Archive for April, 2010

On my commute to school the other morning, I saw something on one of the signs indicating the schedules and routes.  It was this, scrawled in heavy, black, bold letters:


Now, I’ve never found our transit system all that exciting, really.  In fact, I don’t find it exciting at all.

However, I guess someone has?

As always, I am very flattered and honoured when this happens.  There are 50 in all, listed here.

Also, as always is my custom, I do not promote or advocate any content on this site.  It is up to you, the readers of this blog, to decide if it is relevant or useful.  I can not decide that for you.

However, due to the substantial number of blogs listed, I will add the above link to my blogroll.  That way the references to those reads will be permanently accessible.  I feel they are appropriate to remain as a static feature of this blog.

I’d like mine well done.  With the emphasis on the “done!” No, I order my steak rare and if you want anything to do with that word regarding my seizures (or my entire brain for that matter) rare it is! All you have to do is look at my long list of comorbidities beyond epilepsy.

I finally got around to doing some research regarding something I wrote in this post about one of my worst seizure episodes ever.  It was a vague reference to the possibility of seizures acting as a “release valve” to alleviate a previous build up of neuronal activity.  Perhaps you could say your brain was a pot of boiling neurons in water.  The seizure was its lid.  The temperature got too high and the pot shot the lid across the kitchen to let the steam escape.

What I’ve found may come into play with my seizures–both of the ones I have had in the past, and just recently.  I’ve had six separate episodes within this past week.  That is definitely a record for me! And, as I may be able to demonstrate here, it could be the whole, damn pot flying across the room!

I started looking into something called “Forced Normalization.”  This term was coined in 1953 by a Swiss Psychiatrist named Heinrich Landolt who also trained in Neurology.  His concept of Forced Normalization was that basically, people with epilepsy who also had psychoses, would suddenly experience a cessation of ictal discharge via EEG during their psychotic episodes.  Now, you must bear in mind this was in 1953.  That said, there are some things to consider.  Not all bad, however.  We just need to realize this is 2010.

First, this certainly got the ECT ball rolling! However, it also paved the way for medication.  Also, notably, the patients he worked with were of a limited demographic–they had very severe forms of mental illness.  He seemed to be a fair enough researcher and not too biased, but up to present day (despite how much arguing there is about everything) more rigorous testing is done.  That is only to be expected.  You may hear the term tossed around in general parlance, but it really shouldn’t carry so much weight due to its historical basis.

In one abstract I read, one possible portion of an entire realm of hypotheses (did you get that?) suggested there is almost something like a “neural loop.”  This is good.  I’m liking this.  However, the psychosis (in whatever form), and the epileptic neuronal activity may even be happening at the same time!¹

Nonetheless, there still is a great curiosity surrounding those of us with psychiatric illnesses and disorders who also have epilepsy.  Though the question obviously to be asked: is it remaining just a mere curiosity or is anyone actually paying attention to it?

While continuing along my research path, I realized I had forgotten something entirely! Perhaps something gleaned from Landolt after all? They are called Reflex Seizures.  This is where I now make my grand appearance.  Nothing is ever certain, but it makes a whole lot of sense.  With parts of my brain, my types of seizures, even with a manifestation of what happened in the post I linked to above.

As the name suggests, Reflex seizures result from a response to a stimulus.  One of the most common is a photic seizure–those that occur when people are exposed to flashing lights etc…  Well, not me.  Mine are a bit more rare.  Although, not as rare as brushing my teeth.  I’m serious about that one.  I recall reading about that poor woman a long time ago.  It made me think what on earth would happen when she went to go see the dentist!

What’s going on with me? Thinking.  Again, I’m serious.  By thinking, I’m having seizures.  Yes, it may sound completely bizarre, but certain types of higher order, mental processes can trigger a Reflex seizure.  There are a whole bunch of other things, too.  As for the post above, it was pattern recognition that caused my jaw to twitch.  I’d never had that happen before, but I was trying to keep my head from exploding and staring straight ahead, focusing on a man’s coat–with a pattern on it! Okay.

