Saturday, June 13, 2009


Lisa: [writing] Dear log, can it be true? Does every Simpson go through a process of dumbening? "Hey, that's not how you spell 'dumbening'. Wait a minute… 'dumbening' isn't even a word!"

I had to start off with that Simpsons quote because it describes how I've been feeling lately pretty accurately...I've been experiencing a dumbening. The technical medical term for it is Psychomotor Slowing, and it's a side effect of both my epilepsy & the medication I take to treat it. But seriously folks, how many of you would know what the hell I was talking about if I threw that term at you? What it amounts to is that I'm feeling incredibly frustrated because there are things I *KNOW* I should know how to do, but can't remember, or can't concentrate on. I have several unfinished craft projects in the basement, including my son's baby/toddler blanket. I used to be able to fill notebook after notebook with stories & poetry, and now sometimes I have to force myself to sit down & return an email. Earlier this week, I wanted to take a picture of my son, so I picked up our digital camera & then just looked at it...because I couldn't remember how to turn the damn thing on! It wouldn't have been so bad, but for the fact that my 4-year-old daughter was standing right next to me and said "Why aren't you turning it on, Mommy?" Right then, I was so upset & frustrated, I pretty much wanted to hurl the camera on the floor in a big dramatic scene. However, since that would have terrified my daughter (and since I'm not stupid enough to throw an expensive piece of equipment on the floor), I simply said, "Oh, I think it's too dark in here to take a picture." By the way, you just push the button on top of the freakin' thing to turn it on...I remembered that about 1 full minute after my son stopped doing what I wanted to take a picture of.

I don't know if having 2 seizures in one day a few weeks ago (which I haven't done in approx. 20 years!) fried off a few extra brain cells or what, but it just seems like I have to work a little harder to concentrate & I've been mixing up more words. Of course, my neurologist did increase my medication after that, so that probably also has some influence. I see my doc on Friday & can chat with her about it, but honestly, I doubt we'll do much because this is probably the best med I've been on. I've been on one that made my weight balloon up, made me nauseous (at the same time!), made me suicidally depressed & made my hair fall out in clumps; one that made my hair fall out in huge handfulls & made me pretty sleepy; one that made me want to sleep 20 hours/day & a few that really just didn't work for me. Oh yeah, there was the one we talked about putting me on that can cause a toxic rash...have I mentioned that I'm paler than my red-headed husband & have pretty sensitive skin, prone to odd rashes? Yeah, let's jump right on that one-NOT!

So many people I talk to are amazed that I'm not more upset by not being able to drive for months at a time, or not being allowed to take baths-having to shower instead, which is hilarious to me since I've had 2 separate seizures in the shower, or the precautions I have to take with my kids. Well, I don't care about driving; sure it's a little inconvenient when I want to go somewhere NOW & have to wait until someone is available to take me, but hey-I have 2 kids...when do I get to go anywhere I want to go anyway? We've had to make some adjustments & thank goodness my husband's work schedule is flexible so that he's been able to get our daughter to/from preschool. It would be easier if we had public transportation, but unless I hijack one of the cows from the farm that backs up to our subdivision, I don't think that's an option.

I'm actually looking forward to the Epilepsy Walk in 2 weeks so that I can meet some other local people with varying kinds of epilepsy. I hope we manage to not only raise money for epilepsy research but also awareness/support. I want them to find medications that will stop seizures without the "dumbening" or other horrible side effects. Better yet, I want them to find a way to just stop the medications required. What I *REALLY* want more than anything, is to know that my children won't have to deal with this like I did.
Our team page for the Epilepsy Walk:

I didn't mean for this to just be one big, long whiiiiiine. (O Noes! Someone call the Wahhhhmbulance!) While there are some very real problems that go along w/this disorder, there are some very real annoyances too. I mean c'mon, sometimes I just like to stare off into space & daydream...don't you? And you don't have to ask me if I'm feeling OK *every* time I mix up words or pause to gather my thoughts...however, if I'm flopping around on the floor like a fish out of water, feel free to provide assistance. All in all, I always have considered myself one of the luckiest epileptics because I've talked to & seen people who have it so much worse. When Hubs & I were going through our fertility treatments, I stumbled across a quote that I saved because I thought it fit it many areas of my life, and it definitely fits here:

There will always be someone whose suffering is greater than yours,
It does not mean your pain doesn't matter.


grpmm said...

I do really enjoy reading your writings. I hope you are able to post on here a lot. I hope that through the Epilepsy Walk you're able to make connections with more people in the area who are going through the same things you are.