A thunderstorm rolled in yesterday afternoon. The sky went dark, like the sun was setting, four hours too soon. The light over the lake eerily remained a hazy but bright blue-gray. The lightning bugs came out and started to flash their glowing dance. There was no wind. It felt like a Stephen King short story. Something evil was stirring in the sky. This was a slow moving storm. As I watched it grow, I thought about other storms; brainstorms.
This is how I view having a seizure. It is a terrible thunderstorm in my head. Sometimes seizures seem to gather for days. The lightning is the actual seizure, but the gathering clouds are the dark feelings I have before and after the lightning strike. There is not just the burning lightning strike of a seizure. There is a before and an after, pre- and a post-ictal. I can feel like I am on the verge of a wall cloud. Afterwards the angry clouds linger for days in my brain.
The clouds that moved in first were high, blocking out the sun without form. The thunder began to roll in from the southwest. Still there was no rain, no wind. It felt like time was suspended. There was an ominous roll of thunder just at the edge of hearing. And the darkness. The radar was lit up like a birthday cake; all of Ohio was getting rained on. The storm was creeping east. I could feel it getting closer, just like I can feel a seizure coming on. I closed the windows and watched the sky. I don’t like it when it gets so dark during the day. It’s not natural. The hair on my arms tingled with static electricity.
The TV and Radio were screaming with Severe Thunderstorm and Flash Flood Warnings. The ground was already saturated from days and weeks of rain. I waited for the rain. Some days I wait for the seizure that I can feel in the background of my brain just about to happen. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the lightning flash like a camera’s strobe somewhere far away. The thunder was getting closer. It became a more insistent growl.
The wind finally started to blow thick and slow like molasses. The leaves turned over and showed their bellies to the sky in a submissive position. The street light came on, also confused by the darkness. The sky continued to grow darker and darker. The thunder grew stronger. The wind began to turn faster. It was a relief from the deathly stillness that came first. I could smell the lightening in the air. Sometimes I can smell things that aren’t there. It’s a type of seizure too, I’m sure.
The sky was dark for an hour before the rain clouds came. They were lower, pressing down on the earth angrily, the color of a bruise, purple and foreboding. When the rain started, it was a downpour, fast and hard and vengeful. The lightning was all around. And then it was gone. The storm had moved on. The sky still lingered dark and violent. It was time to survey the damage. How many trees and power lines have been downed this time? I always hope for no permanent damage.
In the days following a seizure, I walk around in a daze. I am nothing but tired and wiped out. Sometimes my muscles ache, sometimes my tongue is bloodied, but mostly I am just tired. All that stupid excessive electrical activity wears me out. It takes a lot of energy to produce a thunderstorm, too much energy. It gets hard to focus, mentally and physically. My eyes are too tired to focus. They’d rather be closed. The thunderstorm has passed. For now. But you can’t stop the rains. It will storm again.