Lately, though? I’ve been under so much stress.  Also, it’s not “overall” stress.  It’s been very intense.  It’s been about something specific.  It’s been precise.  Also, due to the type of Reflex seizure involving these cognitive aspects, the exact types I’ve been having completely match! I’ve also been screwing up my terminology, because I’ve been writing about everything when I’m post-“ick”tal©.

I’m having myoclonic seizures! My legs are going nuts and falling apart all over the place! Those are generalized seizures! They’re affecting my whole brain! Whether they’re occurring as Primary Generalized (immediately on their own) or Secondary Generalized (having a Simple Partial first), it doesn’t matter! And a large per centage of the higher order thinking, Reflex seizures are myoclonic! Not to mention, bilateral! Both of my legs are going crazy!

I know, I probably sound quite excited about this.  Thrilled even? Well, I’m not thrilled that I’ve had so many seizures lately.  Hardly.  In looking back and seeing how many times I was under such extreme stress, what was going on, the types of seizures…it was amazing to read things my “Seizure Dossier.”  So, what “excites” me the most, is that I may have some sort of…”answer” here?

Reflex seizures are still “idiopathic,” just like my epilepsy is across the board.  However, if I’m correct here, I might be able to somehow evade these bloody things? I know we can’t “control” our thinking, but maybe if I can adjust mine, modify it?

¹ Wolf P. Acute behavioral symptomatology at disappearance of epileptiform EEG abnormality. Paradoxical or “forced” normalization. Adv Neurol. 1991;55:127-42. Review. PubMed PMID: 2003402.

I bought a cane today.  I feel like an old woman! *laughing*  Well, not really.  I feel…sort of odd.  When I was walking with it, feeling peoples’ eyes on me, yes…what an “odd” feeling.  What were they thinking?

I’m so used to having “Invisible Disabilities,” as the saying goes.  By the way, I do not refer to myself as “Disabled.”  However, now I was “Visible.”  Surely, had anyone looked at my Medic-Alert Bracelet, the epilepsy would have led some of them to that as an answer? Well, it was indeed “the answer.”  However, in not seeing it? An accident or injury? Post-surgical healing? A lifetime condition of something–therefore some kind of disability?

So, why did I buy myself a cane? Well, another nasty seizure last night.  They’re coming in clusters–again.  My legs were in really rough shape.  I remembered J. had somehow buggered his leg up in the past and had crutches.  I knew I would be post-“ick”tal©, but I was going to drag myself to school no matter what shape I was in.  Every Friday we have a test, and I will miss no more classes period.  Full stop.  So, J. came over before I left for school and brought me his crutches.  Slight problem?

J. is 5″10″! Wee PA is about 5’2″! A bit of work to get the crutch to work as a cane? It did improve my speed of mobility, I will admit that.  It was “work” to actually use it, though.

Why I broke down and didn’t wait to get a cane later? *shakes head* I was so tired when class was over, the damn crutch became an impediment! I was actually tripping over it! I had to walk to two drug stores but finally found one–that I like! Does that sound strange? I like my cane!

It’s one of those collapsible ones.  Like you tend to see being used by people that are visually impaired.  I can carry it around with me? I just “unwrap” it, and, “snap, snap, snap!” Out pops my cane! It kind of scared me when I tried it out in the store.  It seemed more like a weapon! Hey, really great for Purple nin-JAH??? *smirks*

It is really great, though.  It sure paid for itself, today.  With the whole brain hemispherical, flippy-floppy business, as far as my motor seizures, it would appear that there is more neuronal misfiring happening on the left side.  My right leg is always in far worse shape than my left! Today, it felt like it weighed about 20lbs. more in comparison to the other! So, I was very happy to have that cane!

Also, as an aside, I’m not so disgustingly, evil post-“ick”tal© today.  But I’m still feeling the love! Regardless, I am so grateful I’m not as sick as usual that I want to weep! I made it to class! I completed my test!

