Saturday, 12 January 2013

Psychiatrist, protein and progress, oh my!

So it's a New Year, and despite all of my hoping and wishing, my seizures still exist. I'll admit that there was a small part of me that was wondering if maybe when the clock struck midnight I'd be magically cured and wouldn't have to think about my seizures anymore, but alas no.

One thing that has happened is I seem to have reached a point where my recovery time after each seizure has dramatically reduced, which is making living something vaguely resembling a normal life a little bit easier. I mean, it's nowhere near what I'd like, but it's certainly getting a lot better.

And I can't help but wonder if this is, at least in part, due to the fact that I've ramped up the amount of protein I'm eating. I've never been a big protein eater - partially because I've never craved it and also because I was a lazy vegetarian/vegan. But these days, if I don't have protein forming a significant part of lunch and dinner, I'm a) famished and b)far more likely to have a seizure. And by protein, I mean meat. I've never craved meat in the way that I do these days and sadly my health is a bigger priority than my ethical standpoint. I'm sure I'll flip back to being most vegetarian someday, but if eating meat is making me healthier, I'm a happy girl.

My seizures have been fluctuating between small and annoying and large and terrifying recently - the dissociative side has certainly got worse, which isn't particularly enjoyable. Dissociation is sort of like a trance state - it's where my brain chooses to disconnect from reality and emotion and moves into what it thinks is a safe space. It's something that we all do on a daily basis to some extent - like when we autopilot our way home or when we don't hear someone calling our name because we're so immersed in a book. I went to see a psychiatrist the other day and she described it as my brain thinking it's being really helpful and protecting me, but being about as good at it as a 3 year old.

Which is where the progress comes in - I went for a psychiatric assessment the other day. I was terrified about it, but it turned out to be far less scary and far more helpful than I could ever had hoped. My Psychiatrist (Dr Fairley) seems to actually understand what's happening in my brain, which is a first. She talked about things in the same way as I do and didn't push me too hard. I'm hopefully going to be starting therapy (a hazy mix of psychotherapy and CBT with some other methods thrown in as and when) in a couple of months, which is incredible news. I've been left for so long with no help at all, that just knowing someone is going to be doing something is a massive relief.

Obviously, I know therapy isn't a quick fix. I'm potentially looking at something around a year before I'm "better" and even then, there's a possibility that I might not fully get over seizures, but I'm strong and determined and planning on working as hard as I possibly can to kick this shit.

For now though it's much of the same - trying to work out strategies to make seizures less draining for me and the people who look after me and trying to find ways of living as much of a normal life as possible. And filling all the time in between with adventures and meditation and grounding techniques and yoga and lifting weights. Generally, remembering to be the super strong badass that I know I am.
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  1. I can't imagine having to go through that distress, I'm sorry for what you have to put up with. Have you considered running or spoken to your physician about it? Maybe it will be a good way to drain you and keep you healthy .

    1. Hi! Thank you, that's very sweet - these days, I think I cope with it all a lot better. Sadly, running would be an unwise and unsafe idea for me at the moment. I do exercise though. I practice Yoga regularly and I also lift weights when I'm well enough, in addition to hoop dancing and fire spinning, so I'm definitely staying active. Sadly though, physical activity can only help a small amount and when I'm really ill, I'm unable to do much in the way of exercise at all! Trust me - I'm already pretty drained most of the time :)


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