Tag Archive | seizures

Furry Friends – Names From the Heart

Best Friends. Yes, your best, truest friend is your pet. For me it has been dogs.

When I was 3 – 4 Mom talked Dad in to getting a dog and somehow that poor dog was named Princess. Princess was a Spitz (back then not a recognized AKC breed – now they’re know as American Eskimo Dogs), and was – so the story goes – meant for me. Well, Princess had other ideas. She decided that her main “love” was my little brother. She would wiggle her way in to his playpen just to be with him. When it was his nap time, Mom had to pick up BOTH of them. Princess insisted that she couldn’t get out.

Our next dog was a Doberman/Lab mix. It was decided that her name should be peace – in some language – because it was felt that she would take a piece out of someone while defending us. So, she was named Pax. Pax was Mom’s dog, well mostly anyway. Yes, there was a time that if she could have gotten to the intruder she would have gotten a piece!

My next dog was while my husband and I were living in Colorado. A co-worker’s ex-husband brought two male Samoyed puppies for his daughters (and to make life hard for her). Well, since they couldn’t keep them I was asked if I would want one of them. Fortunately we got first choice and picked the puppy that came to us. He was adorable. I insisted that he should be named Sam. Of course my husband said but everyone names Samoyeds SAM. I didn’t care, that was his name and he liked it. Sam was a smart, tough guy. He went to work with Kim and always listened to both of us, and he was very lovable. It turned out (after about six months) that both of the puppies had been stolen. According to Colorado law, we could have kept Sam, it broke my heart but, we decided to return him to his rightful owners. It turned out his registered name (yes, he was a purebred) was Sam Spade.

Kim-96It took years for us to get our next dog, most apartments don’t allow them. But when we got our house (in 1996), we got a dog. One of my husband’s co-workers had a dog who had just had a litter of puppies. Shepherd/Lab mix. The puppy that walked up to him was mostly black with a bit of white on her chest. It took a bit of thinking, but it hit me – Kodi! Like a Kodiak bear (because at the time – 2am – I honestly thought that bear was black with white markings on the chest). Well, she seemed to like that name. Kodi also had epilepsy. She would come to me when she had seizures. She would get in the way to be there for me when I had seizures. Oh, in the way meant that it was hard for Kim to get to me so he could be there thru my seizure then get me to bed. Fortunately all the neighbors loved her – no fenced yard so she roamed a bit. When she died Kim dug a deep enough grave for her so that she wouldn’t be disturbed. She rests with her favorite blanket and toy. Yes, I still get teary eyed when I think of her.

Now it seems that every other dog is solid white with the other two being black/brown/white mixes. So, does that mean our next dog will be white? Who knows.

As of this writing one of our nieces has a new puppy and is trying to decide on his name. I told her it would come to her and that it would come from the heart – I know that’s how it worked for at least three of my dogs!

We haven’t gotten another dog yet, I guess we’ll know when “our” dog will come. Just wish it will hurry up and get here!

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Don’t Let Bad Rule You. Life Can Be A Party

Hello!!

I know it’s been such an incredibly looooooooong time since I last wrote a blog. I was guilty of letting that shocker to my health get in my way.

As a refresher, I had been seven years seizure-free until December 16, 2014. What made my system whacky? Well I had some shoulder pain and the family doctor (without checking for possible side-effects) prescribed prednisone. This was a higher dose than what you get when treating for a cold and/or sinus infection (like a minimum of 10x higher). After a couple of days the prednisone counter-acted my seizure meds. It was as if I suddenly stopped taking them. Well, when one suddenly stops taking some meds, it causes the very thing the drug is preventing. So for me, three seizures that day.

7-9-15 not rejecting helpI was blessed during my six months of restricted driving. A neighbor (stay at home Mom with an adorable 5 year old daughter) took me to work and on my short days picked me up. She and I even went to a couple of garage sales – doing fun stuff. The folks at work (part-time job in retail) handled all the bank runs, even another department on the days when I would have been the only person to go.

But you see, I lost my independence – Boo Hoo. It wasn’t as if I did a lot of traveling – I don’t really. It’s just the issue of having to depend on others and feeling like a burden, whether they told me I wasn’t or not. It didn’t matter, because I felt that I was a burden and/or pain in the…

I’ve been back to driving for a month now. Would you believe that it’s still taken a bit for me to get over myself? I think what really helped was having an emergency at work and my boss (regional supervisor) calling me at home asking me to go back to the store – and be able to count on me to actually do this.

