Wow – it’s been a while, eh? This past 18 months or so since my last blog have been filled with alot: joy, love, pain, loss, grief, confusion, and fear.
As it turns out, the fainting spells that I mentioned in previous blogs, which led to my car accident, are actually tonic-clonic seizures (more commonly know as Grand Mal seizures). Less than 5% of people with MS develop seizures. I now happen to be one of those lucky 5%. (Typical type-A person, eh? I just gotta be in that small percentage!)I have only had about 4 seizures (full-on) that we know of in the past couple of years – but 3 of the 4 times I was alone, and frankly just purely lucky that I was not killed since I have absolutely no warning of a pending seizure, and I am “not there” for a good 60-90 minutes or so afterwards (even though I may be walking and talking). The one time my seizures were witnessed, my youngest son was there to catch me, as was my ex. So were a number of construction workers and my ex’s kids. Wow – nothing like a bit of foaming at the mouth and exorcist-like moves to get some attention, eh?
What the revelation of this seizure disorder has done is basically changed my life completely – even more than the MS alone did. It has taken me almost two years, but I am finally coming out of the haze of pain, confusion, loss, and fear. Out of the ashes of this mess, through the burning flames, into a new spiritual and physical re-birth. (Just like a Phoenix, eh?)
You see, being injured and basically disabled from the accident, and the fear and pain it generated to me and my family and friends, cost me a lot in many ways – yet also gave me a lot – a lot of opportunity for personal growth.The knowledge that I have seizures, and bad ones, created a sense of isolation, and complacency. My family and friends and medical team tended to over protect me in their fear for me, and I let them. I became seriously depressed, easily overwhelmed, and lost much of my joy for life. My boys are what kept me going – knowing that they need me around as long as possible. I was scared too – not sure what to do with my life “post-seizure”, nor how to do it even if I knew. I heard a constant littany of “Don’t push so hard” “Take it easy” “You have to be very careful now” “You doing fine given your situation” – and it began to sink into me, and I began to believe I was doing everything I could for my health “given my situation”. Fear began to rule my life. It lead to a disastrous attempt to blend homes with my boyfriend – which unfortunately ended our relationship for various reasons. I lost my ability to drive due to the seizures, and may never regain that privilege. I made a second move and moved to a more central location in order to accommodate my needs in that way and provide a comfortable and stable home for myself and my children. I now work pretty much full-time from home in order to keep the structured schedule and rest I need to allow me to maintain a full-time work situation. (My job is still the best in the world, and I love it!)
My most recent seizure was June 15th 2010 – and I was alone in my new home, about to take a bath. No warning. I remember starting my bath water. I woke up 2.5 hours later, half naked on my bed, in extreme pain and very nauseous, with a bleeding and fat lip, and bruises everywhere and possible broken ribs (which turned out was just severe bruising, and bruising of the kidneys & liver). The water in my bath was still running and frigid – luckily I was not in it, and luckily the overflow took the water so my house was not flooded! I now have Lifeline – a security feature that senses if I drop, and will automatically contact 9-1-1 for me. (Learning to accept the need for that, since I am determined to continue living alone and independently, was tough.)
The recent CCSVI news has been keeping me on my toes and very hopeful – yet sad too, because for now, the seizures make my options limited in that sense.
One of the blessings these seizures HAVE given me (remember – there is ALWAYS a brighter side 😉 ) is that my priorities in life are very clear: my children. It also crystalized that I am no longer willing to waste my energies – I am more discerning about where I want to spend my energies, and with whom I want to spend them. Having someone tell you on more than one occasion that you are damned lucky to be alive tends to do that! 😉
This entire experience initiated within me a spiritual and physical “re-birth” and I have found yoga as a key and critical part of that re-birth. I will soon be starting on a journey of immersing myself in yoga training and transformation. Check out my Yoga page, currently under development, to follow me as I learn a new way of living, incorporating yoga on a deeper level. From Ash Through Flame – Rebirth of my Inner Phoenix.
Stay tuned all! She’s BAAAA-aaaack!!!