Here, Have An Aura With That My Friend

I know…it’s rude to look a gift horse in the mouth. But c’mon universe, I’m feeling smothered and need some space from your ambiguous generosity. An aura here or there, but not like this.

I don’t know what’s going on but I’ve been having regular aura’s again this past couple of months. It’s annoying and I’m wanting to minimise them, but I’m actually incredibly lucky with my epilepsy. Others suffer incredibly and I realise auras are miniscule. My love goes out to one brave young sufferer in particular.

I was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2008 after doctors witnessed me having a grand mal seizure in hospital. Since then I’ve been medicated and haven’t had a seizure in five years. So I’m doing okay! However each aura is letting me know my brain’s still misfiring at times. I just find them annoying because they make me so tired afterwards and leave my brain hazy. And from what I can gather the only cure for an aura is avoiding the trigger.

I’ve started keeping a record of them and what I’m doing at the time. After a few weeks I’m hoping to see a pattern or be able to identify the triggers. At the moment it’s quite confusing because my doctor tells me these auras sound like side effects of a migraine. Although I do get bad headaches that last for days, they’re definitely not migraines, instead tension headaches. A massage at my favourite Chinese massage place where the only one who speaks English is the receptionist, and I’m healed. These women are tiny but can cause agony! I can’t handle them at full strength! I walk out feeling like a feather though. I’m recharged and the headache’s gone, along with the auras. For a little while.

auraOther times they come on, seemingly without cause. I have them when I’m hosing the garden, reading, at the gym, in the shower, shopping, when I first wake up, talking to people, at tai chi. They don’t discriminate on the basis of location or company. It’s a conundrum I want to ‘uncondrum’ – bahaa! (FYI – uncondrum: to unconundruminate a conundrum)  *sigh*  It’s late…

I remember years ago the auras used to really frighten me.  This was a few years before I was diagnosed. I’d ring Mum and have her stay on the line with me until it passed. I couldn’t ever really explain exactly what it was I was experiencing. I still can’t explain it well, but I know what the process is so I don’t panic anymore. They can be like a wave of physical detachment that passes momentarily. But they can also run their course, how long that takes I’ve never timed.

That feeling of detachment lingers, things sound and smell different. I feel myself shutting down, and prefer to sit still with my eyes closed, in a quiet place. If I’m in conversation I can keep looking aware (I think!) but cannot understand the conversation, let alone contribute. My lips feel numb, my hands and fingers feel and look like they are huge, like they’ve been blown up with air! Sometimes I feel nauseous, and every time I become extremely hot and sweaty. Afterwards my whole body feels tired and I’m exhausted.

I’ve been wondering if it’s something environmental, as I didn’t have a single aura whilst we were away. Last weekend we caught up with the family. I had one in the morning, was fine during the day, then had another after we got home. It’s a mystery, and one that will likely only be answered with speculation.

Whatever the cause, I think it’s time for a break universe. It’s not me, it’s you.

Brain restarting….please wait….





Every Day’s Been Giving Me Mondayitis…

mondayitisMondayitis – this is really knocking me around lately. Nearly every day’s feeling like a Monday; with that strong urge to call in to life sick. I’m sliding through the days with the same amount of effort and enthusiasm as the cat on those stairs.

Time is passing in strange increments. It’s been four days since I was in the city, although it feels like a couple of weeks ago. Thirty minutes can drag on for what seems like hours. Hours can pass in mondayitisminutes. I’ve had splitting headaches and my body feels like it does after a seizure, although I’m having 4-5 aura’s a day. My muscles feel fatigued as if I’ve done a tough workout. My brain is hazy and I cannot trust that what I see is what is there. What is a dream and what is reality is not entirely clear. And no – I am not taking drugs!

Last week was spent managing nerves and anxiety before a TV interview Thursday morning. I had a couple of panicked moments over the preceding days, but was able to get it under control before it all went pear shaped. (No offence to pears. I love pears.) The first pounding headache came Thursday night. My mood took a nosedive and all I wanted was bed. The next morning I woke with that mondayitis feeling, along with an aching head that has stubbornly persisted.

mondayitisMy mind was fighting old thought patterns again. I question everything and get down on myself for whatever is happening to me. My neck and back were so sore, and I’m sure the cause of my headaches. I went to the gym on Tuesday thinking I could work it out. It wasn’t to be, although I did feel the shift of energy and faintly felt my strength scrambling to free itself from under that heavy, dark blanket. Happy hormones 🙂

By yesterday afternoon I could’ve chopped my own head off, so went and had a remedial massage. I’d say 45 out of the 55 minutes were pure agony, dished out by a tiny, softly spoken asian woman. I came home and crashed on the lounge. The soup I’d started cooking earlier would have to wait.

