Yesterday was another normal day. I worked out after class and then headed to the dining hall to grab lunch. The same dining hall where it all first started.
I was in there, thinking about that time, the way that I think about it every single time I walk in there. After going through the experience of having a seizure three times, I can so vividly remember. I remember exactly what it felt like before having a seizure and what it felt like after I woke up.
I had always heard of auras – I knew them to be what it feels like before you have a seizure, without necessarily having one afterwards.
All I knew before was what it felt like before my first one, which was a series of twitches. I have had the twitches again since then. They have always been what I considered my “auras”.
The twitches were so scary at first, and still are, but the panic has subsided significantly because I’ve had more and more of them with no seizures following.
A different feeling came on all of the sudden. It was the same disorientation and dizziness that so clearly came before. I steadied myself, tried to walk away from the line I was on, but it didn’t help. I immediately went to find a chair to sit down and just breathe. My whole body was shaking visibly. Luckily, a few of my teammates were sitting at a table a few feet from where I was standing when it hit me. I sat down quickly and tried to just breathe, but I was still shaking so much that I couldn’t calm down.
My doctors had prescribed me two types of emergency medications: one that works in 10 minutes, and another in 10 seconds. Before yesterday, the idea of having to take the 10 second medication seemed so far off – something that would be used truly in an emergency. As far as I know, yesterday was an emergency. I’ll never be sure if it were just a feeling or a real warning.
A friend of mine who has epilepsy has been stable for a number of years. She texted me a few weeks ago, after having a day in which she had three auras. I didn’t get it at first. She was afraid. I didn’t understand, after about 8 years, she could still be so affected by this.
But, after yesterday, I realized that I had never had an aura. I had never thoroughly felt the fear. Before each of my seizures, I didn’t experience the warning signs for more than a few seconds before it went black. During my aura, I felt the true feeling of what it was like before I would have a seizure, for an extended amount of time.
I am so grateful that nothing happened to me yesterday, but it also seems like a whole new aspect of this world for me. The quick reactions, emergency medication, and the uncontrollable shaking with panic.
Before yesterday, I had sometimes haphazardly left my emergency medications at home. That carelessness could have seriously endangered my life.
I have been getting better – mentally, recovering from the third episode and yet, this just sends me back the 10 steps I had moved forward. Which, I guess, it is what it is.
I feel like I’ve hit a dead end once again – something new, another challenge to face that I didn’t even know I would have to. I guess there’s really nothing else to do but come up with some kind of advice for myself:
You’ve faced surprises before. You’ve overcome surprises before. This is just small bump in the road as opposed to what you’ve beaten before. There is no part of this that you’re not capable of coming back from.