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To fight the Invisible Tremors

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As a nurse, Carole noticed the abundance of medication in the bathroom when she cleaned it every week.

If she were completely honest, Carole would admit that as frilly as Kurt could be, the bathroom was a damned warzone every time she walked into it.

There was a series of four bottle sitting in the medicine chest, in no real order.  But every time Carole opened it to put the toothbrushes away, they were in the exact same order.  The first one was always Lamictal.  The second was Onfi.  The third read Epilim and the final bottle said Prednisone

Now, Carole only knew two of the bottles; Onfi and PrednisonePrednisone was always a very well-known drug in the medical world.  It was a steroid that helped your immune system fight inflammation in your body.  Carole herself had used it once or twice in her lifetime after a big surgery or when her arthritis flared.

Onfi was a good sedative and, in other countries, it was used for people with mental illnesses like Anxiety and depression.  But Carole was a little confused on why Kurt had Onfi.  It wasn’t an approved medication for people with Anxiety or Depression by the FDA yet.  Last she’d heard, the FDA was considering it, but now it was used for Epilepsy only. 

Carole brushed off her confusion after a minute or two.  Burt had confided in her that his son had suffered from depression since his mother died. Maybe he got in on a clinical trial researching the effects.  It had been done before.

She continued to clean, scowling when she noticed just how much toothpaste was in the sink.

Could he boys just not fathom that they needed to not use as much damned toothpaste?


Kurt Hummel honestly did not want to be at Glee today.  Sylvester had been running their asses off all week in the lead-up to nationals, Schue was just as horrible as normal about handing out solos, and honestly?  Kurt could feel that something was wrong.  Today was not going to be a good day. 

He sat back in his chair and closed his eyes tightly against the bright lights.  His chest felt tight and his head pounded and the room spun.  He attempted to think back to this morning and the night before.  Had he managed to take the right dosage of medication?  He had been moved onto a higher dose of medication last week, but he sometimes had a little bit of trouble remembering what dose of medication he was on now that he was on a staggering step-dose. 

Behind him, Blaine made a noise.  Kurt kept his eyes closed, fighting the anger that wanted to rise in his chest.  His ex-boyfriend, even though they’d broken up a month and a half ago, just couldn’t seem to leave him the hell alone.  Today Kurt just wanted to be left alone. 

“Blaine, shut up or move to the other side of the room, please.”  Kurt used one hand to rub at his temple, the other resting against his chest in a half-hug.  Blaine turned to look at Kurt and raised an eyebrow at him, looking at just how pissy his ex was.

Blaine stood up a moment later and grabbed his backpack.  He switched with Finn, who eyed him curiously. After a few minutes of feeling the gaze on the back of his head, Kurt threw his eyes open and turned around to stare at his stepbrother.

“Dad warned you I would be rather pissy in the next two weeks.  Now leave me alone, Finn Hudson.”

His tone was so frigid it bordered on being below zero.  Will glanced up at the brothers as Kurt sat back and closed his eyes again, rubbing furiously at his temple.  He knew Kurt had a sealed IEP and 504 plan that only certain teachers and administrators could access, and he was one of those few that could. 

“Okay, glee club. As we know, Nationals is coming up next week.  We need to come up with our set list.”

Kurt wanted to scream at Mr. Schue, to be completely honest.  Will always did this shit to them! Always! Kurt sat there, his head screaming and his anger slowly rising.  Slowly, he zoned out.  It didn’t matter.  Schue would give any solos to Finn and Rachel anyway. 

Very rapidly, Kurt’s whole demeanor changed.  His face turned blank and his hand dropped into his lap.  Immediately afterwards, his hand began to shake rapidly, quivering in his lap.  His eye lids fluttered open and closed.  Finn immediately took in his brother and knew what was happening.  Slowly, without calling any attention to his brother, Finn moved seats so that he was right next to Kurt, his shoulder pressed against his brother’s.  It was a fairly normal move for him, as Kurt often had these small attacks.

Kurt’s chin hit his sternum as his head dropped, and Will took a look at the two.  Finn slowly waved him away a bit, and Will continued his lesson.  Kurt would return soon, and they’d be able to catch him up quickly.

“I’ve got you, Kurt,” Finn whispered, mostly to himself.  He slowly wrapped an arm around the younger’s shoulders, like he was simply being a good older brother. 

Kurt didn’t react at all.  Instead, his hand continued to quiver as he sat there.  Then his jaw began to click open and closed, as if he were grinding his teeth.  He kicked his feet out once, and then fell still again. 

Finn breathed a small sigh of relief when Kurt fell still again, though he knew that another one could be swiftly on its way.  Kurt breathed evenly for a few minutes, Finn watching his brother instead of the teacher.   Kurt would be out for a moment or two before he could function again.  That is, unless Kurt had another one. 

