Friday, November 8, 2013

Galena's Seizure

Yesterday, I rode along with Sara to Galena, IL to return some items from her museum's folk art exhibit that ended last month. It was a fun trip; we met some pretty interesting people, ate a great lunch and had some funny "would you rather" conversations while driving. We had to travel in the Wheaton Park District van, which was fun because it's huge and loud!

After a long day, I decided to go to sleep early... earlier than I already do. I took my medicine and fell right asleep. I woke up in the middle of the night with a headache and it took me a minute to realize that I had a seizure while sleeping.

The difference with this seizure is that I was incontinent during sleep. I'm not really sure how to use that word because a.) it has never happened during a seizure and b.) it's so embarrassing that I debated on whether to write about it. I decided that because it was eating me inside so badly that the only was to really get past it was to write.

This isn't really that big of news because when I was first having seizures and my doctors were mixing medications, I had this problem but not because I had a seizure, but because there was so much medication inside of me, I was sleeping too deep. Blacked out, basically.

You hear about this when people are drunk or on hard drugs, but apparently it's very common with Epilepsy patients. Even with this knowledge, I can't seem to get over the thought of a grown man having to deal with these issues. I mean, isn't having a seizure enough?

Sara handles these types of situations systematically, at this point. Whether it's watching me while having a seizure, driving to the ER in the city at 2am, or stripping the sheets after a night like last night. I couldn't imagine where I'd be without her. You could say that this is a pretty bad attempt at writing a love letter.

I know I should feel like I have to constantly apologize to her because of a seizure and all that goes along with it, but I do... almost annoyingly. To be honest, for me, it's a sign of a seizure. I have a helpless feeling inside me and I know there's nothing I can do to better our situation, so I just keep saying "I'm sorry, I'm sorry."

This morning I noticed that I did, in fact, bite the tip of my tongue which is another sign of a seizure, so that made me feel, oddly, better. To have a little closer on the issue was nice. We ate breakfast and talked about it a little. It was my first seizure in weeks, but we both knew that a seizure was coming. They tend to lie dormant for a period of time and reemerge with a vengeance.

The treatments seem to be going well, and besides a little headache post-treatment, I feel just fine. That's the problem with Epilepsy. I look ok, I sound just fine, but beneath the surface is a dim flame that can spark at any time.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Smith vs. Sedaris

Last weekend Sara and I went to see "An Evening with David Sedaris" at the Pabst theater in Milwaukee. If you're not familiar with his work, he's a author that writes mostly about his experiences in life interacting with people, primarily his family. He uses comedy to express himself, unlike what I've been trying to do with this blog, but he does it in such a way that comes across very endearing and intellectual.

It was a rainy and cold night, but we were trying to enjoy ourselves as much as we could given the present circumstances with not only me but what has been going on in our family; it's been a very trying time to say the least. So much so that I've even been having texting sessions with my therapist.

We stayed at the County Clare Bed & Breakfast and had just enjoyed a friday fish fry. I was worried about my stomach, because eating large meals with my medication can cause me to feel ill, if you know what I mean. We drove through the quiet streets of Milwaukee, and when we arrived we found our seats and took in the beauty of the theater.

Once David Sedaris took the stage I tried to really absorb the way he read and how he presented himself on stage. It was interesting because he was constantly making notes without a pause in his reading. I feel like it takes a lot of skill to do this. I mean, he's always working, even when preforming.

I've been talking to Sara about writing and what kinds of benefits that it has brought me. It's fun talking about the blog to her because it's something that I've really come to love. Sedaris said during the Q&A portion of the evening that a writer has to write every day, even if it's just keeping a journal. I'm getting there, I think, but have a long way to go.

Although this blog is mostly about Epilepsy and how I manage my life around my illness, I feel like I could grow, but first I need to expand my willingness to really engage life. I haven't been able to do that in a while.

When I was a photographer, my job was to engage people and get the story, not only visually, but editorially, as well. I mean, it wasn't actually writing articles, but I had to provide the "gist" to my editors. It didn't allow me to be very creative, I left that to my photos, but I had to put myself out there and engage my subjects after the photo had been taken... getting names, dates, quotes, etc.

While sitting here in the apartment, I'm not engaging life. I'm only really getting to know myself. While that sounds positive, you can only look into yourself for so long before you start to nitpick and critique every aspect of your personality.

What Sedaris did after his talk was, not only sign books, but talk to his fans and answer their often quirky questions. Questions I'm sure they hope are unique enough to end up in one of his writings. There were a lot of egos there that night; people who thought they understood him perfectly, when in actuality he could see right through them.

After the talk, Sara and I retired to the Inn and had breakfast the next morning. I felt very tired, like I always do when I sleep outside my own bed, but I didn't forget the feeling I had while watching David Sedaris work, because that's what he was really doing. His writing is fluid, and that's what I took away from that experience and that's the kind of writing I wish to attain in the future.