Since I was six months old, I have suffered from epilepsy. Epilepsy is an odd disease; it is different for every person. I am lucky - mine has been controlled by medication for years, having not had a grand mal seizure since I was 17 years old - until Friday night.
After work Friday, I had joined Steve, my brother (visiting from Portland) and the kids at Harrison's soccer tryout for San Diego United Futbol Club. Harrison was doing great. I was so proud. At the time of the seizure, I was having a conversation with an old friend. The next thing I remember is waking up in the ambulance.
Apparently, I had collapsed like a rag doll. One of the parents hurriedly called 911. I understand, seizures are a scary thing to witness. Steve was holding me and had it handled for the moment, preferring I not take the ambulance ride to Kaiser. However, the ambulance driver looked at him and said: "She has advanced cancer and is having seizures. She needs to go to the emergency room." With that statement, Steve agreed and off I went.
In the meantime, the kids were occupied by the coaches, one of them even jump roping with Madison, in order to keep her busy.
Truth be told, it was a good thing I went to the emergency room. I had another seizure later that night in the ER and as a result (I think), they ran a full work-up of tests. They ran a couple of blood tests twice because they did not get "normal" results the first time. Steve left the ER at 2:30 to get some shut-eye. Around 4:30 in the morning, they moved me to the "F Unit" of the ER where I had my own room. When I awoke again around 7, I knew my parents would be awake, so I called. My brother came down after that to keep me company.
My brother and his wife, Kelly, have been unbelievably helpful through the ER process. Kelly, a former ER nurse and Darin, a social worker, were both on hand, Kelly via phone. Kelly even went through my test results with my nurse yesterday morning!
I saw an internal medicine doctor before I left Kaiser. He said that my Tegretol (this is the drug I have taken for my epilepsy for years) levels were a therapeutically, a little low. He consulted with a neurologist and together, they raised my Tegretol dosage.
So what do I have ahead of me? I trip to my neurologist for sure. Chemo on 2/22. I will lose my driver's license for a time, maybe six months. My family believes I need to stop working. I am not sure that I can do that right now. I think I need to finish out this week, or at the very least, go into work for a couple of days to prepare, dissiminate information and delegate projects. Either way, my life is going to slow down considerably. It has to - these seizures are the biggest warning sign that my body knows how to give.