My relationship with the floor is the only thing that I know won’t change with time. Like an old friend, our relationship won’t fade. When I fall, the floor will catch me.
When I was a drama student I had to learn to fall. Stretch, relax, breath, and now fall. Up and do it again. And again. And again. Until it doesn’t hurt. There is an art to falling. The key is to commit. Commit: do not to try to catch yourself. The floor will catch you. Now you can learn to direct your fall. Fall safely, the floor will catch you. After you’ve learned how to fall you put the fall into the lines. And the stage floor will catch you.
After I learned how to fall I put it into practice. If I started to fall I just fell. I was less likely to get injured if I committed to the fall. When my body changed I lost the ability to fall safely. I don’t have the control over my muscles, I can’t make them relax. But, the floor is still there to catch me.
I knew I had a solid bond with the floor a few weeks after I started having pretty regular seizures. I woke on the floor. I knew I had just had a seizure by the looks on peoples faces. I said, “hello floor.” I couldn’t ask “why am I here?” I knew. I couldn’t ask “where am I?” I could tell by looking around. Then I looked at the scared faces and said “I’m alright.” The floor was there to catch me.
The floor is always there to catch me.
The floor is always there to welcome me back.
What does your ribbon look like? We usually see it crafted into a butterfly or given some type of bling. I thought about how the ribbon is more then an awareness object. When we look at the ribbon we think of our loss, struggles, pain, and brokenness. But we also get a sense of togetherness, courage, and strength. It turns a survivor into a warrior. The most important thing about the awareness ribbon is that it is a symbol of hope.
Hope. Romans 8:24-25
“24 For in this hope (of everlasting life) we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”
I cannot hope to be healed if I’m already healed. I can’t hope for a cure if we have one. I can’t hope to be without pain if I am pain free. Hope inspires people. Seeing hope in others is inspiring. We wouldn’t have any epileptic medicine if hope hadn’t inspired someone. Once we have a cure to epilepsy and migraines, we will hope for an affordable cure. We need hope. To keep hope alive we need patience. We learn patience and we can encourage each other to never give up.
Why did I draw it that way? I am a Christian.
I believe that I should take all my worries and pains to Christ, as the saying goes “take it to the cross.” That is why I started the ribbon faded and torn on the right. I believe Christ will take everything and make it new again. That is why as the ribbon falls to the front of the cross the color changes to just lavender and then ends is a smooth cut. The ribbon is not tied like the traditional ribbon so that it could blow away, Christ is capable of healing-illness and brokenness disappears. All things are possible through Him.
I went in for a general check up at the dentist today. My Mom went back with me because I had a migraine. The mix is delightful. So we get through the exam, the doctors were great and understanding. Then comes the bad news. The mile long list of what is wrong with my mouth.
And then, “Are you sure your not feeling any dental pain?”. We assured her that I did not feel any dental pain, usually only feel the head pain. We explained to her that I my tooth has some strong competition. “Well,” says the dental assistant, “this tooth right here should be causing considerable pain.” Crap, so is it something we need to take care of ASAP? No! No, its not. For a few reasons. The nerve in that tooth is reacting to the broken tooth abnormally. It is not infected. And mostly its because I don’t feel the pain. So on that list, its second to last. Perk of having an abnormal brain.
The one thing that sucks is that because of my neurological issues the doctor is scheduling short visits. He doesn’t want me there for more then an hour at a time because of all the triggers in exam rooms. So I’m going to be going to the dentist a lot.
Epilepsy complicates all aspects of dental health.
- Medication: Some medication cause tooth decay, dry mouth, or gum issues. The side effects of medication can include infection, dry mouth, overgrown gums, delayed healing, bleeding gums, and post-op bleeding.
- Triggers: The lights, loud noise, or the procedure itself could cause a seizure.
- A seizure could break a tooth
- Can cause teeth to grow out of ailment
- Vomiting: The acid eats away the protective coating on your teeth. If you do not naturalize it, like with baking soda, it is very bad. The worse thing you can do is brush your teeth or sleeping before rinsing out your mouth.
- You can crack your jaw from the fall
- The nerves in your teeth could react to infection and breaks abnormally
An epileptic has to make sure their dentist knows that you have epilepsy and all medications. The dentist also has to know how to handle a seizure so that he/she can make a plan.
Regular dental check ups is recommended. Also being diligent about daily dental care.
My gums bleed and I get infections easily. I also have a hard time controling how hard I brush my teeth. This is because my muscles still jerk and I get tremors in my hands. One time I was flossing when suddenly my hand went flying. The jerk broke my tooth. I broke my tooth while flossing. I was too embarrassed to tell the dentist what happened.
I’ve looked up “brain fog” and its description is a bit different then what I have experienced in relation to epilepsy and migraine. The symptoms I experience included:
- troubles thinking
- short term memory issues
- No concentration or focus
- feeling like I’m outside of what is happening
- unable to process what is going on around me
- problems thinking of words
- problems remembering what words mean
- problem solving
- can’t remember what I’m doing
- mobility issues
- Problems going place to place. Like I have trouble walking from my room to the kitchen because I don’t remember where the kitchen is or what the word kitchen means. What is that? Why should I go there? How do I get there?
