I talk about having a seizure often. It is hard for me not to, they seem to always be looming over my shoulder. But what I have neglected to do is tell you what my seizures are like. Or how many types I have, or how they feel and vary. So here I am, sharing all about all my seizures, how they escalate and affect me. I truly hope this helps clarify somethings and will help in the future, as I have a feeling there will be more talk about them in the future.
When the seizure starts
When I have a seizure the first thing to go is my left arm. It just stops working. I have been in a toilet and not been able to open the latch. Then I lose my balance and walking becomes the worst task of my life. By the time I had reached my friend after the toilet I unknowingly was in tears. Unknowingly as I couldn’t feel it. My face becomes numb to me. As I stood by her I kept moving too close, almost pushing her off the stool. I cannot see or feel on the left side of my body. I don’t know what is there. Suddenly it is like I am seasick, on the most unstable of seas.
A seizure feels so bad
A cold flush travels up the veins on the outside of my forearms and lasts only a brief second before becoming a cold/hot tingle down my sides, arms and spine. At the same time, I feel a trickling come up my neck on both sides in my arteries. As it moves up past my jaw I realise my temple is sweating and my face must be red. I cannot think or see straight. My tummy feels to be empty as though I have not eaten in days and all I want is to return to the toilet. I am at the start of the seizure and already I am covered head to toe in a body suit of sweat. This may be as far as it goes. These I call Notsies.
The next stage of a seizure
When it continues to build: the cold is now burning and has reached my face and brain. My scalp is starting to drip and I can feel the roots of my hair beginning to clump together, sodden with moisture. The spinal column behind my rib cage starts to feel like jelly. Breathing is like inhaling air through a ventilator or cotton wool. The hot and cold flushes subside, for now, leaving me drenched and flummoxed but not too worse for wear. I feel lucky to have survived. A cold drink of water and a few dabs of cold cloth on the forehead should be enough to calm to nerves. Again, this may be as far as I get and if that is that case I call them Hotsies. If not, the worst is yet to come.
The smaller seizure
Within a brief while after the Numbsies have risen to this level my head loses all will to stay supported on the neck and droops slowly and quietly off to the left. It looks like I am trying to listen to my left shoulder as it whispers sweet nothings. If only. When the head begins to sag, there is no will or strength in my neck to lift it back up and no desire of the face to change or show expression and notify someone of what is happening. Do not misunderstand, I am still conscious and cognisant, I just cannot do anything. Arms and legs are not working either so don’t look to them for advice or to help. This is a seizure of the type I like to call Numbsies. These are similar in presentation to Strokes, without the residual scarring or paralysis.
The larger seizure
It is about this point I try to sit or lie down and wait. Within the next five minutes, I will either lose awareness but remain conscious or I will have lost consciousness within twenty minutes. For obvious reasons I cannot give you a first-hand recount of what happens to me during the next few hours. Soon after I lose consciousness it has been commented I may begin having Tonic-Clonic seizures, which are the spasmodic variety most commonly associated with epilepsy. After this episode, I remain in my state of inertia. I am probably unconscious for 3-4 hours, and not coherent for another 3-4 hours. These I refer to as Proper Seizures, because, well, they are.
Recovery from a seizure
Any and all of these types of seizures have a significant impact on me, understandably. The most noticeable and troublesome impact is the lethargy that follows. The larger the seizure, the longer the lethargy, but whatever type occurs I experience a significant degree of chronic fatigue that only rest and time can heal. What I have a Proper Seizure however, I also have an addled ‘state of mind’ in which local places are unrecognisable to me, as are faces, words, sounds and language. To put it simply, a seizure is an electrical pulse through the brain and this pulse scrambles it. So my brain has been scrambled and nothing is recognisable.
This is what a seizure does to me
This last week I have had one Hotsie in the night, as well as Notsies most days about the time of mid-morning. The fear now is that this is building up to a Proper Seizure, as this is how it normally happens.