We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog for a brief burst of creativity.
Having spent the last 2 weeks on a creative spree, I think I’ve about run out of paint. Better that than a spending spree, I guess… Except that now it’s time to go shopping for more paint.
I took a look at the calendar today, seeing it is April 29th, which sparked a memory of long ago – 20 years to be exact. It was then that I had been 9 months post brain surgery for intractable temporal lobe epilepsy just the summer prior (July 29th). Surgery had been a HUGE success, because not only had it been 9 months since surgery but it had also been 9 months since any seizures. A miracle in my book.
To be able to go a whole month without a seizure, pre-surgery, was a very rare instance. So when every 29th of the month would arrive, I had myself a personal celebration of, ‘One more month without seizures! One more success! Yippee! Woohoo!, Alright!’ Marking it on the calendar, as it was a miracle in the making.
April 29th made for 9 months without seizures and I had already began pushing for my independence. I had begun attending nursing school, even obtained a drivers’ license, both which were thought unlikely/impossible.
So here I am feeling invincible, having had no seizures in 9 months, going to college, driving, doing the social stuff, being weaned off of medications, and busy as a bee… When the evening of April 29th came, my sister and I came in from a meeting we had at church. If I remember correctly, she and I were teaching Sunday School classes back then. I drove back home in the dark, and as I walked in the house, I felt an aura start – but – but – but… I didn’t make it upstairs fast enough – to get out of the view of family…
Can anyone relate to a personal preference of experiencing seizures in ‘private’? So to ignore the drama which is known to follow? (ex. Did you take your medications? You need to start going to bed sooner. You’ve just been overdoing it lately. I told you you haven’t been drinking enough water. You need to stay out of the sun – its not good for you on those meds. Did you eat enough today?) Or the informants that come along (I’m gonna tell Mom.)
That may sound unusual; but with the progression of the illness came the onset of auras, preceding seizures. It was the seconds long aura which often often gave me enough advanced notice (when I was older) to remove myself from public view. I can honestly say say there were dozens of seizures that went unreported, for the sake of avoiding perceived drama and/ or conflict.
BUT DANGIT! Following surgery, I Shouldn’t have been so quick to get off of those meds. When I came in that evening in April, as I said, I didn’t make it upstairs and out of view fast enough…. Why? Because of all things, my parents wanted to stop and have a conversation with me…
Can you believe that? Parents wanting to talk to their kids? Bad timing guys… Well, the conversation did not get far before I apparently fell out – right on the living room floor, in front of the parents, sister and OUCH! THE COFFEE TABLE?? Yes, my face was introduced to the coffee table as I fell; and I wore its mark (black eye) for a few days following.
Nine months was the longest I had EVER been seizure free, so having to start count my ‘seizure-free days’ over again seemed impossible. Plus, I was returning to school the next day with with a black eye from the coffee table. But with epilepsy, that is the nature of the beast. One learns to expect the unexpected. Learns to take each day as it comes, and each situation as it happens.
Every day without a seizure is a good day. When those days turn into weeks, and those weeks turn into months, that is fabulous. And when seizure breakthroughs happen, We don’t quit. We get right back up and start counting again. Giving up is never an option. Never has been, and never will be.
Since that April, there have been many more nine month seizure free periods, even a few 1 and even 2 year periods.
So, for anyone out there post brain surgery, take recovery slow and easy. Don’t overdo it. Freedom from seizures can be great. And the thought of freedom from medications sounds absolutely fabulous; but rushing the recovery may do more harm than good… And be nice to your coffee table, cuz if it’s anything like mine was, it knew how to defend itself.