In my last entry, dedicated to gloating about a major reduction in my tonic-clonic seizures, I indicated that I’d give an update about my complex partials “in a future post.” Believe it or not, I’m following through, and in a relatively timely manner, no less. This is that future post. The future is now.
I was mostly inspired to do so because my husband, tracker of seizures and all-around great guy, came into the bedroom a couple of mornings ago to tell me that the past month has been my best ever, seizure-wise, since we (OK, he) began keeping a careful record of them a year ago. What does this mean? Nine complex partials. Well, eleven—I’ve had two more in the few days since I started writing this. Still, I’ve gone through periods in which I’ve had that many over a one–two day stretch, so to have made it a month with only eleven total feels like a big achievement.
There’s a lot of room for improvement, though. Eleven complex partials is eleven complex partials, even if they were more frequent before. They’re pretty draining and come with risks, and the fact that I’m continuing to have them somewhat often means that we can’t stop trying to fine-tune my medications and the settings of my VNS. In other words, the search for that elusive seizure-free status goes on.
I’ll admit that there are things that I could do better/differently that would likely lower the number even further. The big one? Reduce the amount of time I spend “working” (on projects to keep my mind occupied and stimulated, not at a paid job). My husband and I have both noticed a direct link when it comes to mental fatigue and my seizures, and it’s been over the last week or so, as I’ve been trying to do a little more writing, that my complex partials have spiked again. It’s hard, however, to know where the balance lies between satisfying my emotional need to be productive and honouring my brain’s apparent need for me to quit stressing it out so much. I’ve come to accept that there isn’t an easy answer: it’s a lot of trial and error, a little too much writing that leads to an unfortunate bout of lip smacking and fist clenching. I try to learn from my mistakes. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t.
None of these (somewhat negative) reflections should detract from the take-home message of this post: that I’m making real, tangible progress. I’m always a little hesitant to celebrate prematurely since I’ve had ups in the past that have transitioned into downs, and vice versa, but I feel secureish in emitting a tentative “yay!” while I wait to see if this fewer-seizures streak endures.