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In the last few years I have become used to the pain that accompanies my seizure cycle. At first it was a shock. There is little on the Internet to prepare an individual for the intensity of the pain associated with seizures. In fact, I have read doctors’ papers that state seizures are painless. But I know better.
I often feel as if a truck had hit me, and later, the soreness, even on the bottom of my feet, brings to mind a beating with a baseball bat. Once I heard EMTs state this very observation to a young mother dealing with a toddler’s febrile seizure. And recently, one of my neurologists admitted that the body after a seizure feels much like that of a marathon runner’s after a race. Therefore, I run my marathons and deal with the pain. I no longer take medication to lessen the painful aspect of the seizures because the medication is often a trigger.
I used to wonder if those of us with chronic pain ever really get used to it. Does it become one more issue to overcome or work around while trying to normalize our lives? What about the depression and anxiety that goes along with the pain. How do we deal with that?
Then, the other day I had a moment, one crystalline moment of no pain, no depression, no anxiety. It was staggering.
I was walking down the stairs, alone in my house except for my cats. I was on the way to the kitchen to feed them when I noticed something was incredibly different. At first, I thought it must be the air temperature. Was it perfect? Or maybe the light coming through the blinds was at just the right angle to soften the room and give it an artistic quality. By the time I got to the stair landing I realized that the odd sensation was not coming from the room at all, but within me.
I was feeling no pain, no depression, no anxiety. I stopped on the landing and took a mental inventory just to make sure everything was OK. The next couple of thoughts were along the line of “is this a new aura and am I about to have a seizure?’ to the extreme “am I about to die?”
Obviously, there was nothing wrong. I stood there on the landing in the half-light, my cats at the base of the stairs looking up at me, probably wondering what was going on and when supper would be provided. I just stood there and felt the wonder of it.
Later, when the pain was back, I thought about that moment. It didn’t hang in my consciousness and taunt me with the implication that I would never be whole again. It felt like a possibility, perhaps an achievable one. It felt like a gift.