Flip-flopping bad times…..

20 Oct

Q: What do you do when you find a person in a bathtub having a seizure?

A: Throw in your dirty laundry.

Yeah…. I just typed that.  It made me laugh alot.  And I have the right to tell seizure jokes all day long because I have seizures.  It’s one of those “in the club” things…. like if you’re gay, you can throw the word “fag” around all you want. But in reality, if you’re around me you don’t have to follow “club rules”.   You can tell all the seizure jokes you want… and they’ll probably make me laugh alot as well.  Ya wanna hear another joke?  Well…. alright…..

Q: What’s the ultimate doom for a leper?

A: An epileptic fit.

Picture it in your head, then go ahead and laugh.  I give you permission.  I thought it was hilarious.

I had a seizure Saturday night… and it was a bad one.  And it was double bad because it was in public.  I can laugh about them, and make fun of them, and I lovingly accept all nicknames such as “Flip-flopper”, “Twitcher”, etc.  But when they happen- THEY SUCK.  And when they happen in public, no matter how much I can laugh about them in my coherent states… it’s mortifying.

Saturday night was one of the rare occasions where I got to actually leave the house for social purposes, and Brad and I went to watch some bands.  My body gives me about 30 seconds to a minute warning before I have a seizure… but usually I don’t consciously think “Hey, I feel like I’m going to have a seizure!  I’d better warn someone!”.  It’s a much more “primal” reaction (for lack of a better term).  You know how when a cat is going to die, it’s instinct is to go off by themselves, even though they don’t know what’s wrong or what “death” is?  It’s kindof like that.  I always have the thought “I don’t feel well”… and then my brain screams “RUN!!!!”.  I instinctually try to get outside, or to a bathroom by myself, or just somewhere where there aren’t people.  There isn’t logic in this- it’s like my body just DOES it.  So at the club on Saturday, we’re up by the stage (and of course it’s the farthest spot from the front door), I feel the weirdness hit my body and I tell Brad, “I don’t feel good”.  He knows what that means.  And he knows too well the look on my face when I say it.  He starts looking for a quicker way out of the club, and then my body screams “RUN!!!!”- and I’m off.  The club was packed (of course it had to be a sold out show, right?), and I only remember turning and taking about a dozen steps- and that’s all I’m aware of.  Brad later told me that I was tearing through the crowd, pushing people aside trying to get to the front door, and that he couldn’t even keep up with me (the “auto-pilot” thing happens alot… my consciousness blacks out, but my body keeps going).  I almost made it to the front door… then boom.   Down for the count.  Brad relayed to me that it took 2 bouncers to get all of the 110 pounds of me outside because I was dead weight (which I don’t fully understand the phenomenon of ‘dead weight’… weight is weight, right?).  I remember coming out of it, and hearing Brad trying to convince the bouncers that I wasn’t drunk or OD’ing- but that I was just having a seizure and to give me some space, and that he had it covered (Brad has TOO much experience with this because of me… poor guy).  Then I started puking.  Then Brad took me home.  So much for my fun night out.  Le sigh.

I started having these when I was 9.  Through highschool, I was taken to blood sugar specialists who told me that it was because I have crazy blood sugar issues- but they could never induce a seizure during the glucose testing to verify it.  Then I was taken to neurologists and had my brain scanned like crazy, and given the flashy-lights tests (which made me sick as hell, but didn’t make me drop)… and they told me that they were sure it was epilepsy, but they couldn’t induce a seizure so they couldn’t verify it.  (FYI… for all you lighting guys at clubs- strobe lights aren’t cool.  They’re lame “Spencer’s gifts” cheeze-ball bullshit effects, and you really need to knock it the fuck off.  Nobody likes them… seriously).   So I don’t know really why I have seizures- which is frustrating- but they happen.  And they’ve been happening more often as I get older.  And Brad said that on Saturday night, I was blacked out for about 5 minutes (which is the longest one that I’m aware of- but who knows, because I’ve had them when I was by myself and it’s hard to time them when you’re unconscious).  There’s no pattern to why they happen, and no real triggers.  And it’s annoying.

