I went on a great adventure this week! Okay, I walked to a doctor’s appointment, but it felt like an adventure. I walked out my door and stepped into the road. I’d recently obtained a backpack, after my shoulder bag killed first me and then my husband from lugging it around Comic Con the previous weekend. (Seriously, I don’t know why it is so darn heavy. I mean, a wallet, sunglasses, some reading material, some writing material, and rarely a small makeup bag. What’s up with that?) Hoisting the backpack onto my shoulders as I stepped out did kind of add to the feeling of adventure, but mostly it was just the going.
It was my first trip on my own since my seizure, and that was scary. I was really scared of having a seizure or passing out while walking down the street. I’d bought a medical ID and had it engraved with my seizure disorder, with an instruction not to take blood pressure or put an IV in my left arm. This is due to the possibility of lymphedema, a most unpleasant complication of mastectomy and lymph node removal. In the ambulance, the paramedic had, in fact, put an IV in my left hand, and I’d just been too out of it to object, so I thought that would be a good idea. Mostly it said “Medical info in phone,” because when the paramedics had come they had wanted to know my medical conditions and what drugs I take. My family had not been able to provide this information, and nobody apparently thought to look at the emergency medical info on my phone. (If you have an iPhone, by the way, you can put all this into your health app, and it can be accessed without the need for your password.)
Also, I live on a pretty big hill, and I was concerned about that, and about the general weakness I’d been experiencing. I am still not certain whether that weakness is simply from being out of shape after the long recuperation from my last surgery, or whether it is organic. The neurologist did say that it could be part of the “aura” that people get prior to seizures, which concerned me because sure enough that shaky feeling in my knees and arms overcame me not long after I left the house. And I’m thinking, this road is narrow, and there are no sidewalks. If I pass out here, someone is sure to run right over me.
But I kept on. It was only about a 20 minute walk each way, but I got to the doctor’s office, and I got home again. It’s a start. When life gives you lemons, you have to make lemonade, and part of my lemonade is using my inability to drive as an opportunity to do more walking and get into better shape.
Plus, I really just want to regain some measure of independence. I absolutely hate having to ask someone to take me everywhere I need to go.
This was my first visit with my new neurologist. I really liked him, and I feel much better now that I have someone to help maneuver this new territory. He was very reassuring, gave me instructions for what to do if I have another seizure. (If convulsing, call 911 if it goes on for five minutes; if unconscious, call 911 if not coming around in a half an hour. A seizure, he said, is scary to see, but does not damage the brain unless it is prolonged. He said it really takes about an hour for it to start causing damage. So if you hang out with me, or anyone else with a seizure disorder, now you know.) He adjusted the dose of my medication, and told me he would prefer I delay my next surgery until after we make sure that I can tolerate the meds and that they are working. So that was disappointing, because I was really looking forward to getting that out of the way. He also said the law mandates that this be reported to the DMV, and that there will be a hearing, and that I will lose my license for three to six months, assuming no further seizures.
This is all boring stuff, I know, unless you or someone you love has a seizure disorder. My two year old grandson is currently being evaluated for possible seizures, and his parents were quite relieved to learn that a seizure was not likely to cause brain damage.
Other than that, I want to thank everyone who has been praying for me, because I have most definitely felt it! Honestly, I feel wrapped in a cloud of love and peace. Frustration and anxiety have for the most part been relegated to the background of my life.
And one other thing. If you have not read my previous blog, The Final Lesson, please do. I honestly thing is is one of the most important things I have written.
As always, remember to be kind, make wise decisions, and know that you are loved.