No mercy for the weak – A lovely young girl with epilepsy seems to be a burden for her close relatives and they let her know

Tevet 5, 5775

One might think that in our advanced societies, the weak are protected or at least not harmed. To often, I see the exact opposite.

Yesterday late afternoon, I went to Munich city. After a few hours I returned. I took the subway and somewhere half way I changed to the bus. It was pitch-black and I had to wait for a few minutes and saw two women. At first I didn’t notice them – I mean, I cannot scan everybody lurking around, but after a reasonably short time, I noticed them, because the older one wanted to read the schedule and even though there was lots of space she came extremely close. Having trouble figuring out what was the right bus, she called her mother. Obviously they were heading to her. It took seconds to clarify what line they needed to take the older woman, presumably the mother of the other, suddenly burst out, that Lea, her daughter had a seizure this morning and she finds it sickening. She doesn’t want to deal with this any longer. It’s a mess. And if the seizure wasn’t enough, Lea yet took a sleep for a few hours over noon. She, the mother, doesn’t want this any more. She found it only natural that everybody has to understand, that this is too much and she can’t take it any longer.

Her daughter and I could hear everything she said and even the grandmother sometimes was loud enough to be understood by bystanders.

The bus arrived and Lea and I entered the bus. The mother went back home. Lea was visibly unsettled. Maybe it was her seizure from the morning, maybe it was the seizures in general. I mean, this doesn’t pass by without leaving traces. If you don’t get your EEG clean, seizures cause impairment of ones cognitive capabilities.

I have two children and my daughter’s name is Lea, too. Lea has lots of seizures and I even worked for a while in a clinic for neuropediatrics. So I wasn’t new to the problem.

In the bus I helped Lea to get a ticket. I asked her how old she was and she said she was 13 years old and then she called her grandmother. And if her mothers tirad wasn’t already enough, the grandmother started over again. I only heard Lea saying, “But I am already giving my best.”, and I asked myself, how can somebody demand from an ill child to try to give her best. The young lady was a really lovely girl. Somewhat helpless and a little overburdened with the bus ride, but you cannot accuse her of being overburdened, you need to help her. In return you get a priceless smile.

After a few bus stops I left, not without offering Lea help, if she needed some, but Lea couldn’t respond. Her grandmother was talking at her and didn’t let her go. Lea noticed me leaving and said good by.

When I was working in that clinic for neuropediatrics, often enough I met parents who badly needed psychological help. It was only the children who received some help on this field. But I also saw parents who in my opinion were almost as important cases and who badly would have needed treatment. Just like Lea’s mother. This lovely young girl would have deserved something better, but she is perceived as a burden and at least her mother treats her as such.