Sunday, November 11, 2012

4 years...

Four years ago I sat in my college dorm room talking to a friend online.  Suddenly the room felt funny.  I told my friend that I didn't feel very good.  That was the last thing I said to her.  When I didn't come back online or respond to her messages she called a mutual friend who lived in my building (the friend I was talking to lived across campus) and asked her to check on me.  The friend who lived in my building found me on the floor of my dorm room, in a semi-conscious state.  What we didn't know then was that I had just had my first seizure. All we knew for sure was that my head hurt and I was tired.  I went to bed and my friend checked on me frequently throughout the night.  (What can I say?  I have some pretty awesome friends). 
The next day, when hanging out with some friends I had a seizure.  It was witnessed and there was no doubt as to what it had been.  We headed to the hospital and my journey began.
The initial prognosis was not good.  The initial scans of my brain showed a spot that they believed to be a tumor and a very large blood vessel that they thought was going to explode.  I was told that I was living on borrowed time. The large blood vessel in my brain shouldn't be that large and they figured it would rupture sometime soon.  I was started on anti-seizure drugs as well as painkillers (I had a wicked headache that would last for months).
I was referred to specialist after specialist and my life consisted of waiting for appointments and getting conflicting reports from them. In between, I had seizures, often half a dozen or more a day, and I slept.  
Four years later a lot has changed. In the summer of 2011 we finally got a solid ID as to what Spot is. I'm on medication that controls the seizures for the most part, and have adapted to life with seizures, as well as anyone could. 
But there are things that they don't tell you about living with a chronic illness. They don't tell you how it will impact every aspect of your life.  If affects where your go or don't go for school.  It affects whether or not your can work and if you can work it affects what kind of work you can do. It affects your family.  It affects your mate. In short, it affects everything. 
Over the years I've tried to explain to people how it affects me.  The best explanation I've found so far is something call the "Spoon Theory".  I encourage you to click on the link and read it.  It applies not only to how the seizures affect me, but also to how my mental illness affects me.  Both limit the number of spoons I get each day. 
Four years ago I had no idea where I'd be. I have no idea where I'll be four years from now. 
But that is life. And that is my life.

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