Seizures and COVID

This is going to be a super combination of serious and frivolous talk because it is a beautifully sunny weekend and I originally started this post on a serious topic.


Last week I had a couple of seizures. They were a bit different than my normal seizures, because normally I would have just one. This time I had at least two. Normally, I would be up on my feet again within minutes. This time, it was a whole day before I could even get out of bed. Normally, I would be completely recovered within a day.


My apartment is 28 degrees Celsius and I absolutely love it.


When I was a teenager, my seizures were similar to the ones last week. I would be incoherent for days. It took a week to recover. My body ached to the point where any movement at all was agonizing. I needed someone to help me, to cook and provide food for me, to help me walk (eventually) and to get me through that week. As an adult, the seizures were more frequent but so much less severe that, as I’ve mentioned before, if I was running, I could get up and keep running. I could manage on my own. I would continue with whatever I had planned and then sleep heavily. The next day I would be completely back on my feet and ready to go.


I don’t know what caused the change. I don’t know if all my seizures going forward will be the same as when I was a teenager or if this was just a fluke circumstance (seizures are usually all different, even within the same person).


What I do know is that it’s the first seizure(s) within the time of COVID. With the exception of the seizures while I was in the hospital (which were triggered, so I don’t really count them), it has been months since I’ve had one, and that one was normal (for me) and unremarkable. COVID has caused a serious underlying anxiety for, well, everyone, including me. It brings me to the place where I wonder if that stress is what caused the difference in my seizures, which haven’t changed much in 15 years. That’s not to say my condition hasn’t changed, but the seizures themselves have been predominantly consistent.


There are a million studies about how stress makes chronic medical conditions worse, or how stress causes serious burnout, or how stress can even cause illnesses. I’m not going to cite the articles, but they are out there somewhere on the internet. [Along with a video called “Seagulls (Stop It Now)” by Bad Lip Syncing which is important because last week had Star Wars Day (May the Fourth)]


So seizures and COVID. COVID doesn’t even have to mean the actual virus in this topic. It can be stress or anxiety. Chances are, if you’re reading this blog, you have epilepsy or you know someone who does but this doesn’t even have to mean epilepsy. This can be anything else. Where I am going with this is that as much as I like to think that I am entirely independent and my autonomy is completely all-encompassing, last week showed me how much I actually need help. It took me days to recover and I am willing to suggest that me being alone was part of the reason. I couldn’t just sleep and count on someone to make food for me or wake me up in time for my medication. I had to do that alone. While I normally could have called someone to come watch movies or read or do whatever while I slept and healed, I can’t right now because of COVID. The population of the world via self-isolating is more important than me having to figure out how to microwave soup.


The reason I’m mentioning this is because again, we never know what someone else is going through. That does not in any way lessen our own experiences, but maybe we need to accept that we do actually need each other. It certainly brought to the forefront of my mind that maybe I’m not as independent as I would like to think I am.


Once I recovered I went for a run. That helped me heal, helped me feel strong, helped me reflect and feel empowered. Unfortunately, I apparently don’t listen to my mother enough, and somewhere in that 22km I got really badly sunburned. Also Happy Mother’s Day! I love you!!!!!


To end this off on a positive note: A guy yelled at me today while I was walking down the street that I look like Pat Benatar. I’m 100% taking that as a compliment, and I’ve chosen her 1983/1984 look to think he was referring to. And I’m sure Pat Benatar would have had blue hair too.

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