The brain is a fun place….

You might ask why I title my blog post this but the brain is so cool in all that it can do and my reflection goes through my journey in epilepsy.  I’m not entirely sure where to begin my blog but I wanted to thank my family, friends, roommates, and coworkers who have come along this journey with me. I’ve tried a myriad of medication over the past decade all of them have helped with the seizure symptoms somewhat but not completely and they caused an additional problem. Problems ranging from sentence construction, loss of focus, headaches, crazy vivid dreams, enhanced auditory senses, nausea and loss of interest in food. I had a hard time at work and started having more seizures at work. It made my chefs and co-workers nervous around me like I was a bomb just waiting to detonate and there wasn’t anything I could do about it.

I couldn’t continue to live in fear. So in November I participated in a sleep study where my neurologist collected data on my seizures and proposed I get a new implant surgery. VNS or Vagus Nerve Stimulation implant was something I had read about in studies and had recently met a girl who was a couple years younger than me that had had the surgery and it had done wonders for her. After thinking it over I decided to go for it because in my mind there wasn’t another option. I was able to get time off work, insurance helped pay for the surgery and I found out that I was the first person in asheville to have the newest model installed and monitored in asheville.

I’m two weeks post surgery and they decided that today would be a good day to turn on the device. I was a little nervous walking into the doctors office this morning, almost an hour early for my appointment, not entirely sure what I should expect. I was led through the labyrinth, that is the doctors office, by the nurse while she rattled off the generic questions to which my answers rarely change to their biggest exam room. The nurse briefly left me in the room before my neurologist came in followed by her entourage of three other VNS reps.

Over the next few months they are going to be working on increasing my “dose” with the goal of reaching “1” for the device right now I am at .25 for 30 second intervals every 5 minutes It also reads my heart rate and if it spikes rapidly like 60-84 in 5 seconds it will send a .37 current because often times increase in heart rate is an indicator that a seizure will proceed so this feature attempts to neutralize that. Another feature is the magnets which I will keep on my person in the event where I feel like a seizure might happen or if someone sees me having a seizure they can take the really strong magnet and swipe it across my heart (where the device is implanted) and it delivers a dose twice as strong as the normal for 1 minute.

Eight hours later my comments would be sometimes it takes my breath away. I feel like had a workout today when I didn’t do a whole lot. Sometimes it makes me cough of suddenly intake air. Sometimes it feels like mild suffocation with the pressure and feels like someone took one of those cheap dry erase markers with the erasers on the cap and after it had been used for awhile rubs it up and down in the same spot on my vocal chord. Not super pleasant but I’m hoping that over time I will grow used to it and that I can be another success story. I want to look back on this year and see change. Thanks for all of your continued prayers and support!

~Brehana~

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Published in: on April 1, 2017 at 1:22 am  Leave a Comment  
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