700 days of Epilepsy

This is not an informative article. Nor am I writing it to create awareness of any kind. I am not against the medical system in our country. I have got nothing against doctors or the health care system.

This is purely a rant. A detailed essay about one misdiagnosis that left me scarred and scared for life. Now, if you are one of those people who is rolling eyes thinking “Does she think she is the only one who goes through shit?”

No! I don’t think that way, but at the same time no one was ready to sit and listen to me rant about all that I lost in a span of 2+ years. So, I decided that I shall post it on my blog. You can read and empathize with a fellow human being for going through shit he/she did not deserve in any way, or you can close this window and have a lovely day.

I partially think it is my fault to think something wasn’t adding up and getting the issue to my family doctor. The same person who had known me from birth. The one doctor I used to trust. Now I don’t. Am I blaming him alone? Nah… I don’t even know what could have been done. Maybe I needed a Dr.House to listen to something that I had to say during all those visits.

Sometime around the end of July 2013 I fainted in front of my training mates. I had just joined IBM. What was weird about it was that I knew it was not due to low BP or hypoglycemia. I was pretty normal and fell unconscious. I could hear and feel people carrying me, calling out my name. I could not open my eyes. But what was even weirder was that an hour later I was pretty much normal and was browsing facebook in my room. I did not eat anything until dinner time that day.

I should have kept quiet about it. I was stupid enough to tell this to my doctor when we had taken my mom for a check up. Immediately his senses went on high alert, and he made me take a brain MRI to see if there were any scar tissues. What they did find in the MRI was a small blood vessel that was under developed. I was diagnosed to have had a partial seizure. I did not even understand what it meant until a week later. By that time I was in Pune prescribed with 1000mg of Levitiracetam per day along with an anti-depressant and vitamins.

Nothing changed. I went for work in the morning came back home at night, made dinner and slept. Life was pretty normal; except that my sleep was getting abnormal. I couldn’t sleep well no matter how tired I am. I have been like this before, but usually there will be a reason like I was still very much awake. This time it was like I can’t open my eyes, but I can’t sleep as well. In the mean time, I had had two to three attacks in three months. When I say attack, all that would happen is I would fall down like a log, be like that for a couple minutes, and wake up. The biggest problem here is I should not be falling in the middle of the road or in any public place when I was alone. I was staying in a place where I had nobody to turn to. As the stress at the workplace and back at home built up, I got a transfer back to Chennai.

Around this time, I was taking upto 1500mg of levitiracetam per day along with one anti depressant, one sleeping pill, and two different vitamins. Sleeping was still a problem. I was depressed all the times. I went through a lot of crying spells. I thought I was going mad. Both my family doctor and the renowned neurologist assured me that I am getting better. I did not understand how I could be getting better when the frequency of the attacks was increasing, and I was also losing my appetite. I was gaining weight. Nothing positive added.

Sleep was becoming a bigger problem. When I was required to do night shifts for around 2-3 weeks per month, it was pathetic. My emotional state was again a rollercoaster: with my parents falling sick and my personal life was not that great to begin with. Everything was taking a toll on my health.

Things went downhill when I started getting frequent attacks, while I was at work. I could hear almost everyone’s shocked voices and all of them trying to lift me and trying to wake me up. Although none of them meant any harm for me, imagine you lying down fully conscious and awake but not able to move a muscle and you feel so many hands on you, so many eyes looking down at you with pity written all over their faces. This is worse than sleep paralysis. I have had that as well. At least you can gain control over sleep paralysis. This was something I could not grasp. I was not allowed to stand much, walk much, go out much. Hell! I was not even allowed to go to the terrace.

Slowly I got scared to do anything. I was afraid to go out alone. I used to think “What if I get an attack? Who would help me? What if someone does something to me when I am unconscious?”

Fear is the worst enemy one could have. And I was in a live in relationship with fear. Even if I overcame the fear and decided to do something, everyone around me would be afraid. I was a mere nuisance when it came to outings with friends.

 

 

To Be Continued…

 

Click here to read part 2

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