Finn took out his phone, cursing himself for forgetting to time how long Kurt had been gone.  But he watched as his brother picked his head up from his chest and blinked at him blearily. 

“You’re okay,” Finn whispered.  “Need to go home?”

Kurt continued to simply blink at him, struggling to process what was being said.  He let his chin drop again, breathing slowly.  Then his head flew back and his body contracted tight.  His body slipped out of the chair to the other side of Finn, his head connecting with a chair, and then the floor.  And then it began to bash against the floor hard as the seizure finally took over.  Finn let out a strangled yelp and dove to the floor beside his brother, throwing his hands underneath Kurt’s head as a barrier between the floor and his head. 

He’d never really dealt with a grand mal yet.  Sure, Burt had made him go through a first responder class as soon as they realized that they’d be moving in with the two men.  Seizures had been something they touched on and, even though he hadn’t known at the time, Kurt had been the source of all of Burt’s reasoning behind the first responder course.  Burt had later explained the whole situation.  But Finn hadn’t dealt with one of Kurt’s Grand Mal’s before.

The Choir room had broken out into pure anarchy.  Mercedes had let out a scream that could rival Rachel’s in her shock.  Mr. Schue had rushed over immediately, taking over making sure Kurt didn’t bash his head on the floor again, allowing Finn to remove his hand.  Rachel had immediately throw her hand into her bag to take out her phone, Blaine screaming next to her.  Finn immediately reached out and grabbed her phone, his eyes never leaving his wristwatch. Mike and Santana slipped to their knees next to Mr. Schue and Finn, eyes watching closely for anything that could hurt Kurt as he seized.  But Brittany and Tina shook as they held on to Artie, who could only stare.  Puck flew out of the room, heading to try and get Coach Sylvester.

Kurt shook and grunted as he flew even deeper into the seizure. His head was thrown back, baring his throat.  His arms were curled up into his chest, which was pushed out like he were puffing it out.  His fingers were turned into claws and pushed into the spot below his chin, scratching and digging at the delicate skin there every time a tremor flew through him, which was practically every second.  Little red dots began to well up beneath the delicate, manicured fingernails. 

His legs crossed as he seized, but they didn’t move at such a violent speed.  Instead, they rapidly relaxed and then contracted again.  It looked like his whole body were contacting and relaxing at the same time, jerking him up and then relaxing before it repeated the whole cycle again.

Finn counted carefully, his eyes on his wristwatch. When the clock hit 2 minutes and 32 seconds, Finn vaguely heard Sue Slyvester enter the room.  Instead of screaming at them all, however, she knelt down at Kurt’s head and turned to Finn. 

“How long has he been seizing?”

“2 minutes and 40 seconds,” he grunted out, braving a small glance up at her.  He wasn’t surprised to see the fear and the emotion in her eyes; she’d always said that Kurt was her favorite for a good reason.  He knew what her sister went through when she had been alive.  Plus, he was a damn good singer.

“He had a small partial right before this one though, like two minutes.  He blinked awake for a few minutes and then he started seizing again,” Finn explained.  His eyes were right back on the watch.  “If it hits 5 minutes, we have to call an ambulance, and then Burt.  In that order.”

Kurt make a gurgling-gasping noise that made Santana wince.  Then it happened again, and then it stopped.  Kurt’s lips began to go a slight dusky blue color, and Sue glanced up as Rachel let out another scream.

“Shut up!” she growled.  Rachel shut her mouth and threw her hand over her mouth. 

Four minutes and 43 seconds since the start of the episode, Kurt’s body relaxed and be wheezed out a breath.  Then, he sucked in a huge gulp of air.  His head lulled to the side, chest heaving heavily as Mr. Schue removed his hand from under his head. 

“Four minutes, 43 seconds,” Finn breathed out in relief.  He fell onto his rear end, shaking heavily.  He’d never been so scared.  Finn looked down at his little brother and pressed his hand against his mouth.  God, that had been absolutely horrible. 

He had about three seconds of silence before Rachel and Blaine were on him, speaking like they were rabid.  Finn wanted to growl at them, wrinkling his nose at what they said. He tried to block them out as he watched his little brother as he panted, catching his breath after he seized violently. 

“I’m calling Burt,” he said quietly as he pulled out his phone.

Coach Sylvester was taking Kurt’s pulse as the boy slept.  But a minute into her taking a pulse and a quick set of small vitals, the young man’s head tossed back and he let out another strangled moan.

His hands crossed against his chest, wrists touching as his muscles activated again.  Sue removed her hands immediately and put her hand under his head, protecting him as the young man quivered.  His legs were crossed and bent at the knees, looking awkward and painful.  Sue knew, deep in her mind, that these seizures were the most painful for the young Cheerio. 