- confusion and frustration
Brain fog is a symptom that can be a warning sign and is a symptom experienced while recovering from the seizure. It can last a long time or just a few minutes. I usually experience brain fog for long periods. It is frustrating, especially when the people around me are not understanding. Its especially hard when it happens in public places. There is nowhere to hide and difficulties communicating what is happening. Which is problematic more so if brain fog is a warning sign. There are symptoms a lot worse and more dangerous then brain fog. I think brain fog is more annoying and frustrating symptoms of seizures and migraine. It is one symptom that makes it hard to pass interviews and keep managers happy. But the most important thing about brain fog is that it is a single that there is something amiss with my neurons.
This is Pookie, she is named after Garfield’s teddy bear. I lived with Pookie for a few years and she slept with me. After a few weeks she started asking me to take naps. She was so insistent that I went with her. She would always lay across my chest or behind my back, forcing me to lay on my side. I noticed that every time she laid across my chest I would have a dizzy spell or vertigo. One day mom came in my room and I was having a seizure. Pookie was laying against my back and keeping me on my side. Pookie had no training. It is something she started doing no her own.
Service Dogs for Epileptics are dogs that have been trained to assist people with epilepsy. They are trained to alert their handlers, protect their handler’s from bodily harm, emotional support, and get help if needed. Having a service dog can also give the handler confidence to go places without a guardian or such. That freedom can help them become more active in the workforce and social gatherings. These dogs changes a person’s quality of life.
Unlike the media would have you believe, seizures come in a variety of visuals and lengths. There are about 40 types of seizures. And it is not uncommon for a person to experience more then one type of seizure if they have frequent attacks. The image above explains the basics of the different types of epilepsy. The is a difference between epilepsy and seizures. Epilepsy is a condition where the patient experiences several seizures because their is something wrong in the brain. A seizure is what happens to the body during the episode. So if a person has a head injury and experiences one seizure, they don’t have epilepsy. But if the brain was damaged and the person keeps having seizures then the person has epilepsy.
I had my first seizure when I was 19. A genetic defect. I am diagnosed was partial complex epilepsy several years after my first attack. I went several years having frequent seizures. I had an atypical start so it made it difficult to diagnose? I think it had to do with my pain. I had my first seizure on the same day I had my first migraine.
What I do: Usually, my arm with tremble and I start to act a little weird. I will make weird decisions. Then I wonder around, fiddle with my clothes, and mumble. Then my body will get stiff, I’ll fall down, and start shacking. Not like on TV. I start shivering all over my body and now and then a limb will jerk. Sometimes I will stop breathing. After a few minutes I’ll stop and then few minutes latter come to. I will not remember what happened that day and sometimes the night before.
First aid for seizures is not common sense. It is not fair to assume that people know what to do when a person has a seizure. In my experience a person’s first reaction to a seizure is fear and panic. Its because people are uneducated.
To make things even more confusing, different types of seizures require different types of first aid. If a person falls down and convulses they need different treatment then someone who is wondering around or staring out into space.
This image does a good job outlining basic first aid for both. There are two things I would add. First, if the person doesn’t wake up within a few minutes after they are done jerking call an ambulance. It is not something you sleep off immediately. Second, all seizures have one thing in common, when one first comes out of it the person is in a haze. If the person does not regain cognitive abilities they need to go to the hospital. There is a series of questions to ask to test that. Waite a few minutes and then ask:
- What is your name?
- Do you know where you are? (Where are you)
- What is 2+3
- Who is the president?
- How many fingers am I holding up?
EMTs will wait a few minutes and ask the question again if you get a question or two close or wrong. Like I usually say my name is Josh, which is close because it is my brother’s name. If you fail the test EMTs rush you to the hospital. That is why I would recommend adding this to the list.
A unique part of seizure first aid is to be careful not to hurt yourself. Do not help someone fall unless the person is going to fall on something bad. Usually the fall is not what hurts the other person, but it will hurt you. Be mindful of the epileptic’s arms and legs, always sit behind the person. If you get kicked or punched its going to hurt. Do not stick your fingers in the person’s mouth, it could get bit off.
November is Epilepsy Awareness Month. I could not find a blog challenge, I find this aggravating. I have decided to make one up as we go.
I have a folder of memes and pictures about being being sick. I am going to use one of those everyday to inspire something that spreads awareness about epilepsy or my experience as an epileptic person.
I have hazel green eyes.
November first is All Saints Day. As a Protestant, we celebrate All Saints Day by remembering those who have past away who were strong in their faith and celebrate those around us who have strong faith that encourages and helps those around them. But Catholics are must more selective. There are 40 saints for epilepsy and two that had epilepsy (http://catholicsaints.info/patrons-against-epilepsy/http://catholicsaints.info/patrons-against-epilepsy/). How do you choose a Saint to pray to? I have no idea, but most choose St. Valentine (https://www.epilepsy.org.uk/about/st-valentine-epilepsy-patron-saints). He was known for miraculous healing of all sorts and epilepsy was top of the list.