I have always had a hang up – I can and am willing to help others, happy to do so and don’t expect anything in return. But (now there’s a big word), when it comes to me asking for help…

7-9-15 Asking-for-helpSo, what is the lesson I’m trying to impart?

Well for one thing understanding that the quote is true and for me and other like-minded people to remember and hold in our hearts.

Don’t let health set backs ruin your outlook on life in general. Stuff happens – good and bad. Don’t get so wrapped up in what you perceive as “what should be” that you bog yourself down with nonsense (feeling you can’t ask for help). Basically, get over it, move on. This is not to say that you don’t have the right to be frustrated over the set back. You do. Just don’t let it run your life.

Notice my tagline up there at the top: The Party’s on – Seizures Saved my Life! Why do I say that? Well anyone can let the bad stuff in life run them down and ruin their outlook on life. Why not say that something adverse turned out positive? It’s working on perspective and how one views life that’s important.

Memories, Seizure Induced Dimness

You have heard the song Memories from the movie The Way We Were and that they “light the corners of my mind” well, I’m finding that my memories aren’t so bright. Some of the light has dimmed. Sure I can “remember” events that people have told me about or traumatic enough (like the night my Mom was killed by a drunk driver), but actually remembering things on my own, seriously challenging.

memories-2Part of the memory issues are chemically induced results of the anti-seizure medication, some of it is a result of where the seizures “fire” from in the brain. After a certain amount of seizures or strength of seizures, they do damage parts of a brain.

The other night we were with friends celebrating a birthday. Everyone was reminiscing about their childhood: the I did this, Mom/Dad did that as a result to what I did. Mom would… Dad would… my brother did… and remembering some fun times. What did I do? I sat and listened to what they were saying. I was wishing I could remember specific things. The friends could remember specifics of what a parent/sibling/friends did. From what they were relating, I would have been happy just to remember a generalization. Once in a while I can flash on something that happened, but I can’t “remember” it to call it up when I want to share that moment.

I’ve gotten very good at playing down my concerns about my memory. However, it is getting to a point that folks have started saying things like well you know, you are getting older and your mind is slipping anyway… That comment I don’t laugh off, my memory issue does stem (a lot) from my medication – so says my neurologist.

Periodically I check things that are suppose to be an “all natural” way to boost memory/brain function. The latest thing I’m thinking of trying is coconut oil. When I read this in an article, I feel I should check it out for myself:

Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), the primary type of fat found within coconut oil, have been found to boost cognitive performance in older adults suffering from memory disorders as serious as Alzheimer’s — and not after months or even days of treatment, but after a single 40 ml dose!

I really want to know how this works, and will it work for other adults with other forms of memory disorders. I’m willing to try. The article does go on to state that it’s a good idea to use the coconut oil/fat in cooking or to even use coconut milk. I went to Amazon and found virgin coconut oil from Viva Labs and have ordered the 16oz size. I want to see how well it works before I go whole hog and order a 54oz size.

At this point I’m thinking, what could it hurt? Hopefully it really does taste good. 🙂

Seizures in the Oddest Places

a acid showerThis Aunty Acid comic reminded me of an “event” – my first seizure to really scare my husband. (That’s saying something since a previous one was while we were on the bike going 50 MPH!)

I was getting ready for work, doing the usual shower thing – much better for waking up – when the next thing I know I’m in my robe and in bed. Not sure what freaked ME out more:

  • the fact that I had another rotten seizure (at that time I’d have one then a couple of years would go by then I’d have one seizure)
  • that I was in bed with my robe on (THANK YOU honey for putting the robe on!!)
  • or I was in bed with EMT/firemen standing around me and my husband in the doorway

I can look at this comic, years later and can laugh at the visual. I’ve gotten past this particular embarrassment. I know I had no control over the situation. What I do now – everyday actually – is be very thankful that I’m seizure-free since August 2007!

Besides, I was in much better physical shape when I had that seizure than I am now! (I would really be embarrassed NOW) Sometimes in our lives we need to be able to look back at something and learn to not be upset about what happened.

