So, on Hallowen of 2011 I was driving home, hungover, from class after a long weekend of partying. It was evening, but still light out. I was on the phone with a good friend and I just wanted to relax when I got home. I started having a strange feeling, almost out of body type of experience. I felt like I was outside of myself, on my left shoulder, watching. Everything looked far away. I tried to tell my friend, but I had no words. I couldn't speak. It was really strange. I thought I was just tired and kept going.
The next thing I knew, I was outside of my car and very disoriented. There was a guy, Magnum P.I. To be exact, and he was telling me to stay calm and asking if I was ok. He said a lot of other stuff, but I was so confused that I didn't really pay attention. Mostly I was trying to reconcile why Magnum P.I. Was talking to me and why his hair was blonde, but his mustache dark brown. Slowly it started to sink in. I had a seizure, while driving, I hit a building. Magnum P.I. Was a paramedic, it was Halloween and he was in costume. I got into the ambulance and called my husband. I told him what had happened and to meet me at the hospital.
The rest of that evening was E.R. and nurses in costume. A fairy came and took my vitals, hooked me up to things and asked me questions. Jon came, and was worried, but happy I was alright. A neurologist came, and after 30 seconds perscribed me keppra (a powerful anti-seizure med). Then we left. I went home and was confused, I had never had a seizure before, what did it mean? I took the meds, but after two days, I knew there was something wrong. I felt like I did in the car, like everything was fake. I don't know what suicidal thoughts are normally, but I started thinking that if I were dead, everything would be better. I wasn't sad or upset about it. It was matter of fact. I knew this was wrong, so I called Jon and family for help. I stopped taking the medication and stayed with family for a couple of days. I saw my doctor, and everything seemed to be fine. I went back to my life.
Six months passed and it was June. I was at home, on the phone. It was afternoon. I felt that weird feeling again. I know now that is an aura and it is a warning sign. I had trouble speaking, but got out the words "please come" and sat down. The next thing I know, I am walking out into my living room, I had changed my skirt, and my friends were there. I did not go to the ER, but I went to my doctor and decided that I was drinking a bit too much, and that could be the trigger.
I quit drinking, and six months later got pregnant and had my beautiful baby girl. Everything was great for over two years. I had started drinking again, but not nearly as much as before. On December 27th at 1am I woke Jon up having a seizure. After going to the doctor again, I decided that any drinking was too much. After a month and a half of no drinking however, I had another one in my sleep on Feb 15th. I had been sleep deprived and stressed. I have seen two neurologists and have a new GP (who is the best of the lot). I have had a random high white blood cell count for a couple of years, and he has experience with infection and seizures. After the Feb seizure I started taking Gabapentin, which seemed to be working. Occasionally I would feel an aura in the past and this stopped those. I was given another medication, Lamictal, to start. I wanted to wean my daughter before I started taking it, so I hadn't started yet, and the new doctor and I agreed that if I didn't need to, then I shouldn't. So, I went back to my life, as much as I could. I started taking all kinds of vitamins and trying to relax and get more sleep (yeah, right. With a 20 month old). But I did as much as I could.
One of the unfortunate things is that you can't drive, you have to be seizure free for six months. I understand this rule, but it still sucks. I have been staying with my parents because Jon is out of town, and they drive me and watch the baby. I've gotten used to it, and I knew it wouldn't be forever. I am an elementary teacher, and school is almost over. I went to work yesterday April 30th like any other day. I was almost halfway to six months and summer wouldn't be that bad. I decided to quit teaching with public school and focus on my art and raising my baby. I had just told my principal and was feeling good with my decision. I walked into a classroom to talk to a teacher and started getting an aura. I didn't want to believe it. I couldn't talk. I should have sat down. I walked out of the room and fell, like a ton of bricks, smashing my head and shoulder on the concrete floor. I woke up to everyone surrounding me, telling me I had a seizure and the paramedics were coming. SHIT.
