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.