I keep telling people my epilepsy is virtually gone. It’s an oversimplification. It’s an easy way of conveying how gargantuan a change Lamictal has brought to me. But there is still something there.
I suppose a reasonable analogy would be like having malignant cancer surgically removed, leaving a scar and regularly getting tested for signs of recurrence.
Right now my health is clearly strained. A week ago I came back from an intense one-week trip to Sydney. I fit a lot into it. A lot of meeting friends, giving talks, getting work done, getting my blog rolling, going to a Jacaranda Club (epilepsy) meetup, and spending (not enough) time with family. Some late nights and even some medication stuff-ups. And then after I got back to Melbourne a friend stayed over for a weekend. I hadn’t laughed that hard in years, it was a lot of social interaction for an introvert, plus serious late nights.
So, it’s normal that I’m wobbly and spent and struggle to cope with doing work, right? That’s how I feel. Do I just feel that way because I don’t want it to be epilepsy? Yeah, I think so. But it’s more because my inner optimist is the voice I generally listen to.
Writing this post is helping me think objectively, though. Is this a normal human thing, or is it my health? I can never be sure. When I was untreated, these were some of the early changes that would happen as my risk of seizures increased.
I am constantly watching myself (and Bianca is watching me too) for signs that I am starting to slip. Is it normal, or is it a warning sign? Is it even real, or just due to overthinking? Is it normal? I don’t know. Is it normal? She doesn’t know. Is it normal? How do you tell?! What is normal??
Anyone who hears about this would say “that’s really unhealthy.” We know. But the alternative is disastrous. Unhealthy is better than disastrous. Kind of like getting painful biopsies to check for recurrence of cancer.
At the end of the day, I’ve objectively had a very intense time and, epilepsy or not, should take it easy for a bit. Which is what I’ve been consciously doing.
But no regrets about the last few weeks. The benefits significantly outweigh the costs. In this case. There are times when that isn’t the case, which were very common before Lamictal, but hardly ever now. I guess that’s why I often say my epilepsy is virtually gone.