Missing Michael is a mother's intensely personal account of her son Michael's struggle with epilepsy and her family's efforts to support him and achieve a semblance of normalcy in their lives.
Missing Michael A Mother's Story of Love, Epilepsy and Perseverance is the author's moving account of her son's struggle with epilepsy, its complications, and the effects of the drugs used to treat it. The story covers a time period of over fifteen years as the family attempts to maintain normalcy even as Michael's condition and treatment often envelop him in a haze-like state. Michael's parents are faced with the unenviable task of determining how many seizures are acceptable, and how much drug is simply too much.
Michael's condition over the years is wildly variable. There are moments, days, and weeks when he bears little resemblance to his gregarious, mischievous, pre-seizure self. And while the family is grateful for Michael's presence however he is, there are moments of pure joy when his true personality manages to break through the drug-and seizure-induced fog. Occasional comments from friends and family such as, "Michael seems more like himself," or "Michael seems so much more alert", are indicative that others in his life miss facets of Michael as well.
In Missing Michael...,a mother lays bare her thoughts about school and health care systems, societal indifference, and the harm that results from lack of compassion and tolerance. She acknowledges the dedicated professionals who have helped Michael medically and academically. She applauds Michael's strength of spirit, and his courage and ability to overcome substantial obstacles. And throughout its pages, this mother's story celebrates the bond of family, and the power of love and hope.
And, in the silence of the night, I grieve. I grieve Michael's losses: friendships and moments, days, weeks, even months of childhood and adolesence because he can't remember them. I grieve because he is not experiencing the joys of gaining independence-the ability to drive, to go away to college, to experience a first love. All that so far has been denied him---missed.