The results are in.
The EEG was “consistent with right frontal lobe epilepsy”. I’m going in for an MRI next Tuesday morning and the doctor is starting me on 500mg of Keppra. She still wants me to do the inpatient study in August, too. From what I understand, that’s the standard starting dose. I’ll pick up the pills today after work. On the one hand, it’s good to have an answer. On the other hand, I didn’t think it would be epilepsy. According to the internet, 70% of people can successfully control the seizures with medication. The frontal lobe type are less common, but still pretty darn common. It might also be connected with the migraines and that weird feeling behind my right eye when I’m stressed or about to get a migraine. I’m definitely going to ask questions when I go for the MRI and hopefully they’ll have some answers for me.
I think my boss put it best. The only difference between the Emily before the call yesterday and after the call was that I had this extra piece of information. I’ve been having these things for 6 years. The only thing that’s going to happen is my life is going to improve. The MRI will further refine the diagnosis and maybe even offer up a cause. The medication will give me some relief. Putting a name on it doesn’t make it worse, it makes it better. At least now I have some place to start. I’m going to one of the best hospitals in the country for brain and spine problems. If anyone can sort me out, they can. I have tons of support coming from all over the world. I just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
No results from the EEG yet. On the one hand, it means they didn’t find anything really bad. On the other hand, it means they didn’t find anything. If something is up, they get back to you pretty quickly. I feel like these episodes are evolving and it’s really frustrating and scary. I was just having them in my sleep. The past 4 days, I’ve had them in front of people. And that’s really embarrassing. I know no one is judging me for it and they’re just worried I’m okay, but I hate the fact I can’t explain what just happened. I know for sure there’s a stress component to them, but how, exactly, does one destress? I think if I could successfully do that, this wouldn’t be as big of an issue. The hospital will call me when they bloody well feel like it and I’ll still have to go in for the larger video study in August. So that’s another 6 weeks of dealing with these things until I can take the next step. Goodie. But let’s look at the positives, shall we?
Everyone has been really supportive through all of this. My dad’s birthday was Thursday and a bunch of us are going to a trampoline gym this afternoon to celebrate (my dad never quite grew up past 12 which is part of what makes him awesome). Since I was getting down about the episodes, the boyfriend took me to the food trucks for dinner and then we walked around Piedmont Park to take advantage of the longest day of the year. Then we caught up with another couple for frozen yogurt and good company. Today I’m going to the thrift store for a few hours which I always enjoy. More shopping! Last week was the first week I walked out of there with nothing in hand for either myself or someone else. I suppose that had to happen sooner or later. The mattress pad I bought for the boyfriend’s bed was an excellent purchase. It was so much nicer to sleep last night. I might have to get one for my bed. Memory foam is AWESOME. In general, my life is actually pretty damn good right now. I have a steady job that pays well. I love my boss and my coworker. I have my own car and don’t pay my own gas (yes, you may hate me now). I don’t pay rent. I’ll be done with the substance abuse classes for the DUI next week and can go back to going to ballet on Tuesdays. I got a financial calculator, so I can really start working on studying for the CFA. I even gave myself an extra 4 weeks to study beyond what they recommended. Best to have a cushion, n’est pas? These annoying episodes aside, things are going pretty well. And I’m also obsessed with this song:
I had my EEG this morning. It was about what I expected. I won’t know anything until a doctor has time to review it which I figure will be a week or so. They didn’t actually tell me anything concrete. The techs were really nice, though. When I told him what I was in there for he said that those types of episodes were common in children and they tended to grow out of them. I said I started getting them much later in life, but he said it was still possible I could grow out of them. With the caveat that he’s not a doctor, of course. Generally, no one has seemed overly concerned by any of my symptoms. That helps me feel a little better. I definitely relaxed after the procedure. I could fall asleep right now with no problems. It never ceases to amaze me how much stress I carry around until I let it go and relax a bit. There’s a hot bath and a Lush face mask in my future tonight. After, my dad bought me breakfast. Best dad ever. 😀 Then I washed the goo out of my hair and headed to work.
I’ve been trying to study for my CFA and my brain is rejecting it hardcore. Firstly, I need a financial calculator and don’t have one. That leaves me just reading formula after formula and not being able to apply them. I learn best by doing things. I’ll read something to get the theory, but I really need to do it to be able to learn it. Allegedly Target sells financial calculators, so I can get one after work. Then maybe it’ll be easier to study when I can actually work the problems instead of just reading them. It’s still on the level of basic algebra, so it’s nothing that’s out of my league yet. I just need to be able to actually do it so it’s not going in one ear and out the other. I’m sure the fact that I’m totally exhausted isn’t helping the situation. I may not even need my relaxation CD tonight to get to sleep. And it’s supposed to storm off and on all night. That will keep me asleep. On that note, time to walk around a bit and then try to study some more.
