Seizures and the Search for Silver Linings

This’ll come as a shock to you, especially delivered by someone as “eternally positive” (hahahahahahaha) as I am, but life’s full of disappointments. I’ve found, since developing epilepsy, that this is particularly true when one has a chronic illness that involves unpredictable brain malfunctions. So in an effort to combat how letdowns of all varieties affect my general attitude toward the world at large, I’m doing this new thing where I try not to let my reaction to them rapidly escalate from ugh-this-is-really-stupid to self-pity to existential angst.

Easier said than done, of course.

The primary, and rather obnoxious, strategy I’m attempting to implement is the one so successfully used by Bradley Cooper’s character in a relatively recent feature film. Yes: I’m relentlessly seeking silver linings.

Friday was especially difficult because I had idiotically forgotten to take my meds the night before. Usual excuses. At least (?) my new pill organizer alerted me to the fact that I’m a total flake as soon as I woke up and went to groggily get my morning drugs.

I won’t go into detail about how fantastic my day was, but I will say that it’s crazy what a small margin of error I seem to have in terms of missed doses of my anti-convulsants.

So, silver linings?

Thing that sucked: we were supposed to go for dinner with a group of people from my program but had to cancel. (I wanted to go anyway because g-d it epilepsy, I’m gonna show you who’s boss!, but I eventually admitted that sometimes epilepsy is, indeed, in charge.) Silver lining? Sympathy sushi!

Waiting for sushi.
Waiting for my consolation meal.

Thing that sucked: I had several (ok, a near–record number of) partial seizures. Silver linings? 1) None were in front of strangers! 2) I said something weird in Italian to A while dazed, thus teaching him a foreign language—education!

These are just a few of many—well, several—examples. All this optimism scares me.

It’s not all smooth sailing, however. Last night as we were getting ready for bed, my husband caught me in a characteristically grumpy moment.

“So,” he asked enthusiastically, “what were your silver linings for today?”

“NONE!” I replied.

I have a feeling that he’ll leave me on my own with this one from now on.


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