This post is part of the Epilepsy Blog Relay™ which will run from March 1 through March 31. Follow along and add comments to posts that inspire you!
“I long ago determined that the only true life was the life of my brain.” ~ Frying Pan Jack
My brain talks to me a lot, except for when it shuts down completely. My brain tells me elaborate stories but, sometimes it punishes me. Last week, I was in the shower, I stepped out, then I was on the bathroom floor. A seizure put me down in an instant. Suddenly I was unconscious again. I could not speak. My legs did not work. I could not walk or lift a heavy glass to my lips. When I figured out what happened my brain asked me, “What are you going to write about that now?”
Why do seizures happen? Nobody knows. Electricity. One neuron and then another. They burst to life and burn out again. Everything and then nothing. For no reason at all. I have to write about it, or it will drive me insane. The real insane, not just the vernacular, insane in the membrane. I feel sane when I am writing. When the words are flowing through my fingertips, there is nothing saner. My mind doesn’t have to live in the past or worry about the future. It is simply now. The words are here now. So I write…
I write about seizures obsessively. Am I a writer because I have epilepsy? Is my writing a result of all this extra electricity coursing through my body? My brain is wired differently than other people’s. Most people don’t fall down and scream and shake. Most people don’t stare off into space and drool. I do those things. I never can tell when I might not be able to talk or control myself. That fear consumes me. The sudden loss of consciousness is a terrifying thing. I hate to wake up in another place than I was. Someone will tell me I had a seizure and I will want sleep. Later I will try to write about it, to make sense of the nonsense. What in the world did I say this time? Did I tell someone my name was Kitty? I heard myself slurring my name and lost consciousness again, awash with misfiring neurons in my brain.
I am a different person after a seizure. My husband and children tell me as much, “You are like a little girl.” I have no memory. I struggle to know who this other person is. Who is this little girl I have no control over? I have to write about it, otherwise she runs around in my brain like a hamster in a plastic ball. She rolls all over the floor and runs into walls.
My brain was made this way~ that’s what the doctors tell me. More doctors than I can remember, 20 years, and nobody can tell me why I have epilepsy. Seizures lie in wait, in the black, back alleyway of my brain, knife in hand. A seizure is stalking me like Jack the Ripper. Seizures will stalk me for my entire life. I can see it in my mind’s eye, clear as day. Do you see pictures in your mind? Is that part of the too much electricity that storms across the surface of my brain? How can I separate my brain from itself? My mind tells me what to do. I only know this one brain, full of imagination and wonder and fear and memories and seizures and lost time.
Writing helps. I float on an ocean of words. The words press upon my lips and my fingertips. I want to understand what happens to my brain. I want to explain. It’s like a nightmare or a drunken haze. When I wake up it gets worse, not better like a normal nightmare. Seizures fade away but the bruises remain.
NEXT UP: Be sure to check out the next post tomorrow by Cathy Hozack at http://livingwellwithepilepsy.com for more on Epilepsy Awareness. For the full schedule of bloggers visit livingwellwithepilepsy.com/epilepsy-blog-relay.
Be sure to check out the Epilepsy Blog Relay Thunderclap to raise epilepsy awareness. And don’t miss your chance to connect with bloggers on the #LivingWellChat on March 31 at 7PM ET.