My Nightmare

My nightmare.  My way.  My fault.

A very select few of you know that I have epilepsy.  It's not a think that I care to keep hidden, it's just a subject that doesn't come up in conversation.  Like when I was in Chicago.  No one asked about it, so I chose not to tell.

It's an interesting condition, to be conscious one moment, with friends or family, and then to be staring into the concerned faces of EMT's the next; a little disconverting as well.  it's happened to me a few times.  It's generally my fault that it does.  Like last Sunday.

I had gone with Boyfriend to a friend of his beach house – I had forgotten my meds, and hadn't realized this packing faux pos until we had arrived.  So I was without anything to control my Disorder from Friday night until Sunday afternoon when I was back in town – to meet with parents for a combined/belated Father's Day/Aubrey's Birthday celebration dinner.  Well, I made a right hash out of that.

The last thing I remembered was waking into the restaurant and being asked if we wanted to wait at the bar, as our table wasn't ready yet.  Now, when you're about to trip into seizure-land, any decision is impossible to make, impossible to fathom:  it's called an 'aura'.  I also remember having an authentic Shiny moment:  I was fixated on the waitress' glittering earrings.  Then I was suddenly on a gurney, driven towards the ER.

My doctor informed me, "You are so busted", upped my dosage and some hours later was sent home.  I had chomped down on my tongue, making it impossible to speak with any authority – I also had a slight lisp, making authority even more impossible.  My arms were also bruised, from where Boyfriend had kept me from falling off my chair.

Monday…morning?…I was due to see my neurologist.  Which I did.  For lunch, I had a chicken salad sandwich, procured from a vending machine.  Can I point out a few red tag words:  Chicken?  Salad?  Vending?  Machine? – all in one sentence?

For the next two days I was vomiting so violently, so prodigiously, so profoundly, I thought at at the end of my heaving i would be less one lung.  During a puke pause, when I was given a single square of cracker, within ten minutes back up it would go and it would be staring at me from the bottom of my bowl.  (I think I had developed a type of Stockholm's Syndrom relationship with my bowl – as much as it had come to symbolize my torment, I insisted on holding it close to me; even as I was taken righ tback to my hospital.)

I recall in vomiting as I was pushed through the hallway of my hospital, signing papers; I told someone the last four numbers of my social security number:  to a nurse; to an interested bystander, I didn't know of care.  I was hunched over my left arm, so an IV tube was plugged into my only free – my right – arm.  I'm right-handed, so it made the next three days even more appetizing.

I had to ring a buzzer to be led to the bathroom.  I was a 'Fall Risk', so one evening my bed was rigged:  when I stepped onto the ground, an alarm went off.  My first breakfast there was a liquid one, and we're not talking Absolutely Fabulous liquid, either.  My first solid breakfast was scrambled eggs and a cinnamon bun and it was the nectar of the gods, let me tell you.

I did nothing but sleep.  Despite the fact that my vitals were taken EVERY FOUR HOURS.  Blood tests every day.  No one was sure what my problem was:  too high a dose of epilipsy meds, or a touch of stomach flu.

I was taken for a walk by my nurse – finally I admitted to her, that I was so desparately unhappy.  I simply couldn't imagine being well every again.

I stewed in my own fumes.  I looked outside at the bright sky, the trees mocking me with their breezes, dreaming of a hot shower.

Parents never left me (despite my stench situation):  I have been blessed.

Saturday, July 4, was my Independence Day.  I could go home.  Boyfriend came over – Sunday, he took me for a walk:  nearly two entire blocks!

That evening, I threw my back out.

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42 responses to “My Nightmare

  1. As Roseanne Rosanna Danna taught us — it's always something.

  2. Oh no! Oh, poor dear Aubrey! What an ordeal you've been through! It sounds so awfully dreadful – and then your back?
    That really is too much.
    I hope you get to feeling 100% soon!
    And don't forget your meds next time! *wags finger toward LA*

  3. Oh you poor thing.
    Surely there was a pharmacy around that could look you up and give you a few pills? Isn't that how it usually works?
    I feel so awful for you, and now with the bad back.
    Oh, chicken salad from a vending machine. it should be illegal.
    I might have nightmares tonight too.
    Feel better soon Aubrey.

  4. Poor darling! Lots of TLC and nourishing soups for you… and maybe a heated-up toddy version of that magnificent Sazerac. Maybe you could ask Boyfriend to carry an extra stash of pills for you, as a backup?

  5. O Wonderful Aubrey take your meds!!! I forget my blood pressure and Paxil sometimes, resulting in an odd roller coaster. Wishing you good health soon!! Lucy

  6. I hope you feel better…

  7. Oh, gawd, I feel you. Not that I've had epilepsy… just that horrid stay in the hospital with beautiful sunny days staring at you from the window. And horrible hospital food being the best thing ever (admittedly, though I hadn't eaten in nearly 2 weeks, I still thought the food was too salty).I'm sooo sorry you went through this! Not that you needed the company but I would have been happy to visit you – maybe read voxy updates to you.Hope you get the meds sorted out and are feeling okalie-dokalie ASAP.

  8. Oh dear Aubrey. I'm so sorry you had to go through this – and the bad back, ugh. I agree with what the peeps said – perhaps you could have Boyfriend carry backup meds, or get the neighbourhood pharmacy to deliver your pills to you so you don't have to worry about running out at the last minute?Feel better soon, hon. (((hugs)))

  9. I'm so sorry, Aubrey. I hope you feel better soon.

  10. Myohmyohmyohmy, the thrown back aside, only because it momentarily seems the lesser of your ailments, I'm so sorry too that you went through this. I join AmyH in the finger wagging, because we care and don't want to see something happen to you when it can be prevented, Ms. Aubrey. Now, get back to taking care of yourself. And welcome back. Soak up that TLC from the boyfriend.