Since alot of people I know read my jabbering on here, I’m gonna give you the “Kristen’s Seizures 101”.  Some of these apply to all seizures, and some are just how my body deals with them.

  • As long as a seizing person is not in danger- don’t move them.  The bouncers on Saturday carried me out of the club, and one of them was carrying me under my arms.  Because I was tensed up and jerking, I’ve got all kinds of pinched nerves now and I’ve got no feeling in my armpit, in my upper arm, and shoulder on my right side.  They did what they thought was right… but “dead arm” is a creepy feeling that I hope goes away soon.
  • Don’t EVER EVER EVER stick anything in the mouth of a person who’s having a seizure.  Jaw muscles are some of the strongest in the body, and we can bite through anything (wallets, fingers, sticks, etc).  And we won’t swallow our tongues.  Scouts honor.
  • Even though it’s not good to move a person having a seizure, do roll them onto their side if you can.  I sometimes puke after I have seizures- and I’ve always been aware enough to roll over on my side on my own.  If a person isn’t aware enough, they can choke on their vomit.  And sometimes a person can piss themselves during a seizure… it’s happened to me.  I’ve seen it happen to others.  Don’t make a big deal of it. Please.
  • I don’t know if this is true for anyone else- but when I wake up, there’s a few minutes where I don’t know where I am, who I am, who anyone around me is, or what happened.  I’ll babble incoherently, and am really disoriented, and sometimes cry.  Stay really calm when someone wakes up from this, because if you’re panicking it creates more emotional chaos for the person who just had their brain reject them.  The brain-rejected person has been through enough…. the least you can do is use soothing tones when talking to them.
  • Once the person is awake, and you’ve made sure that they aren’t seriously injured from falling down or whatever (I broke my nose last year when I hit my face on the ground during the seizure- so it can happen), just take them home or to a place where they can sleep.  Their body just went through a trauma, and the amount of stress it just endured requires serious recoup time.  Do not listen to their protests if they say they don’t want to rest or go home- just take them home and put them into bed.  Seriously.

That’s my story.  So if you see me out and about, and I all of a sudden proclaim “I don’t feel well”, then proceed to drop on the floor, look like a dead person who’s jerking around, then wake up babbling, puking, and crying- I’m not on drugs.  I’m not drunk.  And you don’t need to call 911.  Just wait until I’ve calmed down, and tell me some seizure knock-knock jokes, and I’ll be fine.  Then make sure Brad takes me home and puts me to bed.

Questions, comments, suggestions?  They’re all happily welcomed.

Aside from that…. I’m now on twitter… so you can find me there by clicking HERE!!



9 Responses to “Flip-flopping bad times…..”

  1. Misty October 20, 2009 at 8:28 pm #

    May I add something to this? Misty’s Seizure Wisdom: If you are on Lithium for bi-polar disorder or simply because you’re some moron who thinks it’s going to get you high (it won’t, dumbass, but take enough of it and it *will* kill you), YOU MAY NOT, NOW OR EVER, INDULGE IN LSD. *EVER* There is a documented reaction between the two chemicals that *will* cause seizures. Massive ones. The first time I experienced this interaction, I had eight grand mal seizures and woke up in the ER, still tripping, having a catheter inserted (because yes, I did piss myself) by a VERY unsympathetic nurse who was understandably sick of treating ODs, which she perceived me as being. The second time (I didn’t know about the interaction, and believed the first seizure incident to be the result of a “bad trip”), I had 27 grand mal seizures before they had to administer a paralytic strong enough to STOP MY DIAPRAM (you know, that muscle that makes you breathe), and I woke up, still tripping (again), on life support. To this day certain medications and certain lights (yes, lighting folks, quit it with the fucking strobe lights already) will induce the much milder but still quite disconcerting petit mal variety. If you’re being treated for a psychiatric disorder, you probably shouldn’t be indulging in hallucinogens in the first place, but LITHIUM AND LSD WILL FUCK WITH YOUR WORLD.

