Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Fear, Lived

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.


  1. Oh Marsi, I am so sorry. It sounds like a very scary day. But I know how strong you are and truly believe that everything happens for a reason. And as frustrating as it is now, I can only hope and pray that someday very soon, there will be a clear understanding of why it is all happening to you. Just know that we are all lifting you and your entire family up in prayer.

  2. Hey Marsi - You take care of yourself and get the rest you need. I know as a Leo myself it is hard to let other take control of things that we are in control of and to ask for help. Know that it is ok to let go and to take care of yourself now for you do have the love and support of everyone around you. Like Carrie said WHEN you beat this and are in remission you will look back and say I should have let them do that, so let them do it for you know.

    We love you

  3. aw, damn, marsi. listen to your body [i know you will]. much love to you and steve and harrison and maddie.

    lisa t.

  4. Hi Marsi,
    So sorry for your scare the other night...I am thinking of you and your family all the time and am praying for you too. I know you have loads of support but remember, I'm just on the other side of the lake and happy to run an errand for you ANY time! Love, Sylvie

  5. Aw, Mars...Well crap! You know, within 10 minutes of meeting you that was one of the first things you told me. That you're epileptic. I mean, after all, I was your new roommate, we were assigned to spend at least the year together and that was something I needed to be aware of. I remember fear going through me, the thought of witnessing you having one, and though you had told me what to do, would I remember? But look at that, four years I lived with you and not a one- I often forget you even have it! I am so sorry to hear it's now rearing its ugly head. To be honest, I wondered if this would happen, maybe just your body taking its toll. Hopefully that's all it is, and this too shall pass and be under control in no time.

    Maybe it's just a sign....A sign from the hhhmm? The'Selfish Gods' telling you to stop and..and..Stop and...PAMPER yourself! Accept any and all help/support, kick back, relax, enjoy your family, eat ice cream and, by golly, have FUN! That's my remedy, my prescription! I wish I were closer, I'd help you do nothing!

    As always, I'm thinking (a lot!) of you. Hang in there, well, you always do! You're amazing. I swear you're meant to teach us all a thing or two about stregnth...And dignity....And class...You have a lot of class, I had to throw that one in! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

    Love you much!

  6. I have started and deleted this post about 20 times now. I guess I will sum up.. love you.. believe in you.. listen to your body....

  7. Oh, Marsi, I just read this post after sending you a message, and am so, so sorry to hear about all this! Please, please let me know if you need anything, and know my thoughts are with you!

    Love and hugs!
    Leanne M.

  8. Marsi:

    I agree with all the other comments - take care of yourself - listen to your body - and I am so sorry you have to go through this. That said, if you do go into work this week, you know I live near you and I am available to give you a ride as needed. Just call - 619-987-1140. Susan Lovelace