Saturday, May 1, 2010

my seizure affair


Last week a tweet pal asked a general question; what causes seizures? I happen to be come-we-staying with the bugger so I found it fit to give my two cents. I therefore write this article because I happen to have been bedridden the whole of this week thanks to my ‘lover’-seizures, he comes without notice, like along-distance track driver, he stops by because am on his way.Guess that's why I titled this an affair because it is one of those on and off things.Hope you find it informative and get my humor humorous.

I also write for those like my tweet pal get really worried when a beloved gets into seizure mode and they are not sure what is happening and worse,what to do.I also write to all my friends who are so sincerely concerned but are not sure the extent.
I write as one with experience with seizures but not as a professional. FYI,like it matters, me and my seizure will be celebrating 8years in June, y’all invited for the anniversary. As far as I am concerned, it has no cure,so what do you do LIVE LIFE.This is why; Me and the fam have gone to most, if not all hospitals in the country, come to think of it, I can do Hospital Reviews like that Gastro guy on the Saturday Magazine.,know any magazines hiring? My advice is to know your body, the signs and symptoms. In the beginning it will hard and panic will be part of your daily life.You need someone to take you to town and you might be afraid to take up new tasks just in case,but think about it,just in case it doesn't come?that's an opportunity missed.With time, it’s a part of you that you just have to live with. PS:Ladies and gents I think it might be a good idea to hint it during your first date because you might just fall on your date, do some acrobatics that will traumatize a human being out of his skin.

Trauma
I consider myself supernormal, yes supernormal, abnormal is listed under human rights abuse in my dictionary  and normal,well everyone is normal. Despite my super normality I have my low moments,i am human too, and this week was very low having being bedridden from Sunday to Friday. And being the CEO, messenger, cleaner, tea-girl, performancer, choreographer, secretary, administrator, accountant, you get the drift huh? of my solo career,that was trouble.Being on twitter and FB,I had to let me tweeps know am incapacitated but not that badly off to update(this social networks are cults-psyke) and thats when it ht me how much’ i had a greekish ailment  and it is worse off when a medical attendant has no clue(God bless the attendant I traumatized and Austin Powered in hospital, pray she doesn’t switch careers) .

I know it is very traumatizing to see someone roll on the floor uncontrollably,looking so fragile and helpless and there is nothing you can do about it except watch and if its severe,wait for medical personnel to give them a tranquilizer. I remember my mum used to cry the first days because there is nothing she could do, then came the rumors that I am possessed by some spirit or someone looked at me when i was small(African beliefs). Then everyone  knew a preacher or a diviner who knew God personally and one touch or one drop of anointing oil would heal me for life, then came the roots people think they left their drums at the door, yes, I have seen it all, medically I have gone under the EEG,CT Scan, MRI or whatever other medical initials to get that black spot in my head but nothing.

The New Supernormal
Do I sit down and cry,write hurt pieces of how I want to die,wish I wasn’t born and slit my wrist?hell no,I am supernormal,yep,Sheldon Cooper Supernormal maybe alittle beyond because I am real  and he is a character. As a poet and a mentor of sort(note the word of sort),I need to keep abreast with matters,so in that vain I have a poet of the month whose work I study beside some bio or inspiration book.I am doing Sara Teasdale and Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela.For the poets,I get to read their bio,study their style,get a best piece,a more of 'from them to me with love'.Sara Teasdale is an interesting lady,google her,I aint about spilling but i just had to say she had a guy Vachel Lindsay who wrote her poems daily only for her to marry someone else then commit suicide when Vachel did,love is twisted.

