Saturday 27 August 2011

In the Way

I often feel awkward when I know I am going to have a seizure. On the one hand, it's better by far than dropping in the middle of a group of people and having to deal with the possibility I've been flashing people while thrashing about (yes, the convulsive seizures have come back - I still don't get to see anyone until September 24th though). On the other hand, usually what happens is that W tells me to go and lie down while I still can, and I stagger up the stairs and then lie on my bed feeling sheepish, sheepish, and then just a bit more sheepish before the seizure kicks in and I get a bit preoccupied. the biggest emotion I have on coming out of a seizure is usually embarrassment.

This gets worse when my aura deviates from the more conventional "spaced" form. So, for example, yesterday, when I was holding M and suddenly got a fit of the giggles which I couldn't explain. It didn't stop, and between chuckles I told W that it was a bit unusual, whereupon I gave M back and laughed my way up the stairs. I honestly felt fine, apart from everything being hilarious, but obviously I wasn't. People don't just randomly start feeling like they want to chuckle at everything for no good reason.

I made it to the bed, and lay there, sniggering for a minute or two, before I found myself waving my legs and arms in the air, like I was riding an imaginary bicycle. A small part of my brain was working well enough to acknowledge that yes, this was a deeply peculiar thing to do, but by then I could feel myself sinking away into that sort of third-person view I have during a seizure, where I can see or hear what's going on (depending on whether my eyes are open or not), but am not really in charge of it. It got a bit blurry from there, but when I came round, I then had to go back downstairs, knowing full well I had been acting like an utter prat when I left. Obviously I know W understands, but I still feel incredibly self-conscious. I don't like losing control of things, and I don't like embarrassing myself. In fact, I've had to work very hard over the last few years to get past what was essentially a phobia about people and their opinions of me. I used to work myself into a frenzy at the thought I might commit a faux pas, and people I cared about would think less of me, so you can imagine how it felt when  I started having shaking fits and some of my co-workers thought I was making it up.

I have mostly overcome that now, but the last of it lingers as a nagging fear that I am simply in the way when I have a seizure, and that people are just cross with me for it. No matter how many times other people tell me it isn't my fault, I can't quite let go of the nagging fear that people around me are, one day, going to tell me that maybe I should just sit over in the corner where I won't bother anyone any more. I have grown complacent about the fits themselves, and the occasional bump on the head doesn't worry me too much, but what is arguably a trivial fallout from having seizures is, for me, one of the worst aspects of my health; I still fear people judging me for something I am unaware of or unable to control.

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