Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wasting a Perfectly Good Sunday Afternoon

That was not my plan when I arrived at church on Sunday morning.

I hadn't slept much the night before - only four hours.  And there wasn't anything keeping me awake this time!  So I turned instead to (gasp!) CAFFEINATED coffee: two cups!  Woo!  Due to either the one or the other I seemed to buzz around church that morning.  I was even too jittery to sit down in my usual spot (the front row!) so I paced around in the back of the room while my husband preached. (Aside: this was a really good sermon.  He preached on honoring your parents and demonstrated by reading a letter he had written to his biological father's parents stating the reasons he would not be contacting them again and praising the way his adopted father raised him.  I cried.  So did his dad, who was in the audience.)

After the service I buzzed around as usual: putting things away, vacuuming,  setting up rooms for the week, etc.  Around twelve forty five I began to notice that I was having the beginning signs of one of my 'vision compromising' seizures - my eye sight was limiting in my right eye with some scattered cloudiness, I wasn't remembering certain words that I needed in conversation, I had to try and sound out printed words that I've known for twenty five years.  I sat in the van with the kids and waited for what I thought would be the worst scenario that I'd had in thirteen years: nausea and flashes of forgotten memories.  When my husband got in the car and told us to prepare for a trip to Subway for lunch with friends I told him that I was having a seizure and that it was going to get worse.  Was that an understatement.

I lost consciousness less than a quarter mile from the church parking lot.  According to my husband my whole body went as stiff as a board with my hands curled into claws in front of me; I stopped breathing and turned blue while foaming at the mouth and muttering jibberish.  He pulled the car over, rolled me over on to his shoulder and called 9-1-1.  Fortunately, there was an ambulance just half a mile away and they arrived to give me an anti-seizure injection and load me into the vehicle, at which point I remember barely coming to before he closed the doors and we drove to the hospital.

I talked with the paramedic on the way to Silverton Hospital; at least, as much as I was able.  I remembered more and more as time elapsed (that's routine for me) and even joked about some things ( I can't remember what.  I know, you're shocked.).  It's actually kind of fun to ride in an ambulance.  At least, until you calculate what it's going to cost you.  But they were able to wheel me right in to the Emergency Room to get another injection and update my stats.  Then it was just a matter of waiting a few hours until I was functioning better mentally.

They had planned to take me in for a head CT because of severe dizziness until I remembered (!) that it's normal for me to be dizzy after a hard seizure.  Of course, I hadn't had one like this EVER but still, the principle is the same.  So now the question:  find a neurologist and start the agonizing process of trying medications that may or may not help me, or just continue to go on as I have been, trusting that it will be a dozen years (or more) before I have another grand mal seizure.

I hate medication.  The cost, the synthetic ingredients, the side effects that are worse than the occasional seizure itself, the doctor visits, the insurance problems.  Advice!  I'm open to advice!

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