(Oh, the reason my husband was more scared – I had stopped breathing and he didn’t know what to do.)

How Many Blessings Does it Take?

Tootsie Pop OwlCounting blessings, sometimes it resembles the Tootsie Pop Owl: 1, 2, 3.

But then you realize that Blessing number 2 makes you think of 3 or 4 more blessings. Then those blessings remind you of others and of course you end with the blessing of: Thank You God for my life.

I always thank God for my blessings. It’s always easy to ask God to step in and help, but how often do we actually take the time to say Thank You? Do you say thank you for the “little” things? Like not being late for an interview (traffic was better than you thought it would be) or thank you for the last leaf bag not bursting open (because you only had a few leaves left so you over stuffed the bag).

Everyday I have many things I’m thankful for:

  • My husband has been cancer-free for two years.
  • I have been seizure-free for six years.
  • Our home
  • Our family and friends
  • My husband – that he’s even in my life. (he’s my rock/my life)

Kim nowEvery night when I pray, I start with Thank You God for everyone and everything in my life. Thank you for my Kim (he’s the love of my life), our home and thank you for today. Sometimes that’s it, other nights I will ask for help – for friends, family and sometimes for me.

I’m thankful for waking up in the morning. I’m thankful for the abilities I’ve been given and those I’ve learned. I’m thankful for friends/clients who refer me to their associates. I’m thankful I can help my Brother when he’s out on the road, there is the occasional thing he needs done that he just can’t get to (it seems smart phones aren’t always all that smart).

Yes, being Thankful is a lot like counting your blessings. Well, why not? All those things on my thankful list, are my blessings. No matter how you feel about a Higher Power, whether you believe. For this we will go with, yes I do – there is a God/Divine Being. While you will not see me in church – I believe in God, not religion. (There is a difference and not for this topic)

Something to keep in the back of your mind, are people thankful for you? Are you a person who helps, and/or brings a smile to someone’s face? Or, are you the type of person that people are thankful to see you leave? Please don’t take your blessings for granted. For this Thanksgiving, besides being thankful for your blessings, do something (no matter how big or small) nice for someone. Hold the door open for that person struggling with their hands full and trying to figure out how to open the door and not drop something. Smile at complete strangers. Give your complete attention to the person your talking with – ignore your phone/pad. Do something unexpected for a family member/friend/co-worker. Then be thankful you have the ability to do such a task.

Frustration – a Real Pain in the Heart

frustration-babyOK, there are many reasons to be/feel frustrated. I acknowledge that. But I’m going to be selfish here and write about what’s been going on with me, perhaps you can relate to part of this. I know that I have written about “generic” frustration, I’ve talked about depression, but never from my own view, what I am truly experiencing.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have epilepsy, its onset was in 1991. To explain part of my current frustration, I feel the need to explain what I had/how often I had seizures. You see, my first seizure was in 1991. That was it, one seizure. It was felt that my blood sugar had dropped drastically and an unusual amount of stress was piled on top. A couple of years went by, (I wasn’t on any medication, not seeing a neurologist) and WHAM, I had my second seizure two years later.

Long story short, this one seizure then a couple of years go by then one seizure routine went on for years and all of my seizures are full-blown grand-mal. While yes, this was frustrating, it wasn’t enough to affect my daily thoughts/life. In 2005 my favorite job (of all time) went away. The company merged with another and I was no longer needed. The next job I found I enjoyed, but the stress that went with it was overwhelming. Then in 2006 I had my record number of seizures – eleven with days when I had multiple in one day. Now while this is nothing to many serious cases of epilepsy, this drastic of a change in my condition made my neurologist concerned. I made the employees of the company I was working for at the time very nervous; to the point where they finally got me to leave. In 2007 I underwent in hospital testing for a month at a time. The first was with electrodes on my skull. The second was with electrodes on my brain (obviously required 2 surgeries), and a lot of pain.

OK. On to my “current” frustration (and being completely honest – about everything).

I haven’t had a job since 2007. Well, I did work part-time for a local store for a short time but like many retail situations, the income wasn’t enough. It being a union store and I was getting a form of insurance, the company was taking around 40-45% of my check. That’s not enough to help with the bills. There’s a major source of depression/frustration just in that alone. I have been an administrative assistant for years, and at the urging of people I trust, I officially started my business of being a virtual assistant in 2009. I enjoy working with my clients, but there isn’t enough to do to keep me busy – busy enough to make money. I’ve discovered that I’m more of a “worker bee” and not really an entrepreneur. There’s nothing wrong with that, many businesses need on-site support staff.