  11. btw: did the nurses get bitchy about having to escort you to the bathroom or were they nice? mine were bitches… acted like I was putting them out. when i eventually tried to unplug my IVs myself, I nearly threw out my back.i tell ya… Hoag Hospital (Newport Beach) is the way to go – top notch facilities and staff. if you have another emergency, try to have it down there!

  12. Goodness, Aubrey, don't scare us like that! I hope you're not still in pain with the back?
    (Cinnamon buns are food of the gods pretty much any time, in my book.)

  13. OMGPoor you.Dang, the vomiting sounds like the brush I had with food poisoning once.(And that was chicken too.)Not good.And double not good on top of already getting yourself medically compromised.All of it just not good, and no fun, and not fair.Probably people will stop double-checking whether you have your meds and are okay sometime in the next decade, but no time soon.the back, though, is just plain not fair.Have you offended any minor deities lately?You may need to perform a general exorcism to clear things up.Any chance of getting to a spa or a masseuse and getting it worked on?You are clearly in need of heavy duty pampering.

  14. What an ordeal. Please take care of yourself and feel better soon x

  15. Oh aubrey – I'm so sorry you went through all of this. I wish I had something encouraging to say, too.

  16. Oh Aubrey – how unfair it all is! I hope that you are feeling better. Hugs.

  17. I'm so sorry, Aubrey. {{gentle hugs}}

  18. Oh shit, Aubrey, talk about the week from hell! I'm so sorry you've had to go through this. Hopefully, very soon, you will look back on this week and not remember the pain or the emotions – just that you kicked some ass and survived it all. So maybe you threw your back out while doing that ass-kicking, but that'll pass too.Sending you lots of happy thoughts and good karma for calmer days ahead.

  19. ((((hugs for me Aubs)))) Let's not ever forget your meds, again, ok?

  20. Oh man. Please take care of yourself. And let Boyfriend take care of you. And whoever else wants to take care of you. Feel much better soon!

  21. Aubrey, wow! Well most of us (myself included) have medical quirks that make life, erm, interesting. You seem to have handled it well – what an ordeal!! I'm glad you have your boyfriend and parents to be by your side as I'm sure you do for them in challenging times. Blessings, sister.

  22. My goodness! That was quite an adventure, Aubrey. I think you need a spa day to recuperate from all that – or at least a real vacation now 🙂

  23. Blech and ACK and awwwwwwww shit. Mend, mend, mend!

  24. I'm so sorry that you have had such an awful time of things lately. I'm sending lots and lots of healing vibes your way!

  25. Holy Cannoli, child! Feel like we almost lost you, … (yelp) … and that will not do at all!!!You've made us greatly worried! But, since you've done it so entertainingly, you are forgiven. (Hug)I prescribe palatial pampering.

  26. What an awful time you had! Please take care of yourself, and may I join the Greek Chorus of "please do not ever forget your meds again"!!!
    {{{{hugs}}}}

  27. hey, i stumbled across your blog and this post caught my eye…
    i'm sorry you had such a rough weekend!…i can relate…maybe not so much to throwing my back out or having what seems to be food poisoning, but i have epilepsy too, so i get that part.
    hang in there – with the weekend you had, you're almost guaranteed a better one this weekend.

  28. OMG I hope you are well again soon… it's the rule of threes, demonstrated right there. Poor you. I keep some extra meds in a pocket of my bag as backup to tide me over if I forget to bring the whole package when I travel.

  29. Oh, Aubrey, what a terrible ordeal. Sending well wishes (as well as virtual hugs and cheerful fashion papers).

  30. oh my word: I think you should stay off your feet for a while. Get the boyfriend to rent you some good movies, but feel free to doze off if they bore you.

  31. Ow, ow, ow- misery always comes in threes? It sounds awful- I am so sorry you had to go through all that. How is your back, now?(((hugs)))I hope things get better. (and I just have to say this- you are Awesome brave for being able to blog about it in your witty way even when going through so much.)

  32. I cannot believe there is so much trouble in life. Something is always happening. This is the only irony we can count on. I really hope you are getting much better now. Good luck with everything!

  33. Haysus Christos! You POOR thing!! 😦 Please get better soon!! ((((HUGS))))

  34. Aubrey? I say, ol' Top, how's tricks?

  35. Ah man! Hope the next weekend is better — that's for sure.

  36. It seems that in case of emergency a nearby pharmacy can contact my doctor; and Boyfriend from now on will have an emergency stash.
    My back seems to have healed, but I don't trust it yet – not one bit.
    My poor head is sometimes foggy; if I get another 'shiny' moment and look away suddenly I'll feel a little light-headed, it's pretty frustrating. But I'm going to work, typing, watching TV and seriously considering reading.
    Can't have caffeine this week, however, and it's killing me.
    But your good wishes are saving me: thank you so much!

  37. Oh Aubrey. Have a hug.

  38. Best wishes Aubrey – I'm glad to read that your back has healed. Ooh – no caffeine!

  39. Holy cow, Aubrey. I'm so sorry to hear about all the things you've gone through. What a scare for you and those who love you. I'm so thankful you're better, even if your back is hurting, that means you're still with us and all is good.

  40. Ack, ugh, erk, ow! In that order!Let us safely assume you have had your share of crappiness for the next decade or two. The Universe can now go torture someone else. :PHUGS!!!!

  41. I'm so sorry this happened to you, Aubrey. I had a stint in the hospital this summer too and it was enough to make me decide NEVER to have to go to the hospital again. I decided I am not a good fit for hospitals and vice versa. I hope you're feeling better now, I really do.

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