St.Valentine / Proactive vs Reactive

Starting off, I think it’s hilarious that my hair is so fluffy that despite having 25 electrodes attached to my head, my hair is still fluffy.

So yesterday, Valentine’s Day, I was admitted to a seizure monitoring unit. I knew it was supposed to happen, but it was originally intended for sometime in September of this year. Space opened up, so now I’m here with the sensors and a stuffed llama I named Tina. I’m trying very hard not to be an inconvenience to anyone, but I’ve been asking the nurses to share their coffee and desperately begging my friends to bring me a latte. So I’m totally high-maintenance. I’m here for 7-10 days, or at least until they get enough information from the sensors. So far it’s not bad. I’ve been here just over 24 hours, I do have four books with me (and a journal and my phone). I’ve had visitors and more people plan to visit me, so that’s encouraging.

I’m writing this post for a number of reasons (besides just having a lot of time on my hands):

1) St. Valentine is the patron saint of epileptics. I don’t know much about him, but I think it’s really great that I was admitted to the clinic early AND on Valentine’s Day. I feel like it’s a really good sign (even though I’m personally not religious). Providing background: I had a grandmother who used to say to me after a seizure “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle”. When I was a teenager, that gave me hope and made me feel better. Although she passed away when I was a teenager, I always kept that thought in my mind. Over the years, and because my brain is so fuzzy after seizures, I forgot where that statement came from. But I never forgot the statement. A few years ago I mentioned it to my mum, because I was saying I always thought it after seizures and it seemed strange to me because I’m not religious. My mum knew EXACTLY where it came from and when she told me, it was like all the memories came back to me. Then, on the day that honours a Catholic saint associated with a specific medical condition, I’m admitted to a clinic to have that condition monitored. My point: if there was EVER a moment that I felt in my heart that the people we love who are no longer with us actually ARE still with us, it’s right now.

2) Me in the seizure monitoring clinic. I’m excited and happy to be here. This is something that is beneficial to me and to epilepsy studies. While I didn’t expect it to be so soon, I’m very happy it worked out this way. In the infinite wisdom of Wayne from Letterkenny “Git ‘er done”. Yes, I’m a little scared. I’m scared of what the results could be (my imagination has lots of time to run wild right now). I’m scared of knowing I’ll be having multiple seizures for the next 7-10 days, because those are never fun. I’m scared of an open ceiling tile, which I feel like an alien could crawl down through at any moment. Me being scared in absolutely no way diminishes me being happy to have the opportunity to be here.

3) On top of that, I am not being braver than anyone else. Not stronger than anyone else. This is just my reality. Being here in the clinic right now is to be active in my own health. Being here now is being proactive. It’s not reactive, after an incident or an accident. It’s trying to make sure I am in the best health that I can be. That’s not just running. Health is more than that and proactive health applies to EVERYONE. Don’t wait for a heart attack to see a doctor. Don’t hold off having an important conversation with someone who needs it. That monster under the bed, whether that monster relates to finances, friendships or an inner monologue with yourself, will only get bigger if you ignore it.

In summary: Don’t ignore the monster under your bed, and I’ll try to be brave in the face of aliens coming in through the ceiling.

Final note: I probably won’t write any more blog posts while I’m in here. I don’t trust my post-seizure brain enough to articulate things on the internet that would be publicly available forever. So if you choose to message me, I may not be able to respond or I won’t remember it. I will put up another post when I’m discharged from the clinic and at that time, I would love any phone calls, emails, messages, visits.

Until then, have a great long weekend and rest of February!

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