There are times when I can feel the electricity rise in me, when all I can think is: GET DOWN! I can’t fall if I am already on the ground. I’ve used this technique with much success several times at home. Thankfully, I haven’t had to do it when I was out in public! But I have promised myself, if I ever feel a seizure coming on, I am going to lie down. I don’t care if I look like a fool, I am getting low quick. Falling is a big cause of death in epileptics. There are over 50,000 deaths a year attributed to seizures and seizure related accidents. I knew of someone who had a seizure and fell off of a ladder. He did not survive.
So, I don’t climb on ladders. Since the very day I heard his tragic story, I have not climbed a ladder. It is such a silly little thing to say, “I never climb a ladder.” I don’t think people take me seriously when I tell them. But I do not. Ever. It’s not safe for me, one second here, one second gone. It’s not worth my life. Finding yourself on the floor is never a good time. My great uncle fell off a stage and died. Falling is my biggest nightmare. It jerks me out of sleep every time. It is the kind of nightmare that you can’t fall back asleep after because it scared you so much. So, ladders are right out. I don’t use step stools either. I’m short. It is a problem sometimes.
Now my kids are old enough that they can use the step stool to fetch stuff for me. I feel bad that they have to help me. I wish that my kids had the luxury of growing up without a sick mom. I know it’s a burden on them, I can see it. It’s a lot to handle to know that your mom might not respond. But that’s okay; it’s just something that happens sometimes. Just chill out and wait until it passes. They know when to call 911 and when not too. Usually it’s not too. There’s nothing to be done. Thankfully I don’t need to go to the ER with every seizure. What a pain that would be! They would be so sick of the sight of my face in the ER. I’m not pleasant after a seizure. I am usually rather angry and confused. The term “dazed and confused” more accurately describes a seizure than a stoner!
A seizure is not necessarily an emergency. It is just part of my life. Unless I fall and hurt myself or the seizure last more than 5 minutes, I don’t need to be seen in the ER. Ask any neurologist. Sometimes my brain has too much electricty and it shorts out. There’s no reason, and there’s nothing to be done. I have come to a dull acceptance of that. It still cuts like a butter knife. But what else is there to do?
For a long time I was angry. I denied it but I keep having seizures. Finally, I could not lie to myself anymore. When I realized that, my life changed. That is why I now get on the ground when I feel a seizure coming on. I do not drive. I do not stand on ladders. I do not bathe when nobody is home. I take my miserable meds, every damned day. It’s just what a responsible epileptic does. And I guess that’s who I am. It was hard to accept. It was a battle. It was bloody, as having a seizure certainly can be. (Usually it’s my tongue.) But I’ve accepted it. I still reach for the stars. Even I can’t use the ladder.