Mt 7:1 Judge not and you shall not be judged. Its beeen a long time since I had a major attack that I forgot I get them.So when I read about this lady I thought abnormality reached high levels long before Arunga,Quincy and Hellon saw the finger of God.I have ranked many crazy because they are not in my jurisdiction of‘normal ’but what is normal? What gives me the right to say Placenta peeps,Vachel Lindsay and Sara Teasdale are abnormal and the rest of you are normal? Is it because they don’t do it our way?Ok this was meant to be me and my seizure so I will leave philosophy to philosophers. In her book,Myth of Sanity,Martha Stout describes sanity as relative,its an interesting read if you get past the jargon. What works for me,doesn’t necessarily have to work for you and in philosophy class I learnt happiness is also relative as long as it doesn’t interfere with other people’s spheres you are allowed to enjoy your happiness and sanity in your own space so Placenta party,party on,and those of us with super-normal illnesses scientists are looking for us to make the next big whatever for that giant book.

Back to Sara Teasdale,she had a crazy childhood,rare diseases et al,Van Gogh apparently had s,omethingso do all of us. I know a great painter who needs migraines to do master pieces.I know in some worlds mine included ,a seizure,bipolar and all other fancy cases are everyday life but in others its something to raise red flags over .

Am like a bird
Before I went into full-time poetry,writing,volunteer teaching at children’s homes,giving talks on rape,mentor ing poets at their teething stages, and all the other little things I do,I was really chasing after my Actuarial dream,5 years down the line I am still chasing my dream since Maths is my first love.I am not giving up until the do the nail on the casket thing and in my race to achieve the Actuarial dream,I have done some work to ‘gain experience’ and hopefully get a scholarship but I have traumatized one too many clients and workmates to get laid off ‘politely’.

Its bad that people don’t sit to understand our supernaturalness,just because we aint like the rest of the uptight working to make Uncle Sam rich,don t mean we sit around with plates waiting for you drop a coin of pity.I have a CV from here to Timbuktu,places I have worked and I have worked in the high society white collar places,until the ugly seizure head popped  and relationships banished.

What to do
Go to hospital,when my tweet pal's sister had her convulsion,i asked him to suggest testing.t might be one of many things beside a seizure,they found typhoid,you might find soething manageable or you can get its till death do us part seizures.You have seen ER,House,Grey’s Anatony et al and how they treat people in seizure mode.Well some of the things they do are kinda right but that’s drama and this is real life. Researchers looked at 59 seizures happening over 327 medical drama episodes and according to a press release summing up the study, in almost 46% of the dramatized seizures actors portraying doctors or nurses performed "inappropriate practices, including holding the person down, trying to stop involuntary movements or putting something in the person's mouth."

A seizure according to Sitawa Dictionary, its more or less like an epileptic attack without the foam but with lots of convulsing whose intensity may vary from time to time.Sometimes I feel when an attack is coming,these are usually the major ones but for mild ones,my head starts twitching so I look like am bumping to Ayo of my earphones,I got to have a pair of earphones with me even though I got no musc to listen to-survival tatics.

Here are some other tips that work for me,feel free to add;
  • When I know I am about to fall,I will tell you I about to fall,move all things around me that can cause harm and prevent my movement coz I can win acrobatic award of the year coz the convulsions get very acrobatic.Just make sure I don’t hit my head, I still have my unborn kids to take care of and my hubby is coming down soonest so don’t ruin that and I might invite you to the wedding.I am using energy to convulse and rotate so when my oil burns out,i will stop.Believe me there is nothing you can do to stop it.

  • Don’t put stuff in my mouth.,i willl pause the scene,shove it back in your mouth then continue convulsing.

  • Unless I am over violent,like I was to the pretty attendant who was just doing her job,you should have called for an ambulance or squeezed me into a taxi…don’t bed wrap me or hold me down by force-its not wrestlemania,am having a seizure attack.This thing is internal,so don’t suppress it,let it free,let it out of me. There is a theory that coz I was sorta an introvert so the mixed emotions are letting themselves out,bla bla bla.Others point to the rape but news flash,I got my first attack before the rape.whatever the theory that gives you sleep at night,I have seizures and have had them for 8years.But don't rule out psychological checks.

  • If the convulsions are like 5minutes apart,that’s serious,stop being traffic cop and furniture mover and call an ambulance,things are CODE RED and I need a tranquilizers ASAP and please there is nothing you can do so no spoons,ok you can pray,no funny oils,or spitting.

