Down, but not out

A pretty horrific night and day on the epilepsy front, if I’m honest.

I had at least one seizure over night – my memory is vague to say the least – but I woke up with the hallmark headache and “epilepsy hangover” that comes with the territory. Everything from showering to putting on my shoes was an effort. Every time I bent over, it was accompanied by a wave of pain through my skull that was blinding.

I was in a bit of a fog and quite clumsy. Everything felt a bit unfamiliar and I almost forgot where the coffee pods for my Nespresso were. Talk about a crisis…

But I gamely popped on my headphones and headed into work. By the time I hopped the tube 20 minutes later, I was feeling slightly better and was looking forward to work – albeit at a slightly slower pace.

But after just an hour in front of my laptop, I had another complex partial seizure and went blank. No idea where I was, who I was with or what I should be doing.

As ever, my homing mechanism kicked in and I headed for the toilet. I always find my way to a toilet, no matter where I am. Don’t ask me why. Maybe the privacy of being in a cubicle away from everyone seems somehow safe to my seizure-addled brain?

Anyway, a minute or two of staring at my own reflection in the mirror and it call came back. I returned to the desk and my colleague, looking only slightly worse than when I arrived.

Just a few minutes later, another wave of confusion and another seizure – like my brain was rebooting itself – and the experience was plainly obvious from my facial expression. While mentally deciding to pack it in for the day, my colleague suggested the very same and I made my way back to the tube.

Normally, I’d get an hour or two of sleep after an episode like this and feel right as rain. But it’s now almost five hours of rest later and I’m still worn out. I can’t do much except lie about and listen to (quiet) music. I’ve only just been able to sit in front my the screen on my iMac to write this. And that’s not exactly fun – just noticed I’m still squinting.

Anyway, this isn’t a plea for sympathy. More to explain what it’s like to experience one of the many different forms of epilepsy that people like me live with.

My biggest annoyance today? I was due to go for a training run. But there’s no way I’ll be running anywhere this evening.

Moans aside, I’m very thankful. Thankful that my epilepsy isn’t more severe. Thankful that I can step away from work like that with no consequences. Thankful that I have a comfortable home to come back to recuperate in.

And most of all, thankful that I have friends and family who are looking out for me right now. Normal (snarky) service will resume tomorrow.

4 comments on “Down, but not out

  1. Sounds horrendous Richard- stay strong and take time to recover.


    • Thanks Conor! I live to fight another day 🙂 Hoping a good night’s sleep will get me back on track.


  2. ethnicolor

    You write very matter-of-factly about this condition. How you take it in your stride makes me rethink my own problems – which to me seem so awful! – are really nothing I can’t handle. I’m impressed by your determination not to cave in; I wish I had your resolve.


    • I really just focus on how much worse it could be…and how lucky I am in other areas of my life. Epilepsy prevents some people from working, for example – and I have a job I love.

      It’s not always easy, especially when it prevents me from doing something I really enjoy. So it’s important to be grateful for the positives, so the negatives don’t seem so bad.


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