Well hi, stranger. I bet you are surprised to see me around here again. It’s been a while, huh?
So, Lindsay sent me a whole bunch of screenshots from responses to a post she put up on my birthday (thank you Lindsay!), and it really made my day. I thought I’d just write a wee post to let you know how things are going over here and catch you up on what’s been going on since I went into hibernation at the beginning of the year :)
• Why am I hibernating? Ok so very long story short - I’ve had epilepsy since I was in my 20’s. It was in remission for around 10 years, and then life proceeded to give us a number of uncalled for, unexpected and quite painful ‘kicks in the shin’. The stress of being repeatedly ‘kicked in the shin’ on a daily basis, I guess, caused me to have a tonic-clonic seizure when driving to work one fine Friday morning. I wrapped my beloved Rav 4 around a lamppost on the Short Strand, and I haven’t driven since. Started new drugs, began a ketogenic diet, managed to get things under control again and then BAM - when holidaying in Las Vegas with my mum and sisters I found myself hiding under a seat in an auditorium in the Mandalay Bay whilst the worst mass shooting in American history took place just outside the unlocked exit doors. Shortly after I returned home from Vegas, the culmination of little to no sleep and recurring nightmares ended up in a day of me having tonic-clonic seizures over and over and over again until I was rushed to the hospital and put under. That took a great big toll on the old noggin’.
Again, a revision in drugs happened, I ploughed back into life as usual because a) I love my life and b) I cannot abide feeling unproductive. I took on Winter PopUp with great zeal and enthusiasm, and once it was over my brain said ‘OK that’s enough now’, and I crashed and burned in a series of seizures large and small the entire of December and into January/February.
So, my anti-seizure medication dose is now ten times what it started at, and I am at the limit as to what I can legally be prescribed. To say my brain was a soggy cabbage for many months is a gross understatement. I’ve been out of it - dozy, dopey, ditzy, sleepy - pretty much all of the negative Seven Dwarf characteristics you can name.
I’ve been hibernating. Taking care not to let those shin kicks affect me. Taking care to be kind to myself when I feel unproductive - there’s always something you can do to make the world a bit better, even if it isn’t with the speed or skill you usually maintain.
It’s been a strange 8 months. AEDs really mess with your brain, as do seizures. I’ve known how to knit since I was seven years old. For five months of this year, I totally forgot how to knit. I would hold the needles and just not be able to do it. Knitting patterns may as well have been Year 8 fractions - I had zero clue how to read them. There are so many freaky brain stories I could tell you but I’m bored of typing about this now, and I’m sure you are tired of reading it.
What’s next? Well, my Neuro is very keen for me to go slow and steady and not make the mistake I made in November. I’m also eager not to make that mistake again. But I can give you this - two weeks ago I remembered how to knit. I also read an entire book. These seem so small, but these are steps towards productivity. And there’s this - me writing a blog post! For so many months there were no words in my head!
So you never know; hopefully, this is me back chatting to you all like I used to. Fingers crossed.
• Family and friend support. I can’t write a ‘hi’ blog post without giving a giant virtual hug to my best bitches. To everyone who kept in touch with texts and WhatsApps since I disappeared from Facebook and Instagram. To those who come to visit me at home, bring me out for coffees and gossip (I always say it’s like taking your granny out for the day!), take me to see movies and just check in regularly. That is everything. This hibernation/no driving life is lonely, and I have appreciated all of you. To my Mother-In-Law drug mule who brings me my boxes and boxes of AEDs - thank you. To my Mama Bear cousin Bev (because every Mama Bear needs their own Mama Bear to fight their corner) - thank you. And to Lindsay who has patiently and awesomely run RinkaDink, visited me, forwarded me on all the lovely things you send or say via RinkaDink and just generally kept me upbeat and hopeful when it seems like all is lost - THANK YOU.
• Memes. Lindsay has a disgraceful sense of humour just like me, I guess those of us who have been kicked in the shins just the right amount learn to appreciate the audacity of life. People send me lovely texts and emails and stories to make me laugh. Lindsay sends me memes. They ALWAYS make me laugh, and I appreciate the hell out of them. No matter how sick your brain is, a meme is always the answer.
• The Turds. I can’t do a catchup blog post without mentioning the Three Turds. They have all grown an insane amount this year. Here’s their first day of school photo comparison from last year. Isn’t it crazy?! What’s also crazy is the sheer volume of cereal and toast ‘padding’ involved in their growth spurts. I call it padding because these are the snacks in between the meals. I go through a box of cereal and a loaf every day! In padding! My mum and dad are coming home in a few weeks, and I think I’m most excited for them to see the eating show. I grew up in a house of girls, so I’m not used to it - honestly, the amount they eat and how hungry they are all the time just blows my mind. When I was a teenager, I was getting up at 6am to do Cindy Crawford step aerobics before school and trying to live off a slice of peanut butter toast and a Club Orange every day because I wanted to look like Baby from Dirty Dancing. Never have I seen humans eat with such hunger and wild abandon and then be hungry again 10 minutes later. Fascinating. Sometimes I feel like David Attenborough watching some chimps through a crack in the dense green jungle.
• Holidays. We went on the best fun family holiday ever in August. I’ll post a few pics. Aside from the Spanish heatwave that almost broke me - and you know how dedicated I am to sunbathing - we had a ball. We went to Salou and made a ton of friends, enjoyed beach days, went to PortAventura Theme Park, Barcelona, Ferrari Land, Camp Nou and even managed a family ride on a banana boat when Will talked the lady into letting him on even though he was two years too young. Amazing memories made :)
For the eagle eyed among you - yes Will did the Camp Nou tour in his beloved Real Madrid hat and gave zero shits about the numerous dirty looks he received! Jack and Charlie were convinced someone was going to bundle him off in a white van because he was such a disgrace to football.
• Sonny died. My wee Sonny Jimbo passed away in June. I know this will shock many of you who have followed me for a long time and know that my dogs were basically my replacement babies and a huge part of my life. I was home alone with him, it was unexpected, and he died in my arms of heart failure. I knew what it was because he had been to the vet for something similar a few months before. Thankfully the kids were at school. I held him and talked to him and told him I loved him over and over until he went. It still shocks and devastates me that he is gone. He was my crazy pickle for 12 years, and he had been Buddy’s eyes and ears for the past few years as the old boy is basically blind and deaf now. You just never think that someday you’ll have a life that they aren’t a part of. He was loved hard, and he loved even harder in return. I’ll miss him forever.
So I think that’s you caught up for the moment. Now that I’m feeling less cabbage-brained I hope I’ll be fit to write more blog posts, about anything and everything. If you have anything you’d like me to write a blog post about just ask in the comment section :) It can be about whatever you want. I’m all ears!
Thanks again for all of the support you give to myself and Lindsay, we are so fond of our Rad little Gang and appreciate all that you do for us. xx