead (and others like me) and filled with gratitude that I have a sense of humor that often trumps panic and paralysis.