Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Seizures SUCK.

Two days ago, I woke up, tired, after only six hours of sleep. Not awful, but I had been abnormally tired over the past week. The previous afternoon, I had a 3 hour long nap, and felt I could have slept another three hours.

I also had a muffin for breakfast, a few slices of pizza for lunch, plus a bit of water, then some gelato afterward. Probably what some people would consider not bad for meals, but it wasn't enough for me.

Finally, I went to a choral concert, invited by a friend of mine. It was fine, but I was just exhausted throughout the entire thing. I was invited for canap├ęs and drinks with said friend's family, but politely demurred, partially because of my fatigue.

I came home, saw Mr. Man in the bedroom watching Mad Men, and joined him, just laying down on the bed.

...

Next I knew, I found myself in a wheelchair at the nearest hospital, utterly exhausted and unable to comprehend much of what was going on around me. Mr. Man finally told me (as he probably had numerous times over the previous half hour) that I had had a grand mal seizure. First one in eight years, almost to the day. I'd like to say that the news frustrated me at the time, but I was so wiped out, I could barely feel anything, and was only just capable of performing simple tasks like going to the bathroom. Mr. Man took excellent care of me, getting me situated, and making sure I was okay until the nurse or PA or whomever took me back to rest about 10 minutes later. I got an IV in the back of my hand and a bit of Ativan (my least favorite drug EVER), just to take the edge off, and tried my best to answer basic questions given to me by the nurse, missing only one ("What month is it? What's your name? Do you know what happened?"). My parents showed up a bit later, certainly concerned, but in my stupor, I couldn't really read their expressions. Still, at least I was secure and being watched over. And atypically, I didn't have a pounding headache, nor was I really all that tired after a bit. But my tongue was chewed up pretty badly (still is, in fact), and I was more or less a lump of clay, just sitting there, trying to engage everyone in conversation, and (I'm sure) failing badly. Finally, after a few hours, when it was evident that I had stabilized, I was released, and Mr. Man took me home for some dinner and some rest.

Only the next day did I realize how much I had scared him. He had asked me a question in the bedroom, and noticed that I wasn't answering him. Then he looked over and saw a weird grimace on my face and my arms starting to spasm, and he freaked out. I'll spare you the details, but he thought I looked possessed. I can't imagine what it must feel like to see someone you love suddenly going through something so frightening, suddenly unconscious, yet jerking uncontrollably for minutes on end, then seeing them collapse and not breathe for up to a minute, sometimes more...then seeing them gasping for breath while barely coming to. You can't do anything to help them in the meantime, other than just keeping them safe from themselves and anything around them that might harm them. And you never, NEVER put anything in a seizing person's mouth! Want said thing to break off and puncture their palate? Want to lose a finger? Didn't think so. Tongues and sides of the mouth heal. Scary at the time, but really, they heal uneventfully.

Also on the next day, I felt fine. Perhaps a bit tired, and I had a hard time talking because my ragged tongue was swollen, but otherwise, no issues...almost as if nothing had happened the day before. Mr. Man and I went shopping around town, but nothing too taxing. And I slept well and ate well.

...

Two days ago marked the eighth seizure I've had in my lifetime. And let me tell you...they SUCK. So miserable. Only six of them have been actually witnessed and diagnosed; the first two were never discovered. Only years later, after putting symptoms together, did I realize that some unexplained symptoms I'd had (pounding headache, confusion, extreme exhaustion) made sense. I've been on medication for much of my life...coming on fully half, actually, to be accurate. The times I've had seizures since, I believe, could be chalked up to suboptimal levels of meds in my blood for one reason or another (not taking meds, taking supplements that speed up the metabolism of meds, being overweight), and it's frustrating and frightening.

For me, perhaps the worst part of having a seizure is the legal inability to drive for six months afterward. I love to drive. I love my car. And I will miss it sorely until December 24th. But also, poor Mr. Man is justifiably concerned also because the last time I had a seizure, I began to feel trapped and purely under his control. And it wasn't long after I got my freedom/car back, that I began to exult in my freedom and...uh...look around. I found myself in what then seemed an innocent affair, but it honestly came thisclose to breaking us apart over the next year and a half. I'm ashamed of it, and really, really don't want to open myself up to that again. I know what a great thing I have in Mr. Man, and I'm not willing to shatter it.

So there's what will probably amount to the excitement of 2013. I will do what I can to get by, but it's going to be tough for the next six months. Wish us luck. (I say us, because it will inevitably be a team effort.)

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