epilepsy

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.

epilepsy

Written for www.consumerhealthdigest.com

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