I have thought about getting a cane for my epilepsy for a long time now.  I always questioned whether it really would be useful.  I guess I now have my answer? Another thought came to me today, too, apart from the whole safety aspect.  If there are other times when I’m feeling somewhat okay-ish while post-“ick”tal©, my cane might give me some encouragement to get out and around.  Even if it’s just for a bit?

J. came by today.  Not just for a visit.  No, for a rather large amount of money.  Not a sum that I can really afford but he needs it.  I knew of his financial situation before.  Rather complicated.  Then he told me of his real financial situation.  That is one of the things that basically drove him to being quasi-suicidal and me doing everything I could within my power last week to hold him together.

I get a little nervous with “personal loans.”  It’s not so much that I care about my money (even though I am quite far from rich!) I just know the horror stories that become attached to the act.  People not repaying, the lender really not having the money and losing more money, ultimately relationships destroyed.

It’s like me loaning my books? Well, maybe not so much, but a parallel.  I rarely loan my books! My books are sacred to me! I do not write in them, I do not bend their spines, I do not fold over their corners of pages to bookmark them…you get the idea.  Far too many times, I have loaned them out to people, only to lose them.  Perhaps an extreme analogy.  I care more for my books than my money?

However, a bad money story? Non-bio dad nearly fleecing me of $5,000.  Oh, gee.  Why should I mind? I was his “daughter,” after all! I barely managed to catch him in the act and get it all back.  J. is different, though.

Someone (an ex-friend?) once helped me out in a similar manner.  I still feel guilty for never paying him back to this day.  I always said I would.  We only spoke of it once.  He simply said, “Whenever you see someone else in the same situation, don’t worry about paying me back! Just do the same for them.”

Well, I still feel guilty for never paying back that money, but on the other hand, I’d still “give” this money to J.  That’s right.  I don’t even care if he pays it back to me.  Knowing his financial history, I don’t think I’ll ever see it again.  That’s fine.  You do whatever you need to for your friends.

Yep.  I’ve been talking about it for a little while now.  Tonight, I did it.  I grabbed “my knife.”  That would be my “cutting knife.”  How interesting I use the same knife every time? Practical? Sentimental? Both? Other?

I had been lamenting that I couldn’t do it because I didn’t have “the proper (or enough) supplies.”

Bullshit.  Not to be egotistical, but they don’t call me Dr. PA for nothing.  I’m now all (makeshift) wrapped, but not really.  I even gave myself a few sutures, again, just to be safe.  If you don’t know about that prior incident, I’m not going to link to the original post.  You can look for it if you wish, under my “Cutting” Category.  It caused a bit of a stir, but suffice it to say, after a rather significant cutting, I gave myself a “rather significant” amount of sutures.


Again tonight, I did the same, just a few to be safe.  I didn’t have so many supplies so…? It was a tough decision due to the cut.  I won’t get into the gory medical details, but it was a difficult call.  And a difficult “procedure.”

Anyway, I’ll be fine.  Except for the fact that I am A Grand Fuck Up.  However, I was born that way.  Taking that into account, there is nothing I, or anyone else, can do about it.  That’s that.

I’m sorry if this has soiled you morning, afternoon, evening…whatever time zone.  I guess now you know what to expect from this blog.

I have always held great disdain for that expression.  Perhaps it’s because I fail to see any result indicative of “strength,” after dealing with loads of crap that never seems to end.  All I see is that I’m still here.  I don’t equate the two in any way, whatsoever.  Other people have.  They’ve told me so.  Still, although I very much appreciate it when they say that I have been made strong, I just do not feel so through their words.

I am still post-“ick”tal©.  I am still very sick.  Physically, psychologically and emotionally.  I should probably take a Valium/Diazepam now, to try and ease the emotional symptoms of depression and anxiety.  Even if it may only help slightly?