    Thank you. That is all.

    ps–no, you can’t swallow your tongue, but it can slip down in your throat and constrict your airway. Turning a seizing individual on their side and GENTLY holding them there will prevent this. A wooden spoon, or anything else, inserted between the teeth, will not.

    • Kristen Ferrell October 22, 2009 at 7:45 pm #

      HOLY SHIT!!! I’ve never even heard of that! I’m sooooo glad that I never tried acid, because my stupid doc’s put me on lithium when I was 13 or 14. That’s so scary!!! With as much as medication is prescribed, and with as much as kids do drugs, why is this information not more known?

      I’m so glad you put this on here! THANK YOU!!!!

  2. Anonymous October 21, 2009 at 6:28 pm #


    And I love you for living through it.

  3. Anonymous October 21, 2009 at 6:29 pm #

    Hey its me jackie I’m not anonymous

    • Kristen Ferrell October 22, 2009 at 7:35 pm #

      HAHAHAHAH!!! I knew that was your comment before I even scrolled down to see your second comment.
      How did I know?
      Because I know you THAT well.

      I think I was a serial rapist Nazi in a past life, and I’m paying for it in this life. That’s the only explanation that I can think of. Maybe I should go to some mystical person and have that checked out.

  4. whitney October 21, 2009 at 7:43 pm #

    it’s pretty strange that the Docs cant quite figure out what is causing these….

    working with the students with special needs, i see seizures pretty frequently and know the drills. some of the students we use magnets on to stop the seizures if they last passed a certain amount of time…. if that doesnt help, then we call 911. the timing is pretty important. so if anyone is around you, make sure they time it. i dunno if youre on any medication for this or not, but maybe the doctor can figure out what to look for with the range of convulsions youre having??? of course, i am not a doctor, but i’m just trying to give you the best advice i can offer. hah. and what sort of seizures do you have? grand mals? petite mals?

    and it’s always sad seeing how the student acts after a seizure. some are just knocked out afterwards, some snap out quick and give you a big smile like “see, i’m okay!”… also while theyre seizing, we just calmly talk to them to talk them out of it or make sure they are breathing as well as timing it and yadda yadda. i dont know what else i was going to say, hahaa…. i’ve had a long day and my mind is elsewhere.

    hope whatever i said helps some?? wheee!!

    • Kristen Ferrell October 22, 2009 at 7:53 pm #

      How do magnets help? Tell me more!

      Usually my seizures last less than a minute. But the one on Friday, Brad said that I was out 4 or 5 minutes- which is a really long time to be out. I’ve been told that I usually just pass out, sometimes with my eyes open, and there isn’t really any convulsions or anything. But the one on Saturday, Brad said that I was jerking around some- but not violently.
      I’m going to go back to the doctor… but I’m looking into what kind of specialist testing my insurance covers. And if it doesn’t cover any- than I just have to go without and try to figure it out on my own. I’m not on any medication because they could never figure out exactly what’s causing it. My mom did test my blood pressure right after one I had at my parent’s house, and she said it was frighteningly low. And I don’t know what the hell that means.

      My body is just a train wreck. Uuuuugggghhhhh!!!!!!

  5. Jen October 26, 2009 at 3:03 pm #

    I had a friend who went through daily seizures during puberty because the meds stopped working for a while, and it was all very normal to us so we never made a big deal out of it. It wasn’t a real party unless this girl had a seizure…. When she was somewhat coherent and done flopping we would act out that part of Steel Magnolias where Julia Roberts is having a seizure. haha “Don’t talk about me like I’m not here” is what the girl would say when it was over.

  6. Richard August 20, 2011 at 2:44 am #

    Thank you for an entertaining blog and for making interesting art and sharing it with the world. Currently I’m working my way through your backlog… But anyway on the topic of seizures you might want to check this out, http://www.epilepsyresearch.org.uk/news/0804enews/atkins3.htm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: