Stepping out of one of your comfort zones and into an unknown zone is difficult.  Like

Anya Gears of War 1
Anya, Gears of War


most people, I don’t like change, but it isn’t such a dislike I freak out about it often or declare change isn’t simply going to happen.  I am … *sigh* … a grown-up and I know change is going to happen whether or not I want it, and I know the best way to get through change is to face it, learn about whatever is changing, and simply just get on with it more or less.


For the life of me, I never once expected to receive a diagnosis of seizures, i.e. epilepsy.  Officially, I have not been diagnosed with epilepsy, but the new medication is an epilepsy medicine and actually appears to be working, unless I miss a dose or am late on taking a dose.  If this happens, an episode occurs wherein I lose a few seconds and it takes a while for my brain to right itself and move forward like it’s supposed to.  Usually this requires a nap of 20 to 45 minutes.  Wednesday the nap was four hours long, but that episode seemed to last for almost an entire minute.

The night before – Tuesday – I had one of those full-body/fully awake episodes, which hurt like hell.  You know the ones I was calling a full-body muscle spasm?  Yeah, those.  The Husband and I went to meet some friends and left to head home when it was getting dark and I had to close my eyes against the headlights of on-coming traffic.  Luckily I now understand what one of those triggers feels like and was able to keep my eyes closed until getting home and into my wheelchair and thus into the house.  That time I thought I’d made it through without having a seizure, but fifteen minutes later I had a bad one that simply wore me out!

Recently, The Husband discovered if the ceiling fan is running and the ceiling light, the strobe effect pretty much gives me an episode.  At first I thought this was hooey, but I was trying to sit in my normal spot in the kitchen, out of the way of course, in order to talk with whomever is cooking at the time – this time it happened to be The Husband – the fan and light were both on and I began feeling the precursory feelings of an episode and had to leave the kitchen.

As with most things, because these episodes are so new and I don’t know how to live with them yet, they are causing me problems and making me have to change parts of my normal day-to-day life, which no one likes to do.

There are some things that haven’t changed though:  I can still write; I can still play most of my favorite video games; I can read books and my Kindle; and I can still enjoy the sunshine.  My husband is supportive and encouraging, as is my family; and my friends are right with me, supporting all of us, especially me, through these changes.

Sometimes when change happens, you just need to check to see where your support is, even your anchors, so you can make it through the storms.

About Henrietta Handy

I have returned home to the mountains. No more am I "a mountain-girl far from home." Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at 2 1/2, I understand pain, fatigue, laughter, joy, and love all while on crutches and in wheelchairs. This blog is just about me, mostly the writing side, but there are forays into so many different topics. I am married to a wonderful husband who puts up with my writing, knitting, yarn, with the love of a saint. We have fur babies, and one cat who rules us all.
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2 Responses to Triggers

  1. Brian Bixby says:

    I was on the lower end of that spectrum with migraine headaches. Bright flickering lights, such as bright light reflecting off a lake or swimming pool, or nighttime driving and dealing with oncoming headaches? Guaranteed to produce a headache. I once spent 20 minutes of a drive home just screaming out loud in the car because of the pain. (Wasn’t in a position to stop or turn the wheel over to anyone else.)

    All that hit me not long after I became an adult, but it has mostly left me in the last decade. So, yeah, change. I thought my life was effectively over when the headaches first hit, and I couldn’t read a book for more than five minutes, or a computer screen for more than 30 seconds! Which, since I was working for a computer company, did pose a lot of difficulties.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rebecca L. Proudfoot says:

    Thank-you for sharing your self-knowledge. Many articles on strobe lights and seizures, researchers had a hard time believing until validated. Self-knowledge is powerful.

    Liked by 1 person

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