I hate to say it, but the opening ceremony didn’t have quite as many fireworks as I would’ve liked. There was more than enough enthusiasm to go around and some fireworks, but more explosions are always better. I got to hear the founder speak and now I see why everybody loves him. He’s a former South Georgia football coach who refuses to say “God damn”, but will quite happily use every other swear word. He genuinely wants to do the right thing for people and he’s passionate about selling insurance. That’s two things which are rare in this industry. I came away from his speech feeling very proud to be a part of that company. Our field force might be crazy and it might not be the most mentally stimulating job in the world, but as an institution, they try to do the right thing. I’m more than okay with being part of that.
Yesterday I went a little wild at Sephora. I’m not a huge make up girl, but occasionally I’ll feel the need to add a few things to my collection. I ended up with 2 pink lipsticks, 2 nail polishes, 3 eyeshadows, mascara, and a free hair texturizing cream. There’s something fun about trying new make up that changes my attitude a bit. I’ve been doing red lips for a while now, but I think I like the pink better. It doesn’t say quite the same thing and I think I like it. Then Boy and I saw Man of Steel. The best part was I sat through a 2.5 hour movie and didn’t have one of my episodes. Woohoo! I had one at Target earlier today, but it wasn’t quite the same. Instead of tunnel vision followed by panic, words just kept getting jumbled in my head and I had to stop and reorient myself. Like my brain was moving so fast, words weren’t getting processed regardless of if they were thoughts or someone talking to me. The EEG is tomorrow, though, and hopefully that will provide some answers. Though I’m not thrilled about having sensors strapped to my head 2 days after I get my hair colored. Poor planning. I think pink lipstick is definitely on tap for tomorrow. If nothing else, it’ll make me feel a little better.
On that note, off to get a snack and watch more of the US Open (yes, I watch golf for fun. I was raised on it. Sue me.)
I’m taking a break from studying, so what better time to do Furry Cuteness Friday?
Chloe has moments when she looks like this…
Hope everyone has a great weekend! I’ll be going to the semi-annual Kool Aid drinking known as convention for work tonight. The opening ceremony allegedly has more pyrotechnics than a rock concert, so I can’t wait to see this.
It’s funny to realize when your attitude has changed about certain things. In the past year, three of my friends have had babies and one is due in a matter of weeks. When everyone first started getting pregnant, it freaked me out a bit. I’ve known most of my friends since we were in our early teens (or younger, in some cases) and I still think of us that way sometimes. It’s a bit of a mental shift to realize that we’re all almost 30 and it’s perfectly reasonable to be having babies. The same thing happened when everyone got married a few years ago. The group has grown and changed just like we’ve all grown and changed. Though even though we are all late 20s or early 30s, we still have the maturity of a bunch of 12 year old boys when we get together. I love it.
Now that I’ve successfully shifted my thinking, I’m really enjoying getting to see their little personalities come out and watch them grow. I know when it’s my turn, I’ll have a wealth of advice and support. I look at my friends and see how they’ve successfully navigated marriage and now child rearing. I already knew I had a kickass group of friends and I’m more and more impressed with them as time goes on. That’s just the kind of group I want to be part of. For now, I can be Auntie Em and all the perks that come along with that. It’s not nearly as hard as one might think to find a plush flying monkey. 😀 Before I know it, I’ll turn around and these kids will all be in their teens. Then the real fun can begin.
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this here before, but if I have, just bear with me.
Ever since my assault in 2007, I started having these episodes that I thought were panic attacks. When I described them to my therapist in detail recently, she said it didn’t sound like any panic attack she’d ever heard of. Curious, I did a little research on the internet (always a good idea, right?). My symptoms were very consistent with minor seizures. I got an appointment with a neurologist and she ordered a study similar to a sleep study. They hook me up to sensors and wait for one to happen. That was supposed to happen this past week. The hospital called and said the insurance company denied it because I’d never had an EEG or MRI. I can’t say I blame them. I’m scheduled for an EEG next Monday and I’m really hoping that will give us some answers. Then maybe we can skip this whole inpatient thing. I had one in front of an RN this past week and she said it looked like a seizure to her. My great uncle is a neurosurgeon and he also said my symptoms sound consistent with seizures. It’s probably not epilepsy because that rarely starts as an adult (I was 22 when they started), but trauma can cause them.
It’s frustrating and stressful. I have them in my sleep, so I wake up in a complete panic like waking up from a really bad nightmare. I can’t sit through a tv show or a movie without having one. Sometimes I’ll have them from staring at a computer screen too long and have one at work. That’s embarrassing. I feel like I just can’t win. Logically, I know seizures are very treatable. They’ll give me some pills and I’ll be fine. My anxiety level will probably go down significantly once this has been sorted out. Emotionally, it blows to have that constant underlying fear that I might have one. It’s a struggle to not get really frustrated and make the whole thing worse. I lamented to my dad that I wanted a new brain because this one is defective. He said that it wasn’t defective and it was a brain full of useful information. All the crappy stuff that has happened is useful, I just might not see how yet. Learning and growth don’t happen when things are easy or going well. Somewhere down the line, all of this will serve me. Somehow or another, it’ll all work out. It just takes time. (Can you tell patience is not one of my virtues?)