“Finn, scratch calling Burt.  Call an ambulance.  This is Status Epilepticus,” Sue said urgently.  Beneath her, Kurt began to kick and rock as the seizure became more and more active.  He wheezed through the seizure once or twice before everything stopped dead, his chest no longer rising and falling.  His limbs continued to move, shaking and trembling and flailing out as the messages to and from his brain wigged out.

“Come on, porcelain,” Sue whispered.  Though, she knew for a fact that the boy couldn’t hear her.  Not with such a violent seizure going on.

Santana was going to say something when she smelled it.  It was completely unmistakable.  She smelled it every time her kid brother had an accident.  In the midst of his seizure, Kurt’s bladder had let go and released all the urine it had held.  Santana felt embarrassed for Kurt, though she knew that the release of urine was something that could happen due to the seizure.

Finn immediately ended the call he had been in, having been unable to get ahold of his step-father.  He wanted to take Kurt’s hand and hold it, much like Kurt had wanted to hold his father’s hand through his heart attack.  But he called 911 and kept himself from touching Kurt, not wanting to hurt him. 

“Hold him down! Make him stop!” Blaine screamed, anger clear in his eyes.  He was staring at Kurt with wide eyes.

“You don’t hold someone down during a seizure, Hobbit!” Santana snarled.  “It will hurt him if we do that.  Sit back and do nothing, like you always do, Teen Gay.”

Kurt made another wheezing noise, taking in a deep breath before he stopped again.  Blaine’s heart wrenched hard.  But it could never hurt as much as Finn’s did.  He couldn’t do anything for his brother, who was writhing on the floor and stuck in his third seizure of the day.

“911, what’s your emergency?” Came the smooth, calm, even tone of the 911 operator.

“My brother’s in Status Epilepticus.  He’s on his third seizure in a row and they keep getting more and more violent,” Finn rushed out.  “We need an ambulance at William McKinley High School’s choir room.”

“The ambulance is on its way.  What is your brother’s name?”  The man was writing down the information and relaying it to the ambulance drivers, who immediately began the 5-minute drive to the high school. 

“Kurt, K-U-R-T, Hummel.  H-U-M-M-E-L.  He’s 15 now.  He has Uncontrolled, or Refractory Epilepsy.  He doesn’t have a definitive epilepsy syndrome.  He’s been seizing for close to 2 minutes in this seizure,” Finn explained. 

“Okay.  And what is your name?” the operator questioned. “And can you send someone out to the front of the school to guide the paramedics in?”

“I’m Finn Hudson.  He’s my step-brother.  My mom married his dad,” Finn explained, and then turned to Mercedes and Artie.

“You two go to the front of the school, guide the paramedics in!”

They shot out of the room like rockets after a final glance at Kurt, who was making slight grunting and groaning noises.  Finn returned to the call after one glance at Sue, who had her eyes on her watch. 

“We have two people going out to guide them.  How long until they get here?”

They needed to call Burt.  Burt would need to know about what was going on.

“Any minute now.  Finn, I’m going to click off now to give them a little more information.  Stay calm and continue doing what you’ve been taught.”

Then the operator was gone, and Finn was left with a dial tone on his phone.  He shot a quick message to Burt, trying not to look at Kurt right now.  He couldn’t watch another seizure. But he knew that he couldn’t just let the others take care of this. 

 

New Message To:  Burt H.

Kurt’s in Status.  Ambulance was called.  He’s had 3 without waking up.  Third one is at 5 minutes, longest so far.  Will keep updated on which hospital we go to.

 

Then he slid his phone into his pocket and watched as Kurt’s body relaxed again before he had a full-bodied shiver run through him.  But Kurt’s body went completely limp.  Nothing moved.  Kurt wasn’t breathing. 

Finn sat there for a moment, intent on watching to see if Kurt would take in a breath.  He could do so on his own, but sometimes Kurt needed a bit of a helping hand.

Sue was the one to leap into action.  She pounded the side of her fist in the middle of his chest.  There was an immediate reaction.  Kurt sucked in a breath and began to cough.  Then he gently wheezed, bringing in small breaths through what felt like two small straws. 

Every cough was wet, almost as if his lungs were filled with fluid. 

“Let’s roll him on his side,” Sue said.  She looked up at Santana, who took Kurt’s legs as Sue secured his head and neck before they carefully rolled him. 

“Hey, Man hands! Sweatshirt, now.”  Santana snapped her fingers at Rachel.  Rachel, stunned, tugged the jacket off and handed it to Finn.  Finn folded it and placed it under Kurt’s head, listening as the younger teen coughed and hacked.  Red appeared from his mouth, but it wasn’t from his tongue.  It kept coming every time Kurt hacked.

Kurt’s eyes peered open finally as the coughing died away a bit.  Immediately, Kurt knew.  He knew what had happened.  He’d had a seizure.  In front of the whole glee club.  He was going to die of embarrassment. 

As soon as he got a little more sleep, that is.