So some of you may be wondering what happened to me recently? I know I’ve more or less fallen off the end of the virtual Earth and actually for once I’ve got a very good reason. Things were going along more or less nicely in February, I ended up coming down with strep throat (not uncommon for me) which was followed by a cold about half way through March. I weathered both of these as stoically as I could and felt like I was on the mend and had started to get ready for Elk Mountains Grand Traverse at the end of the month. In fact, my skins had been cleaned and re-glued, my bag was packed and I had even started getting my food and water ready when on the 26th of March I went down the stairs after putting in a day at the office, bent down to give Aral a hug and woke up with paramedics and police swarming over my body. At the time I must have been having a seizure because I could not talk or move.
Making a long story short, I was transported to the hospital here in Gunnison. I don’t have very clear memories of my time there, but I know that the next day they loaded me up into an ambulance and shipped me off to Grand Junction where an EEG could be added to the tests they had already run. I spent the remainder of the week in the neurological ward of Saint Mary’s Hospital.
By Friday afternoon I was ready to leave the hospital and Tess took me to my parents house up on Glade Park. Saturday morning we left for Gunnison and I’ve been without recurrence of seizure since late Friday evening although I’ve felt the pre-event symptoms on occasion since returning home.
I’m not certain if the medication they have me (Keppra) on is actually working to prevent reoccurrence, it certainly has some side effects. In the mornings in particular I feel physically wasted until about 30 to 45 minutes after the first dose of the day. Then the sensation of being physically fatigued slackens and I get to deal with a little dizziness and what feels like depressed mentation. I don’t feel sad, I feel slow and have trouble making connections. There have been a couple of mornings where I’ve gotten up and soldiered on through these sensations to get things done. Generally I end up feeling better, but by the afternoon I’m back to feeling physically exhausted and usually need a nap.
Right now I feel like there are two challenges I need to deal with before I can “get better”. First, I need to clearly define what getting better actually means. There are no clear objectives I can define for myself; nothing I can clearly work toward. I’ve been dealing with this more or less moment to moment (not even day to day) because that’s how its throws those balls. I’d like to know under what conditions I will be considered better so that I can work toward achieving those conditions as a set of goals or, if that’s not possible, then at least what are some activities I can master in the pursuit of this as a means to an end.
“Time” and “rest”, even “less stress” are great but tend to be very ill formed as metrics. In other words, I don’t feel like I can achieve these because I don’t really know how to chase them down. I need help from friends, family and physicians to articulate what this means and develop a means of achieving it.
Second challenge, is that I feel very hopeless. Writing this post for instance has really challenged me because I have to momentarily stop to think about what the next letter or word might be. I forget what my intent was often and if I cannot remember why I went into the room or what it was I wanted to write I am extremely frustrated with myself. I’ve lost my marbles and sometimes I’m not in control of what I’m thinking or how I feel. This is very depressing and from inside this tunnel I can’t see any light yet. It doesn’t help that I still feel shame at my lack of strength and obvious failures.
I need to say thanks to everyone who has helped or offered me a good word or even just taken a moment to say something friendly to me.