Monday, May 30, 2011
Sunday I celebrated three years seizure-free.
There was no big celebration, but I quietly cheered to myself. It's not a huge deal to those around me, but it's a huge deal to me. Not a day goes by that I don't worry about having another seizure.
In 1994 I had my first seizure. I was home from college for the weekend and my mom found me face-down in my pillow, unconscious. No one saw me having the seizure, but all the signs were there - I had bit my tongue something awful, all of the muscles in my body ached, I felt sick to my stomach, had an awful headache and was exhausted. All I wanted to do was sleep. Of course I had all the testing done at the ER and later with a neurologist. I opted not to take medication and agreed to not drive for six months. I was seizure-free for the next 14 years. May 29th of 2008 I had a seizure while we were at a friend's house for dinner. We weren't there more than ten minutes when next thing I know I'm on the floor and my husband is telling me I had a seizure and the paramedics are on their way. Great. Way to ruin the dinner plans. I was taken to the nearest hospital where I was monitored for awhile. And it was there, late that night, right as they were getting ready to discharge me that I had another seizure in the bathroom. Alone. And this one resulted in a fractured shoulder blade. Yes, yikes is right!
And that was the night I started taking medication.
I started on a fairly common medication, Dilantin, that made me feel tipsy all the time and after two days made my feet itch like nothing has ever itched before. So I was switched to Gabapentin. That's a picture of my lovely Gaba, above. I was on a fairly high dose to begin with, but finally got my dose lowered last August.
I take it three times a day. Morning. Noon. Night.
Three times a day I'm reminded of what I've been through and what could happen.
About the only time I actively think about having a seizure is when I'm driving or taking a bath. Sounds silly, I know. But try sitting in the tub relaxing when all the sudden you realize you could have a seizure and drown. That's exactly what thought popped into my head Sunday when I was chilling in our jetted tub. Just like that I went from relaxed to thinking, "I should get out of the tub." Of course I don't know I've had a seizure until after it has happened. That's the scary part. And in an odd way, that's a good thing. I literally don't know what's happened till it's already happened. It's the poor people around me who have to panic and wonder what's going on and what to do.
I'm lucky though - I've only had three seizures in 14 years. My Gaba is doing it's job.