In case I forget.

Liberation through Resignation
September 30, 2006, 10:34 pm
Filed under: Mental Health

Did it. Quit my job. Damned this feels good.

My plans? Two weeks on the sofa with the dog and a few good books. Then? Hmmm… where DID I leave my resume?

The neuro part? No question….stress increases my seizures.


Jumping in with both feet
September 27, 2006, 11:07 pm
Filed under: RX, Seizure

Wow. Today I managed to get as close to being fired as I’ve ever been. I’ve been in an adversarial position with my boss’s boss and my human resources manager for about a month now. It all came to a head today. I followed the grievance procedure in our handbook and today was the last option on the list.

Last night I spent three hours writing a detailed, specific list of complaints, giving specific illustrations, and referencing the pages in the our employee handbook that applied to each issue. Today, I had lunch with the chair of our board and turned it all over to her. The complaints were against our CEO and our HR manager.

Then I had to go back to work and tell our CEO that I had met with the chair, and why. The CEO was so angry at me that she actually said “You’re f-” but she stopped herself from firing me on the spot. She has learned how tenacious I can be, and I guess she had the sense to think “Wait, maybe I shouldn’t do this because sure enough if I do this woman will go get a lawyer and sue me for retribution.” I hope that’s what she thought, because that’s exactly what I would have done.

Let’s say that work is a little stressful these days. Not every day an administrative assistant has lunch with the board chair to rat out the CEO. Heady stuff.

The Lamictal is working great and I’ve been so much more like myself for the past month. Which means I won’t shut my mouth and I will keep pushing for improvements and for management to address my complaints and if they don’t I’ll go up the chain. So I might be unemployed soon. I can live with that.

Unfortunately all the stress has made my burping worse. Today I was up to 40%, which is a lot for me lately. Looking forward to hitting 300mg and maybe being seizure free. Didn’t plan to be seizure free AND job free. Funny how the world works.

All things for a reason?
September 21, 2006, 10:20 pm
Filed under: Fear, Neuro, Texas Comprehensive Epilepsy Program

I’ve been trying to find “the positive” in this whole brain injury experience, but it’s been pretty difficult.

Today, I think I found a little bit.

I was at work this morning and I went into the restroom to brush my hair. The mom of a student at the school where I work was in there. We started chatting about her son. She said she was really concerned about him because he had been taken off his ADHD meds and put on an anti-seizure drug but that his ADHD was out of control.

We talked about that a little bit and then she started talking about how she is concerned about the anti-seizure drug, about her son’s neurologist, and if he is even having seizures. I told her of my own experience with finding the right anti-seizure drug. She was surprised that I have seizures. I told her I am taking Lamictal and it is helping me a lot. She said that is what her son had been given.

She has so many concerns. She described what sounds like partial complex seizures to me: “Sometimes he’ll just stop whatever he’s doing and stare off into space, and be unresponsive. Then he’ll come back.” She said initially her neurologist refused to put her son on medication. Then she told me that her neuro hadn’t required them to come in for an appointment for a year, just started giving them prescriptions over the phone. She said her son had recently started having “jerking” episodes in his sleep at night. She told me that his symptoms seemed to be happening more often.

I told her that it’s not rare for children to have seizures. I told her that in children, a “wait and see” approach isn’t rare in children since they often outgrow their seizures. I told her that anti-seizure medications affect everyone differently and that sometimes a person has to try a variety of drugs to find the right one.

Then I told her that I wasn’t giving her medical advice, but that she might want to consider getting a second opinion from another neurologist. She said she was so frustrated and afraid that she didn’t know what to do next. I told her about my seizures, and my experience at the Texas Comprehensive Epilepsy Program. She had never heard of it. I told her that there are neurologists who specialize in pediatric seizure disorders. I gave her their phone number and web site and told them how they had helped me.

She cried. She said she had almost given up hope of helping her son.

