Saturday, I was at the ER for the fourth time in my life. It had been six years since the last time, in Seattle. I was really hoping to avoid it … well, for longer. For much longer.
Saturday afternoon, I was walking to get cake at the cafe in the Bangkok Hospital (in Phuket). Don’t question this, the BH Cafe has some super good cake. Anyway, I was walking down the street, turned the corner, felt weird.
And after that, I’ve got very little.
I do not know, actually, how much time I spent out, but I do know that a woman from across the street saw me go down and ran for me. She was very kind to me. She stayed with me, made sure I didn’t go along with anyone (which is something I might have done, since I’m so dazed after). She checked my bag and found a receipt from the Vachira hospital, the government hospital. This is extremely good luck because I was closer to Bangkok Hospital, and they might have just jumped me up the street to that private hospital if she didn’t check. I would have paid 10X what I paid at the government hospital, Vachira, and not gotten the money back in refund (which I do from my government funded office).
She road with me in the ambulance, and stayed with me until some of my friends could make it to the hospital and take her place. One of my friends got her number, and I plan on getting together with her to thank her for what she did. I could be mis-remembering, but I believe this is the first time I had a seizure cold, out in the middle of somewhere strange, with no one I know anywhere near me.
It was scary. I remember not being able to remember my name. The EMS guys asked, and I couldn’t come up with it. When a coworker drove by and stopped right before they popped me in the ambulance, I couldn’t remember his name. (He did call my friend for me, which was nice of him.)
The ER was nice enough as ER’s go, but there was a kid with cancer at my feet and an old man on my left who was so sick he threw up while on his back. I know seizures are dangerous and they can cause a lot of damage, but wow I felt like I was just taking up a bed, you know?
They did a CT scan, ran my blood, and sent me to stay with my friend (they wouldn’t let me spend the night alone). They wanted to keep me overnight, but that was absurd. In my 14 1/2 (official) years as an epileptic with 3 ER visits under my belt, I’ve never once been required to do an overnight stay.
I spent all of Sunday resting, and most of Monday at the hospital, changing my meds. Of the primary JME meds, Lamictal is the only one that doesn’t leave me with some nasty side effects (suicidal thoughts, weight gain, more seizures, you know, the good bits), so I can’t cut that. Instead, my area looks to have finally started carrying zonicimide, or Zonegran, in the last few months, and I took that when I was in the US. So we’ve added a small amount to my daily, and I’ll start taking it tomorrow.
This experience has left me feeling both good and bad. Good, because it was one of those situations where you see people coming together to do good things, as in taking care of me. But also bad in that it finally got to a point I’ve been half suspecting for about a year now, and got that way in a public, extremely dangerous place.
This is entirely my fault. I didn’t feel completely okay when I left. Just a little slow. A little distant. But I told myself to suck it up. Sleep, meds, food. I was fine. Don’t be scared. What’s that saying? Oh. Yeah.
“Don’t let epilepsy rule you.”
Ha! That’s the last time I feel bad about giving into caution.