“Seizure” Later!

February 12, 2007 at 5:41 pm (Uncategorized)

Heh heh. Yeah, sure.

So the fellow I’ve been seeing since New Year’s is on his way back to town this past Friday, after eight days of being out-of-state on business, and yours truly treats him to a temporal lobe episode/seizure, in all it’s firery, raging glory. Via voicemail. Saturday, he gets to witness another one–live, in-person. Great.

Relatively speaking, these ones were pretty mild. Short-lived, no tears/uncontrollable crying, nothing broken. I changed medications back in September, 2006, from Depakote ER to Trileptal, and these recent episodes provide yet more proof that it was a wise move. I hadn’t slept much–or well–both Thursday and Friday nights, which (as usual) accounts for the problems. Stupid disorder.

This Thursday, 2/15/07, I see a doctor at UCSF to discuss VNS, or Vagus Nerve Stimulation, therapy. It involves surgically implanting a device which is much like a pacemaker for the brain; two leads wrap around the vagus nerve to stimulate it at periodic intervals. Minimal side effects.

It’s a major blow to the self-esteem, the thought that one must depend upon pharmaceuticals to stay in check with reality, to function normally. It’s frustrating, not feeling completely in control of oneself. And it’s distressing, wondering what effects the ugly manifestations of this disorder have on the perceptions of those I care about–and want to be with. Their perceptions of–their thoughts and feelings about–me as a person.

Way back when, before epilepsy was identified as biological in origin, episodes were pegged as “possession” by the Devil, or unknown, sinister force. Hence the term “seizure”–as though the individual were being “seized” by something. Temporal lobe episodes have always been particularly frightening, in the sense that the person does not go unconscious, and appears to be in control (language is intact, muscular control remains, etc), but a sudden, drastic change in temperament comes about, an inappropriately intense emotional response to an unforseeable trigger (which is more often than not a misinterpretation of another person’s words or behaviors).

Sometimes I feel that way…”possessed”, as it were. The rising tide, it threatens to overtake me, to immerse me in that which is not real, to drown me in irrationality. I shout, yell, sometimes scream when I have such an episode, as the flood of emotional intensity pushes against me physically, burning, leaving me in fear of bursting. It has to get out. And when it does, when it’s over, the pain in my temples (especially the left) leaves me in agony, an invisible vice crushing my head as I struggle to regain control, before falling into a wavering, troubled sleep.

I wrestle with this dark angel that is in me–that is me–as I strive to embrace that which gives me life, to fill my life with light. I long for the touch and embrace of another, the warmth and life-force of another Human Being beside me, to both keep me on Earth and bring me to Heaven, and to give grounding to this tempest of thought and emotion that is within me, that *is* me. Take me home; take me to sanity.

Touch me…and free me. Hold me…and save me.


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