My mom came with the baby and followed us to the ER. Jon left production in Santa Fe on an Adam Sandler movie and met me at the ER. I got a CT scan to make sure my brain wasn't bleeding. We went home. I started taking the Lamictal and will have to wean my daughter at the same time. I have done research, and it looks like it's a low enough dose that she will be fine. I am going to get another EEG and see another neurologist. I can't drive until Halloween.
I feel scared and defeated. I don't know what's wrong with me. The last for months have been hard, like really hard. My daughter has had Roseola, a horrible stomach bug, a cold, and another stomach bug (which I think is what triggered the seizure yesterday). I have been stressed, sleep deprived had a stomach bug, can't drive, staying with my parents and bumming rides like a teenager. My husband has been out of town for three months and I don't like my job. So much has changed and is changing in my life, and I just don't know how to deal with it all. I have an awesome family and great friends, a loving and supportive husband and a brilliant adorable child. I still feel good about my recent career shift. I just have this gnawing feeling, this uncertainty. A feeling of complete loss of control. I don't know why I keep having seizures, no one does. I just have to try this and wait.
So, into the fall we go. I went back to work in August, my daughter turned 1 on the first day of school. It has been an interesting adjustment to say the least. I do love teaching. Interacting and learning with the kids is amazing. I am feeling a little disconnected though. I am only part time, and it doesn't give me time to prep, or be as involved with my school community. All of my time is spent in the moment, there is no time to reflect or prepare for anything really. When I get home, I have to be in the moment with my baby too. No time to get anything done outside of daily prep. Ugh. Change is the only constant. As we move into fall, the days shorten and there is more of a sense of urgency for some reason. Time is relative, and it seems to be speeding up.
So, I watched "My Week With Marilyn" with Michelle Williams. It is centered around the filming of "The Prince and the Showgirl" in England, and the connection she had with a young Brit (Eddie Redmayne) working on the film. Redmayne gives a sweet performance through the inevitable heartbreak as Icarus flying too close to the sun. The interesting thing about Marilyn is that she herself was a caricature. Her actual persona was larger than life, and anyone playing her has to walk the line of honest portrayal and over-the-top drag impersonation. Michelle Williams did a lovely job, though she focused on the fragile, self-conscious, psychoses riddled side of her. Marilyn Monroe is one of those enigmatic creatures that has an effect on everyone, you want to know her, help her, be her friend, sleep with her, protect her. The film was well done, and it's unfortunate that Kenneth Branagh's Olivier was overshadowed, he always is excellent. More so than anything it made me curious about Marilyn. I wanted to know how screwed up she was, was she screwed up, what she thought about her fame, what she was feeling. I guess that is the sign of a good biopic. It is strange to me that, even fifty years after her death, we are still so enamored with her. She is both the epitome of sex and so innocent at the same time. I wonder if she didn't know exactly what she was doing. This film shows a self-conscious and doubting side of her that is often left out, and leaves me with a more human picture of an icon.
It is officially summer, though if you live in the desert, summer started in April. Time management has never been my strong suit. I tend to live in the moment and get caught up in whatever I am doing. I have made good use of my alarm on my phone and always have at least five reminders a day. I have found though, that being a stay at home mom trashes any notion of a routine I might have. My life is ruled by a tiny person. Don't get me wrong, I love my daughter, I love not having a rigorous schedule, I love being able to spend twenty minutes playing peekaboo. The issue I face is that the rest of the world is still on a schedule. So how do I reconcile taking care of my baby and staying on a schedule? Many people have said to me, that's just how it goes, or you just make it work. Have we really become so callous to moms? Raising a child is hard work! I am not wallowing or saying boo hoo, however, the attitude is horrible. Moms don't get enough credit, dammit! We are just supposed to suck it up, and deal. I keep reading blogs and posts about this sort of thing, and it seems to be a polarizing topic. Either people are too sensitive or they are accused of being mean. Why can't we, as parents, come together as a team? Support one and other, rejoice in accomplishments and commiserate when frustrated? Just food for thought.