I’ve been thinking.  Or trying.  Within the last couple of weeks, basically every diagnosis I have, has nailed me like I have a giant target on my back.  Bipolar, Asperger’s, Epilepsy, Migraines.  The ADD and the PTSD have remained dormant (thank Zeus!) Although, the ADD tends to remain a constant in my life.  So does the Asperger’s, really, which is fine.  However, it has been exacerbated.  Triggered.

So, what was I thinking? Well, it’s kind of funny, as my thinking is so damn warped, right now.  So are my emotions.  My emotions, and the resulting stress from them, has gotten me to where I actually am at the moment.  This has happened before, but I’m too bloody out of it to remember when.  Although, I do recall it was at a time like this.  I think so.  A whole whack of my diagnoses exploded at a very crucial point in my life.  Maybe that is somehow playing a part in my thinking and what it is I’m about to say–and let’s hope what I say stays that way!

When I get better (within a few days), I’m jumping right back into things.  I’m not putting off all I have to do any longer.  Whether or not I am still afraid, to any degree, I just can’t remain adrift and continue waiting.  Yes, the “reality” of moving ahead was frightening me so much, but there is another “reality” I need to face.  That is (obviously), not moving ahead.  And it isn’t strictly to do with psychological aspects.  No, practical ones, too.  I am now back to the desperation of needing a job immediately! Right where I was when I started school in January.  Well, I always needed a job immediately.  However, as time passed, my “Terror Meter” continued to rise.

Yes, a whole bunch of things went completely topsy-turvy at school recently.  However, had they gone to plan, I would already be doing my Clinic Rotations now (what caused me flip to out so much!)  Maybe by now, I’d even be done with them, completely! Hell, maybe by now I’d even have a job! I know I can’t turn back the clock.  I can only live in the present.  But that is what I must do: live in the present, not just sit in it.

God, I hope this all remains in my brain when I am no longer post-“ick”tal©.  How odd, and even absurd a notion? My cognitive impairment is making me think straight?

Indeed.  It appears someone has broken through the fortress gates and disturbed Tsarina Seizurella© with quite an abrupt stir.  What’s worse, she was also entertaining Princess Migraine© last night.  Now, we have two Royals that are not particularly happy at all.  That would be putting it bluntly!

Ah, yes.  Tsarina Seizurella© is definitely post-“ick”tal© today.  She also had to speak to J. to get her full “observer account.”  She can never stress how important a thing that is to do.  It was basically as she recalled, nothing so odd or any loss of consciousness.  All activity needs to be documented for record keeping purposes.

Two separate events of rapid eye blinking that lasted app. one to two minutes each, both including some drooling.  The second time around, some immediate post-“ick”tal© emotional outpouring.  J. said I was very teary.  I have experienced this before.  Then I went non-verbal.

I don’t recall ever going non-verbal after a seizure.  That’s new–and maybe a bit odd.  Well, anything is possible with my brain.  I somehow went into some form of post-“ick”tal© Aspie Land? Actually, the more I think about it, not so strange after all? Think about a trigger that can make someone with Asperger’s go non-verbal.  One could be a stressor of not being able to communicate.  That has definitely been one for The Arch Alien of Asperger’s© What has been involved in not being able to communicate for The Arch Alien of Asperger’s©? Emotion–to some degree?

Tsarina Seizurella© was having emotional outbursts when she was post-“ick”tal©.  That may be a bit of a stretch…maybe not.  Either way, it probably doesn’t matter so much.  More of the interesting, really? Also interesting would be to discuss this with others who have Asperger’s, are on the Spectrum etc… who have comorbid epilepsy.  Have you ever gone non-verbal when post-“ick”tal©? If you’re reading, let me know.

Oh.  Number three.  My legs.  Well, I didn’t have an atonic seizure per se, as I didn’t lose consciousness.  However, there was atonic muscle activity.  It was also identical to ways it has appeared before.  I am still walking a bit weird with my right ankle twisted, so my foot is pointed out at about 45 degrees.