  • If I fall in a public place(I have fallen n the ladies washroom at Nakumatt Junction-special thanks to the Pharmacy guys and the Managemnt office,its true you need it,you get it) don’t let people surround and have those pity faces,they reflect how pathetic I look and  panic escalates my convulsions.

What causes them
Theories…yep theories,everyone has a theory. Tumor,trauma,torture...When I got my first,I was in high school,top of my class,dorm captain,footballer,basketballer your kinda A student.My dorm had just won inter-house so I was estatic then bang!!! I don’t know what causes it  and eeh call it ignorance but I care less what causes it. What I know is that I have had it for the 8 years,5 of which I have been living alone.It doesn’t dictate me and my activities.i have rape and dropping out of uni in the same basket,if you’ve worked with me you know how I do.When opportunities come my way I give my all.As much I have been signed up for performances(sorry Koa) and meetings and have to cancel last minute because of an impromptu attack, I don’t stop. God gave me a think tank to die for,I have three hot projects lined up and I have faith I will see them through.

I have been advised to pack and go back to the folks but whats the most they can do beside move furniture and wait for me to come back to? Yes I have lost many more deals and made greater enemies certified as an inconsistent person,if there was something I could do about that I could,but I am doing what I can do about what I can do,write more poetry,perform when I can,post a blog,tweet to death and smile for the camera when I feel divalicious.

Parting Shot
So to y’all who have a rare disease,something out of your control,lack of funds for projects,turned away by producers and family; don’t let it peg you down,LIVE LIFE.You only got one life,don’t rehearse it,live it. I have learnt opportunity lost is opportunity gained,I have lost friends,jobs,my family has spent enough money on meds and hospitalization,i have tramautized many bosses and work collegues  and their clientele but I didn’t miss the lesson that getting to the top of your mountain,you need to be cut with some stupid rocks,or when you are three quarter up,you realize you got the wrong shoes on and need to brain freeze while others pass you by,but never forget you are on a mountain climbing expedition and top you must reach.

As i said in the beginning i am not a profession so research has proven none of the above, i learnt it from experience,8years and i would not want anyone to go through all this when they can be discovering better mountain clibng shoes.

All in all I love me,I am not well-off though I was quoted somewhere as an accomplished poet(I’m humbled) one year ago I couldn’t stand before a crowd now I host my own poetry gig,I give advice on how to host and organize events.I am healing internally ,slowly but surely and hear this I am inspiring and mentoring(I love you my children). I realize I am better of working for me plus me  and My Maker are a power team and we have a blast,when I am good team mate.

To y’all who have no idea what this post was all about,its about something real,so mething that causes low self esteem,something that makes people afraid to try,something that helps Kenya remain third world .To employers,if you meet someone with epilepsy,cancer,AIDS or any other terminal illness don’t be quck to fire them or put that police yellow line. If they understand their illness,learn from them and make everyday glorious,if they don’t encourage them to do so.We super-normals have so much to offer,deep down we do worry when the big one will come so we give our best for it may be our last.If you’ve read this,help someone understand that they are more of an asset than a liability and you for reading it are one of my biggest assets,MWAAH!!!

PS:PASS THIS ON

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16 comments:

  1. that's my supergirl..!!!:)Live Life, that's what my elder brother has been doing. 37 years and going strong. been there, done that!!

    it's like a myth, and all manner of superstitions revolve around fits. unless you have someone close by, guys don't (sincerely) don't know how to relate during an attack. kids would scream and run away when my bro was on seizure mode.

    haha, you have time to warn 'tis cumming!!' my bro doesn't, you see, he's too slow, and stammers a bit. and i think he imagines kiddish stuff, having had since shortly after his inception, (was an accident, during his birth, resulting in brain injury) God give yous super-strengths to accept what you can't change.