Since 2011, about the time my biggest client re-vamped her business and cut back on a lot of things – like virtual staff – I have been looking for a full-time job. The idea was to be working, having a stable income then build my business from a different angle.

Then WHAM! My husband was diagnosed with tonsil cancer in 2011. He was treated and, thank God, has been cancer-free since September of 2011! Since then I have been looking for full-time work, although I have dropped the search once in a while. But this year I started in earnest looking for work. I’d get interviews for jobs that I really wanted, but then I’d get the “thank you for your interest, but we’ve chosen to go with a different candidate.” Or the “While your credentials are excellent, we’ve chosen a…” I even had a client that had the potential to be a permanent job; the company owner changed his mind – over the objection of the department and department head I was working with.

Am I asking for too much???

While there have been many highs and lows since 2005 (seemingly more lows), I do thank God for the positives:

  • count blessingsI have been seizure-free since 2007
  • My husband does not have cancer
  • Even though we had to file for bankruptcy, we still have our home
  • I am physically able to hold a job – and I truly want one
  • Family and Friends
  • That I’m alive

I am doing my utmost to not scream at God/the Universe. For you see, I have been positive (for the most part) that what I want is mine. The job I want, (which by the way allows for me to be the main income and my husband can go to part-time something) with worries down to a minimum.

So, as I typically answer people, because I really believe I’m going with: the Sun is shining, Life is good.

(A BIG winning lottery ticket wouldn’t hurt either.)

I’m Chronologically How Old????

Dang, people’s kids are making me old!!!!

A friend of mine’s first child is going into the SIXTH GRADE. I worked with Jennifer while she was pregnant with her daughter and wondered how anyone could be sooooooooo sick during a pregnancy.

My Grand-Neighborette (GN) started PRE-SCHOOL today. I knew her Mom was pregnant before she would admit it. (Don’t ask me how I knew, I just did)

Nat-Bee 1Yesterday I walked over to visit my GN and her Mommy. I had to check out her hair cut – well OK, it was just a trim. After a couple a few minutes she ran to her room and came out with a gift for me. Simply saying “here Grand-Neighbor, this is for you.” It was that little bumblebee in the picture. I told her that I would put it on the frame on my desk that has her picture.

Over the years I have occasionally given her things from my heart (aside from her birthday) that I thought were important/great for her to have. Before her Christening I gave her the rosary my Great-Uncle brought from Jerusalem for my Christening (it’s made of rough pearls). When she was a few months old she was intrigued by the ceiling fan, so I bought a “gauzy” butterfly with beads hanging from it. (Still in her room) Recently, since she’ll be starting dance lessons, I bought her a ballerina. She took it to her room to hang on a hook by her bed. That night when Daddy got home she told him where to move the hook.

Her Mommy – like a few parents I know – calls her “my little monster.” Well, GN does have a definite way about her and like most small children has no problem speaking her mind. I hope she keeps that, it could be a challenge for her in life, but honesty is a good quality. And GN is very sweet when she sees my husband and/or me and comes running up to give us a hug. Is it because she knows she’ll be scooped up and tickled/spun around? No, not completely.

So, when did this age thing happen? I mean really, when did I become of an age I could be a grand mother??? I sure don’t feel I could be that old…well OK my knees do ache, but then since I was a kid I’ve had issues with them, so what do they know?

It doesn’t seem like it’s been 22 years since I was diagnosed with epilepsy – my first seizure. Then again, it really doesn’t seem like it’s only been six years since my last seizure either. Telling people how old I am (chronologically) really doesn’t bother me – no one believes me anyway (I’m 54). But I don’t feel I’m that age, which by the way when I was a kid in school I didn’t think that number was old – honest! Other kids thought it was really old to be 54. I mean some of my classmates panicked about how old we’d be when the new millennium arrived. I mean really, for some of the kids (like me) our grand parents were that old!

To both of those little girls – I wish them a wonderful life and that positive things go their way. Just what is 54 suppose to feel like anyway???