Saturday, January 01, 2011

Bard Writhing Half-Dead on December Floors

Yesterday was the first time I felt ill for four months. My head hurt and I had occasional eerie moments in my perceptions all day. Then last night I was sitting in the dark at my house watching tv and I felt the full delightful epileptic experience coming on. It's a tough one even for a writer to describe but it's something like feeling your consciousness float half way out of your body; every time it happens you know you're going to hit the floor.

Ever the practical man, I took my glasses off and somehow walked up the stairs, got into bed. I woke up three hours later (I subsequently discovered), with all of the sheets on the floor, desperate to go to the toilet but with no memory of where I was or how to get out of there to the loo. And when I found the door handle to take me out of the bedroom my hand wouldn't tighten around the door handle; my muscles had stopped working.

I went and laid down again, went back to sleep for a few minutes. An awareness of what had happened was beginning to seep in, but my head felt like somebody had buried an axe in it; my arms, my legs and my stomach hurt. I couldn't keep working at the door until I got it open or remembered where it would take me precisely.

Sleep, as I said, was fleeting. My bladder was too full. Thankfully, so far, when I have a seizure I don't piss myself. I had to go to the toilet three times and laid awake in between wondering what had become of my life. Then when I'd had enough of that I went downstairs for two paracetamol and a box of Shreddies. Gradually the pain began to wear off; but the realisation that  I was nowhere near recovery came back to haunt me the following day.


All This Trouble... said...

I've never thought of you seizing alone. That's silly of me. I've always thought of you as having plenty of help around when needed.

Have you thought of having someone around with you when you begin to feel a little sketchy? I don't know. I think you're very brave to be able to cope with this malady. You're certainly not helpless. But it would be nice to have someone to help ease you back into the realm. Like a trip sitter.

Bruce Hodder said...

Yeah, the trouble is, they're so infrequent (hang on, that's a good thing!), I can't predict when they're going to happen. Most of the time I've had somebody there. But do you know what? Maybe it's something to do with my curious make-up, but safety issues aside, I'd rather be on my own anyway. I get embarrassed (I know I shouldn't) and extremely depressed afterwards and in some ways I'd rather just sit around and brood magnificently for a while.

As for the bravery issue...well, thank you, but I don't have much choice! I do have moments of self-pity (which I specialised in before I was diagnosed, so no change there) and fear about where my condition is taking me - I've cared for a lot of people with epilepsy, so I have some idea of the possibilities - but even if the worst happened I'd rather people sat around afterwards and spoke admiringly of the balls I showed in facing it than have everybody make excuses because I gave up on life and never went out of my bedroom.

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