Two years ago I knew nothing about seizures. Now, because of my own problems, I know a lot about them. Because of what I’ve had to deal with I had information that this mother needed and I was able to give her a little hope, a new chance to get help. So maybe there is a reason I’m going through this. Maybe there is a reason my brain was injured. Maybe her precious son will get help, improve, and grow up to be a spectacular human being. I’m choosing to hope so.

But I was THINKING the correct word!
September 17, 2006, 12:31 am
Filed under: Brain Bits, Memory

And….here come the cognitive side effects again. The last post I wrote? I proofed it four times. It wasn’t until the fifth read that I saw I had written “that that” instead of “thigh that” and “is is instead” rather than “it is instead” and a couple of other such mistakes that I can’t even remember now (yeah, there goes the short term memory).

Now, if I would start thinking food looks GROSS and get horny like a lizard, I’ll have some side effects that I LIKE.

OK, THIS is weird!
September 17, 2006, 12:25 am
Filed under: RX

I’m sitting at my desk yesterday, working, working, working. Trying to catch up on two weeks worth of not being able to mount the server. Grrrr.

I feel, on my left thigh, a vibration. I think, “this new cell phone is driving me nuts – when did I put it on vibrate??”. I reach into my pants pocket to pull it out but…the pocket is empty. I think, “OK. Weird.” I then see my phone on my desk.

A few second later, my thigh rings again. Then a few seconds later, again. And again.

So since about 3:30 pm yesterday my left thigh has developed a vibration. Honest to God, it feels like a cell phone. But what it is instead I believe is my lateral fermoral cutaneous nerve. It is pulsing. Just about in time with my heartbeat. If there were an artery that ran along the outside of the front of my thigh, I would think it IS my heartbeat.

Instead, I believe it’s just another weird as shit aspect of Lamictal. I believe this because the patch of skin on the top of the front of my right thigh that’s been dead to the touch since 1985 (bad nerve healing following gallbladder removal) has again come ALIVE with sensation and I’ve scratched it raw. It’s itching like I got bit by a swarm of fire ants. But I haven’t of course.

I’ll take vibrating nerves and insane itching any day over continuously burping until I throw up and can’t get air in any day. I’m just going to mark this down as another joy of modern pharmaceuticals and try to ignore it. Because it takes a sincere effort to ignore it.

Go put your cell phone on vibrate, stick it in your pocket, and then call yourself continuously for a day and a half. Feel my vibration.

Yeah, But SHE Drives A Tank!
September 14, 2006, 10:08 pm
Filed under: Miata

I was at a plant nursery today when a woman drove up and parked next to me in a Hummer.

She smiled as we each got out of our cars and she asked me about my zippy little rag-top: “Do you race it?”

I looked at her like she was as crazy as Rick Perry, then I looked at her Hummer. “Who needs to race a car when driving on the West Loop is a death defying act all by itself???”

Less Is More Better
September 14, 2006, 10:07 pm
Filed under: Brain Bits, Fear, Husband, Memory, RX

Oh oh oh I have all my Lamictal taking fingers and toes crossed. I’m at 125 mg a day now and have had about a week and a half of not horrible days burp-wize. The appetite suppression and horny like an armadillo still hasn’t kicked in but I’m hopeful!

I have noticed little tickles of cognitive problems starting to come back. I’m dancing around a little bit of short term memory problems, and I’m definitely leaning back towards over reacting to stress. I’ve had a few of the exciting electrical shocks again, this time through my right wrist which is pretty disturbing because there is a lot of metal in there and it feels hot for a while after the shock sensation. Also, the visual thing is coming back – where I’m looking at a word but not seeing it, having trouble pronouncing things I know how to say. But it is very very mild compared to the “Put Me In A Rubber Room” state that I was in on Keppra and Trileptal.

I’m thanking the big guy in the sky a lot for the improvements I’ve made, and for the great medical care I continue to be so lucky to receive, and for my husband who for some crazy reason things I’m the shizzle.

If none of this gets much worse and the burping continues to get better I’m going to try my knees out for a happy dance. Thanks to all who take the time to comment and lend support. This stuff is so freaking scary.