Today we welcomed our little light into our lives. Sophia Clare. She is beautiful and truly a creature from another realm. The last nine or so months have been an eye opening experience, with many more to come. Pregnancy is no joke, but the end result is more magical than anything I have ever known. I am retreating into the cocoon of motherhood, emergence unknown. peace and love
“When I see you, the World stops. It stops and all that exists for me is you and my eyes staring at you. There's nothing else. No noise, no other people, no thoughts or worries, no yesterday, no tomorrow. The World just stops, and it is a beautiful place, and there is only you.”
those who liquify the thoughts that trip off our minds,
you you who slip past us, unsusspectingly, thoughtless,
we fall so so so carefully, slowly, softly,
i hit the pavement with the force of all that has come before me
the wight of the world is on my shoulders
and yet all i want to do is throw a party
who am i to be the bearer of it all?
i am no one,
as are you
do not carry the weight
it is as light as feather
and as heavy as the sun
we all grow like the endless weeds on the fence line
those who say we will fail
those who do not understand
those who dictate what we do
they are the problem
i do not obey you
you are not my deity
i do not have to answer to you
i only have to answer to myself
and the answer is
I must remember
remember the way you feel
remember the way you touch me
the way you look at me and the way you smell,
because someday it will be gone
it will be different
it will be gone
this will be gone
lying in bed,
in your embrace
these past months have reminded me of what it is like
to be loved
i wish it would never end
i would spend an eternity entwined with you,
listening to the rain stream off the porch
i must remember this,
this too shall pass
i was just having a conversation about belief. he said, i don't believe in anything. I said that i didn't believe that he could not believe in anything... everyone believes in some thing... After a minute or so, he said that maybe he did believe in somethings, so, the question came about: what do you believe in? it is apt for the occasion, so... i believe in me. i believe in love. i believe in truth. i believe in life. i believe in the good of people. i believe you can fix it. i believe in rainbows. i believe in the healing power of laughter. i believe, this too shall pass. i believe it will all be ok. i believe there is something more. i believe in you. i believe that everything matters, however, you can never harm beyond repair. this is what i believe, how about you?
it is amazing how important silence is. there are many kinds of silence: awkward, pregnant, romantic, anticipatory, suspenseful, when you are alone, in a crowded room. my favorite is with one other person. not awkward, but satisfying. post coital. or the moment right before you wake up, alone or with someone. when you are both waking up and alternately looking at each other to try and catch them when they wake. we tend so often to think that we have to fill every moment with sound. when having a conversation, most people are just waiting for their turn to talk. we rarely listen to each other anymore.
i recently spent a morning in bed, just listening to the silence. falling in an out of sleep, and feeling my surroundings. the morning light casting a beam across the floor. its amazing how much more heightened your senses become if you aren't trying to fill the space with sound. i could feel the warmth of the body next to me, see him breathing. taking speech out of the equation opens up all of the other sounds we forget too. i could hear the dog in the living room, sniffing. its a lot like meditation or yoga. you become aware of your body. aware of the space you take up, and the sensations that you feel. i could feel my breath and hear his heart beat. the silence of that morning has made me think about taking time to relish in quietness.
the past months have brought a change in the world. our hemisphere is getting ready for sleep, and there seems to be more silence in the winter months. snow is an insulator, and for some reason, the cold sucks the sound as well as the breath out of you. quietly sitting, i listen to the sound of my pencil on the paper, and the brush on the canvas. a wet brush has a much different sound than a dry one. the scratch of the stylus on a board. these are the sounds of my trade. i get lost sounds. so many tiny noises that bring me joy. the sound of knuckles cracking, rain, a zipper, a deep breath or sigh.
sighs are like silence, they can mean so many things. taking a feeling and interpreting it into a visual representation is an amazing thing. how do you show the silence of post-coital bliss? or the sigh just before you say goodbye? sometimes my mind goes faster than my mouth, or my hands. i work hard to capture a moment in my work, but in the end everything is transient and impermanent. feelings are fleeting and change is the only constant. the beauty in art is being able to hold on to that moment and share it with others, to bring them into me for that instant, then let them go. if you could relive a smell, or sound, wouldn't you?
This Blog serves as a place for my ramblings and commentary. I write about my process and sometimes verbally vomit. Enjoy