Today my muscles are sore from the massage but the headache is finally gone. The pain is so worth the reward. I’ve only had one aura today. I feel human again! So I know that I haven’t been well. I’m not really sure what happened, but it’s an awesome feeling having the fog clearing.



The Lives of Epilepsy, Emphysema, Blepharitis and Me

epilepsySo Me, Tell Me about Meself.

My name is Kat and I live in Australia. I’m 46 and I’m raising my teenage daughter. She has bipolar, anxiety and PTSD and is schooled via distance education. I’ve been her carer for the past 4 years and have become a blogger and participant in destigmatising mental illness. I’m enjoying my newfound interest in the gym and the various classes they also offer. I want to put on 7 more kilos and get fit and healthy – body and mind. I love growing anything you can eat, and our two mischievous cats.

There are few annoying things that decided to move in with me over the years – into my own body!! Uninvited and unauthorised by me! First was Epilepsy. Then moved in Blepharitis. The newest squatter is Stage 1 COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), Emphysema. Apparently the laws are that I cannot evict any of them. That sux! Only option to prevent further damage to the joint is to bring these bad boys under control (insert sound of a whip cracking – ftchaa.)

How Did I Find Out I Had Squatters?

Epilepsy moved in slowly. He’s the untrustworthy tenant whose unpredictability remains constantly in the back of my mind. It’d be 11 since the auras really started. They made quite scared because I didn’t know what was happening to me. I’d call my mum and she’d keep talking to me until I came back to reality and could process her words again.

Roughly two years later the seizures, as I now know they were, started each Saturday at work while doing date entry. One Saturday however, my seizure waited until I was driving home. As a consequence my car was written off. After 4 hours in hospital I was sent home uninjured. A couple of weeks later I was taken to hospital from work after another seizure. Epilepsy had moved in and was getting comfortable.

epilepsyBlepharitis snuck in about two years ago. He’s the irritating tenant that always leaves the tap dripping. I realised my eyes were watering all day for seemingly no reason. At first I thought it was allergies to something, although my eyes weren’t itchy. Not being a major thing, I lived with it for at least 12 months. I then met someone who had the same problem, so thought it might be something medical. I made an appointment with the optometrist.

COPD Emphysema made its presence known 8-9 months ago by way of a nasty, persistent cough after 33 years of smoking. There were times the cough wasn’t as bad, and I put it down to a chest cold – that never went away, yeah right. I’ll be honest – I was afraid so didn’t want to know what was wrong.

Squatters are Identified – The Gloves Are Off!

Epilepsy was diagnosed my first night in hospital. I had my worst grand mal seizure ever, witnessed by the specialist. I woke up the next morning in a hospital gown instead of my pj’s, and quite spaced out. The patient in the bed across from me told me what had happened as I had no recollection. At age 38 I was diagnosed with Epilepsy.

epilepsyI have it pretty much under control with Dilantin. It’s be 4 years since I’ve had a seizure. My excessive consumption of alcohol was blamed, so I don’t drink often and never to excess these days.  You just never know who you’re gonna hook up with drunk! I still have auras, but they are usually short-lived, ending with goosebumps and a steamy sweat. Strangely they are often triggered in the shower. Early last month though, I was having a few auras daily. I’m sure they were brought on by stress, and I increased my medication after a couple of weeks of these. I was exhausted! After two increased doses, they lessened, then stopped.

Blepharitis was picked up by the optometrist. Very basically, the glands that secrete the oils to maintain healthy tears become blocked resulting in dry eyes, making them water. Backward huh?! Each morning I use special wipes to clean my eyelids and tear glands, and drops to try and keep them from becoming dry. They still water every day though. I find it quite embarrassing. People must think I’m crying all the time! Plus it messes up my makeup, which I rarely wear anymore due to my watery eyes. I ALWAYS need tissues.

epilepsyEmphysema didn’t ever try to be quiet or unobtrusive. I was diagnosed a few weeks ago. My biggest fear is suffocation, and the thought of not being able to breathe has scared me into quitting smoking and joining the gym. I’ve been using patches, but have now started Champix which is meant to have a high success rate. Apparently I can’t heal the damage done, but I can stop Emphysema from completely claiming my lungs for his own.

Notice – Position Filled

I would like to personally thank all who applied for the housing management position advertised on the noticeboard in the foyer. The former manager has taken back her resignation which is greatly appreciated.


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