it had been almost 3 years. 3 years. until last sunday, when that streak came to a screeching halt.
i had a seizure. my first one in almost 3 years.
in the world of epilepsy, that is pretty amazing.
in the world of kendra, that is heartbreaking.
having a seizure is extremely debilitating to me. in that i lose consciousness and thus wake up in this extreme state of vulnerability. then there are the after effects. since i had a seizure, legally, i am not supposed to drive for at least 6 months. at the blink of an eye my whole world is changed. i now have to rely on others to get me where i need to be. my independence to go and do things at my leisure is completely gone.
each seizure affects me differently. this one seemed to take me longer to recover from. it took almost a week for me to feel like myself again. the seizure i had 3 years ago instilled this fear of driving. however, this time i am annoyed that i can't drive. hell, if i could, i would get behind the wheel tomorrow. it boggles my mind how differently i feel each time. this time i felt like i should have seen it coming. the signs were all there: stress, lack of quality sleep/sleep deprivation, and alcohol consumption. it frustrates me that after living with this for over 13 years, it still tricks me and sneaks up on me. because as i said, each one is different. sure, some of the signs are the same, but it doesn't always manifest in the same way.
as i reviewed the past month in my mind to determine what i could have changed, i realized there was little use in that. i can only move forward and continue to live healthy from this point on. beating myself up over "what i should have/could have done" doesn't help. in fact, it probably just makes things worse.
i do know that i need to always remain active in my seizure prevention lifestyle. so whatever i am doing today, i should do 3 weeks from now, 3 months from now and 3 years from now.
i do plenty of things right after i have a seizure to stay safe and healthy. however, as i become more confident, i stop those behaviors. if anything, i should just continue them...why not? there is no harm in it. some of the things i am doing now:
showering only when someone else is home.
not driving (however, i feel that some day i will drive again)
moderate to no alcohol consumption
monitoring my stress levels and making sure that i am as relaxed as i can be.
taking my phone when i walk the dogs (may seem silly, but if something were to happen, having a phone could be a necessary resource).
i certainly do not live in fear of a seizure. however, i want to be a safe as i can doing day-to-day activities. it seems just plain smart do a couple of extra little things to keep me safe and healthy. after having this seizure, that is my biggest "take away" from all of this. i want to do what i can to stay safe and healthy, and ultimately prevent having another seizure forever.
getting through this past week was tough. i felt awful and tired. however, having the amazing support of my family and friends made it so much easier to get through. having a seizure is such a traumatic event. i can't even begin to explain how it feels, emotionally and physically. all i can say is, friends and family, thank you for being so awesome, so supportive and so loving.
epilepsy doesn't slow me down. i slow epilepsy down.