    you know supergirl, there's a bob song 'every (wo)man thinketh her/his burden is the heaviest, but who feels it knows it Lord'!!

    this rants is simply so brave of you. God knows how your dreams, hopes, impediments, etc have been 'taken away' from you..my father muses, 'my son would have a very great person', but i assure him that he's living his life, and there was no other life, perhaps up yonder river Jordan,..and for you, ...it brings tears to my eyes, this mountain you have to climb, tough as it is, and whether you reach the top or not, you've added weight/height to it!!! me too, every one too, in fact every soul, has a story..

    i hope i made some sense.:)

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  2. Thanks for this. Was a very ingnorant, I'd have done some Grey's Anatomy stuff (restraining, etc) if I ever was with someone and it happened

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  3. I'm so much more educated now!
    Girl you're so strong! I like it that you think positively and challenge the world despite your seizures. I'm passing this post on to maaaaany people! :)
    stay strong!

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  4. Two things that made this post just as interesting as it is informative;
    1. 'Supernormal' - Just by the way, you arent supernormal, you are just super.
    2. 'You need it, we've got it' - I think Im done with Uchumi and my silly shop that doesnt stock...well...anything!

    Stay strong..

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  5. thank you for reading hope you pass the post and the spirit to as many people as possible,mwaah

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  6. I never knew how to react to someone having a seizure (despite witnessing a few) before i read this post....
    Quite an informative post Sitawa!
    :D
    Cheers, r3drox!

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  7. @R3drox glad the article was of help, share with others and read through, my name is Sitawa and I am mentally ill series. blessedness

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  8. Hey, just followed you on twitter and came across this link.....my first upclose seizure encounter was last year when a friend left me her 8 year old son and he went into seizure,The mom was quite far away and three minutes into the seizure, I panicked and called 911, glad I did though coz they arrived ten minutes later and he was still in seizure.

    From then, I got interested in researching about seizures and what you would do as the immediate person around if it happened,I have learnt alot and even got the courage to take a night job, whereby am the only staff on duty with two epileptic teenagers. One usually gets frequent seizures even in her sleep. Best thing about the USA, they are quite open and 'normal' in the approach to such conditions, partly have to thank my boss through whom I have gained alot of information on the same.

    My point is , I wish in Kenya we had the same kind of exposure, that way even if am a stranger on the streets and not a medic, I can be able to detect when you are about to fall and know how to handle it.

    In conclusion, wish you long -life.....coz you are strong and deserve it.

    prettykananu.

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  9. thank you dearie, we are working on reaching there, having a policy and we have a young advocates campaign and looking to undo the ignorance...read the latest link, let me see if i can get you on twitter and link you directly.

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  10. you are an angel without doubt dear,keep up the good fight you are an absolute inspiration.

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  11. I'll be lying if i talk of empathy, because i've never been there, but psychology states, a problem shared is a problem half solved.

    There is a line that says a friend is the type that visits when you in jail but a good friend is the one that is there with you reminding you how bad you messed up to be there.
    We are not in jail but the universe is; situations are here only to make u stronger. Remember what doesn't break you makes you; i know you strong. Let this condition be(as it has always been) your apex and not the reverse.

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  12. Wow, very informative and entertaing read. I admire your zeal for life and your undying spirit.
    you go girl..

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  13. y'all making me cry now, thank you thank you

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  14. Hi Sitawa-- you are a great lady.. supa lady if i may say.. i love you and always feel humbled on your sight.. hearing your sweet and encouraging voice... you have what it takes to move sky high.. you are right dear, life has no rehearsal.. just live it as if there is no tomorrow.. i love this. Your efforts as a mental health ambassador will never be in vain.. you have already encouraged thousands.. who otherwise had totally lost hope.. Keep it girl and my support forever is guaranteed. Ann Kihagi

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  15. Sitawa, as always you inspire, and the fact that you have no self-pity is such a lovely thing. I pray that you stay at it, and get to fulfill everything you ever dreamt abt. Mad Love my sweet sweet Sitawa

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