Tsarina Seizurella© was quite surprised in going back to find out her last, significant seizure occurred in October of 2009.  That’s really good considering they were happening so frequently before.  Within weeks, sometimes even days of each other?

Stress was always the “theory” behind all of it.  Stress last night? Oh, boy.  Apart from Tsarina Seizurella’s© own of late, there was J.  Dear, lord.  He called her and she had never heard him like that.  He was actually crying.  He was practically suicidal.  Tsarina Seizurella© was considering dragging him to hospital! No, instead they met and spent the afternoon and night together, trying to find ways to piece his life back in some form, somehow.  Or at least try to get him back on track for the next 24 hours!

Perhaps the stress of both of their lives drove Tsarina Seizurella’s© threshold so low, her brain had no other option but to explode.  Enter Princess Migraine©.  This headache really is a bit much.  The standard cognitive impairment and mood disturbances (Depression, Anxiety) are making Tsarina Seizurella© feel incredibly guilty about calling in sick for school today, as well.  Plus, on a day with a test scheduled. *sighs*

Even if she really pushed it, she’s too nauseous to move much, anyway.  She’d never be able to make it to school.  Bugger.  All twisty legs and stupid! And barfy.  Thank goodness she still has a stash of anti-nauseants around.

Maybe it has to take all of them.  Most of them?

Tonight was epilepsy night.  I haven’t had a seizure in a long time.  That’s good.  Definitely before starting school, which I accredit to having a regular schedule.  I started school in the New Year.

Tonight? Dammit! I’m so tired, I can barely type this.  I haven’t even taken my meds, but I’m too exhausted to care.   When I seized, it was only a Simple Partial, rapid eye blinking, and drooling.  Crap! When the hell did my legs decide to abandon me? Well, it was sometime later, but for my epilepsy, that is how it can be.  Exactly, that.  My eyes…then somehow later my legs will just give out?

Neat, huh?

Needless to say, I have called in sick for school.  School Dude is cool with my epilepsy.  I am not cool with School Dude and my epilepsy right now!!!

EDIT: That bold font? It’s probably me just being post-“ick”tal.©  The thing is, I think I’ve been moving through a few post-“ick”tal© states–both physical and emotional.  For example, I went non-verbal.  That’s not epilepsy, is it? Well, unless you are having a seizure where you can’t communicate, but I wasn’t.  No, that was PA getting into Major Aspie Mode. She was post-“ick”tal© and unable to talk.

Now? God, where am I? My head is killing me.  Let me stand up! Let me check my legs!

Oh.  Not so good.  Not so good at all! Careful, wee PA!

Next question? Will you be post-“ick”tal© when you wake up? *ponders*

With the Big Bangers, yes! This wasn’t so big.  It’s a “wake up and see.”  At this point, I’ll wager, yes.

Should I be surprised? Let’s toss a cycling spree into the mix of my life, now.  Yesterday, I did something good? I made a tiny bit of progress? Perhaps?

Today, I woke up feeling like I didn’t care if I lived or died.  At school, I felt up and was engaging in playful banter.  Was I faking it? I have no clue.  On the way home, I was extremely anxious, so pop a Valium/Diazepam to try and take care of that.

I’m not done yet…  Recall the fact I’m an Ultradian Cycler!

While waiting for a bus, I think of some things I have to do, and whip out my binder and a pen.  I start maniacally scrawling down sentences.  Some for something I actually need to do, and some for…well, some really good lines that I could insert into some story I may write someday?

Walking home, I actually do something I need to do.  Also, recall here, that I have had zero motivation to do anything for how long? I make an appt. with my Hair Guru.  I am in desperate need of a haircut! I also need it for Clinic (which I am still terrified of starting!)

I then finally arrive home.  I begin shaking and nearly burst into sobs.  I am currently sitting with the most crazed expression on my face.  It is so crazed, I can feel it.  I don’t even have to look in the mirror!

Now, I feel like shit again.  I cannot think.  I’m waiting for my mind to split into two…or three…or four…  Let’s see how long this lasts.