My brain has this evil trick it plays on me. I know the pattern well enough by now. We call it temporal lobe epilepsy. People are always asking me questions about seizures. I answer to the best of my ability. Sometimes I physically can’t answer, “Hey, I’m an Epileptic. This is no big deal for me and I want to go to bed.” My brain is wired so damn weird. Give me a little time to find my way out of the land of seizures and confusion. I’ll swim back to full consciousness soon with another story from the depths of semi-consciousness.
Most of the time I am not trapped in my body and I like to talk. I am a Chatty Kathy, even though I hate it when people call me that. Ask me anything; I will happily ask you anything. I don’t want to talk to anyone after a seizure.
Ambulances and hospitals are terrifying when you don’t know where you are. I have had that happen to me enough times. I am happy to go to the ER if I have a real emergency. But not because I cannot remember my middle name or even if I am unresponsive. I slur my words and bump into things. I vomit. Eventually I rewind and I can talk. Look how well I am writing now. Ask me anything!
I have had epilepsy my whole life, I have known for nearly twenty years. The diagnosis has been the same since 1997. We don’t know why you have seizures. It just happens sometimes. The first time I woke up in the ER was the last time an ER doctor gave me information I needed.
The post-seizure ER experience is always the same, flying down the hospital halls, the lights piercing my brain like an ice pick. I’m not claustrophobic, except when I wake up screaming in pain from the noise and I have no idea why I am in the Hell-Hole of a CAT scan tube.
Every seizure CAN be an emergency, but every seizure is NOT an emergency. Please don’t call 911. It feels like a punishment to me. The sound is too much. Give me time to come out of it. It might be an hour or more. That’s my normal. It is a long climb out of the abyss. It’s The E Life. It’s My Life. Epilepsy is a weird disorder or disease, whichever you prefer to say. I know there is a risk of more seizures due to every single seizure I have. Seizures beget seizures. I also have a 100% Seizure-Free Tolerance. Sometimes works out to be more like 80% Seizure-Freedom. I’ll take what I can get. 30% of epileptics never gain complete seizure control.
Even when I’m not fully conscious, I’m still in there somewhere, lost in my brain. I’ll be back soon. I will eventually know what year it is. (The last time a paramedic asked me that question while I was still coming out of a seizure, I said it was 2007.) Please wait, my confusion will clear and my brain will land back in reality. I hope.