Friday, December 12, 2014

Conquering Fear

I'm here to tell you that I'm afraid. I'll admit it. I have been all my life. I over-think things until they start to eat away at me. I've done this for jobs, relationships, moving away from home, and now... of course, Epilepsy.

I've been given a lot of medication to help stop my fear of my current life, but you really can't prescribe medications to curb a primal urge to fear. I've also been given different techniques, like meditation and breathing to help the tension. None of these will work 100%. And they haven't.

There have been other times in my life where I should've been afraid, but wasn't. Seizures don't scare me, but I know that they scare those around me. Spinal taps, shots, infusions, surgeries... none of them have scared me. If anything I was a nervous-like excitement. An excitement that maybe this next trick will be the one to really stop my seizures and end the period of my life where I had Epilepsy.

Pain doesn't scare me. Death doesn't scare me. I feel as though I've come so close already, and to see my friends and family gather around me like they did makes me confident that I'll never die alone.

Maybe that's what I'm afraid of... being alone through all of this. But I'm not, and I just have to keep of telling myself that while I feel these poisonous medications make their way into my blood. I have to keep telling myself that when I'm in a hospital bed, I can look over and see Sara or a member of my family there to support me, to care for me.

I never thought that this was going to be the direction my life was going to take. But it happened and now I have to use every bit of strength inside of me to keep my head up straight and my tear ducts dry.

I suffer from a condition called Epilepsy, but I struggle most with fear. There's very little I can do about the seizures, but a lot I can do to be sure fear doesn't completely destroy me. And while I'm conquering fear everyday I can look beside me and know that I'm not doing it alone.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Smile Wider

I sit here with my dated iPod and iHome playing while I write. I usually listen to what I call "thinking" music; the same music I would listen to while I was working as a graphic designer. I would sit at my desk with a huge pair of headphones and churn out composition after composition. It was tedious but fun. I miss it.

This past week was pure hell. Not only did I have the same psychological issues that I've been describing for weeks, but seizures as well. I'm going to dig deep and try to explain how the seizures felt. I wish those close to me could feel them just once in a controlled environment because my words will never be enough.

I had a medication mix-up at the pharmacy on Monday of last week... it happens to the best of us. This started a chain reaction. Not only did I feel very aggressive, but I was also having auras. Eventually, the auras led to seizures; the kind of seizures I've tried to explain to everyone. I remember the one I had at a restaurant vividly, but the one I had at home stuck with me the most.

I remember laying in bed while Sara was out in the living room watching TV, as I called out her name. After that I just remember fighting the seizure, almost wrestling with it. Sara kept telling me to relax, but I couldn't understand her. My head started to raise and lower as I fought with no luck.


This is a two day post. I guess I just needed more time to process what is actually happening. I had another one of these seizures earlier today, but this time I was alone. When I first felt the aura, I quickly tried to remember what Sara would do if she were here. I sat down on the couch and I could feel my head turning to the right. I had no control of this. The right side of my body went numb as I was swiping the VNS magnet over the device in my left chest area. It ended several minutes later, and I thought it was safe to get up from the couch, but I still felt as though I was still feeling the effects of the seizure. I wanted to find a way to pause the show I was watching... I was watching the news. There's no way to pause it.

Once I regained full consciousness, I made my way to the kitchen and looked through all of my medication, not sure which one was Ativan. I got frustrated, but I knew I had a dose in a little pill box that I carry around with me everywhere. I knew for sure that was Ativan. I took it and fell asleep almost instantly. That's how I know that the seizure was bad. I can take Ativan any time during the day and just feel loopy, but after a seizure it's like a knockout punch.

I do a little test when I'm at home after a seizure if I'm alone. I look into the mirror and try to smile wide because some seizures paralyze parts of my face. I did it before taking the Ativan, and I smiled successfully as far as I could see.

I looked at my face, and I looked so tired. I think about this all the time. If you see pictures of me several years ago, even after I started having seizures, I looked normal. Inside I was tired, but it never really was reflected on my face. I look older and weaker. I'm not sure if there's anything I can do to reverse this, but hopefully someday I'll be able to look in the mirror and see myself happy and vibrant. Right now, I can only see a man who thinks too much about things too little. I work myself up to the point that I'm no longer the Jeremy everyone used to know. I'm just a tired man. A man who is constantly trying to find something to make him really smile wide.