Epileptic Techno…1 Year Later

I’ve been seizure free for one year as of today.  Some people may not get how HUGE this actually is, I probably don’t either.  As much as I’d love to tell you how strong I am, what a fighter I was, or how I overcame such a big obstacle…I can’t, I don’t remember a damn thing.  But what I do remember are a couple moments in time that I sure as hell am glad I have no memory of!  Sit back and prepare to cringe.

In July of last year, I met a guy.  He was a sailor and a cute one at that.  Beautiful baby blues and the biggest dimples I have ever seen in my entire life.  I won’t go into details about how we met, I’ll look like a bimbo for sure, just know that I was completely smitten!  We decided it’d be fun to meet for drinks, I didn’t realize at the time that a brain tumor had been affecting the way my body processed alcohol.  I drank what was usually a comfortable amount for me, but before I knew it…shlammered.  I don’t remember our romantic encounters, but the formal noise complaint he received assures me we had a good time.  Skip to the day after, I was feeling a little strange, and not just hangover strange.  I was twitching.  I decided I’d better go back to the bedroom to lay down.  I tried to sleep it off, but I woke up and was hungry.  The last thing I remember was trying desperately NOT to drop my pizza on the floor a fifth time.  I kept twitching, and I knew something was coming.  The following details are as I was told by the dapper sailor.  Not only did I have a seizure, I had a gran mal and lost consciousness.  I was turning colors and spewing green splooge like Linda Blair from The Exorcist.  As if that wasn’t bad enough; apparently while in the postictal state (the period in which the brain recovers from a seizure, usually including confusion, altered consciousness, fatigue, etc.), I attempted to make out with the guy.  Can you imagine not only witnessing a traumatic seizure, but then having the victim post puke, try to kiss you?!  YUK!  You’ve got to give the guy some credit, he still tried to date me after the fact.  I don’t remember exactly what happened, but based on old messages, I was just not mentally available.

I had another seizure in front of my parents.  Again, I don’t have any recollection of this, but what I remember is being whisked off by the handsome paramedics that came to my aide.  Here is a piece of advice, ladies…shave your legs if there is any chance that you may be examined by multiple hot men in one night.  I was so embarrassed for simply seizing, but adding wookie legs to the mix just brought me to a whole new level of shame.

One more event sticks out in my head, and it’s not so amusing.  A few months following the handful of seizures I had, I was hospitalized at University of Maryland Medical Center in the epilepsy monitoring unit.  I was recovering from the trauma I had experienced in the previous months.  I was hooked up to all of the monitors, wires were cemented to my scalp and my head wrapped like a sikh guru.  I was having such vivid dreams, ones that I’d wake from and get confused, not knowing what was dream or reality.  My first boyfriend, my first kiss, my first crush was laying in a hospital bed, tubes, wires, no consciousness.  I awoke from that dream in tears.  Not knowing if it in fact happened, I sent him a message.  I received a response from his mother informing me that he had been shot.  Point blank, several times.  She explained to me that he was on life support and had no brain activity.  I flipped my shit and questioned everything.  Could being in an altered state of consciousness turn me into a clairvoyant?  Did our souls connect on a spiritual level?  I was throwing PVC’s left and right, the doctors decided I needed plasma instead of fluids to calm my heart.  I was obviously in shock.  I found out later that evening that he was four floors below me in shock trauma, and I couldn’t say goodbye.

I decided then that I was going to take control of this illness, it wouldn’t be the death of me.  I began to tell myself repeatedly, “you are healthy,” “you are happy,” “you don’t need meds or doctors.”  I started noticing a change not only in my outlook, but also in the medical reports.  After eight days, I no longer had epileptic activity on my EEG.  I demanded to be released, I chose to withdraw from all of my meds, and after about a month of shakes, hot/cold flashes, stomach rot and mood swings, I was better.  I have been seizure free ever since.  My brain activity remains normal.  People may call it a coincidence, a miracle, or an anomaly.  I prefer to think of it as my mind healing itself through positive thinking, affirmation, and lifestyle changes.  So that’s my story, no pity party, no attention seeking, no regrets.  Just a life that I am extremely blessed to live.  If I can overcome, anyone can!  The mind has an amazing amount of untapped ability.  Change the way you think and you can change your destiny.  Set goals for yourself, visualize those goals fulfilled. Declare it, believe it, act as if it’s true and walk in faith that it will come to pass.  The only unattainable goal a person can truly have, is that which the mind deems improbable.  The power to thrive, overcome, and kick ass has been inside all of us, all along.

 

 

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A Letter to My Younger Self.

They say with age comes wisdom; what they don’t say is that you’ll probably gain said wisdom by screwing up, a lot.  Life, for the most part has been good to me.  The lessons I have learned along the way have shaped me into the beautiful, understanding, belligerent, compassionate and strong woman I am today.  I do have some regrets, big ones actually.  I’ve faced life head-on in every circumstance.  I try not to over think things, but I end up being led by my emotions and doing just that.  In doing so I tend to ride in “Don Quixote” style and mess things up for myself pretty good!  Some of the biggest flubs in my life have taught me invaluable lessons, and some just hurt, but they all helped to build my character.  I am fully aware that I can’t go back in time, but theoretically speaking, if I could, I’d send myself a bit of advice.

Dear Lori,

First just let me say, I love you.  You are an amazing person, don’t let the opinions of others make you feel like a failure in life.  However, let’s discuss that mushroom haircut the “Dorothy Hamill” you started getting at age 8…stop.  Just don’t do it, for Heaven’s sake, Lori.  Also, stop trying to dress in “office” attire when mom lets you do the grocery shopping.  No one believes a 10 year old actually works in an office, and before you argue your points, let me just say, no, the Payless pumps don’t make it more legit.  You’ll do great in elementary school, but the boys will taunt you and make you feel like crud, don’t worry, most of these boys end up professing their love for you when you’re older.  But just so you aren’t caught off guard, the song goes like this: “Lori Cooper, the party pooper, the super duper doody scooper.”  You’ll cry every time they sing it, but when you’re older you’ll sing it to everyone you know because hell, it’s funny in retrospect!  You’ll spend most of your childhood days and nights at the skating rink, keep that shit up.  It definitely kept you out of trouble until you got older.  Rusty will be your first kiss, he will teach you things you shouldn’t know at that age, and you’ll always have a soft spot for him, trust me, you cried buckets when he was laid to rest in 2014.  You and your sister will despise each other growing up, you will physically assault each other, and fight over mutual crushes.  But when you are both grown, she becomes your best friend, mentor, coach, and a true inspiration.  You’ll never share a more dynamic bond with anyone.  You’ll meet your first love at 16, his name is Jerry.  Resist his baby face, blue eyes, and charm; he is a dog and will cheat on you for not sleeping with him.  I’m not even going to lie, Lori…It’ll feel like you got punched in the chest by the incredible hulk.  You will try to fight one of your childhood friends in middle school.  You end up looking like a fool when she finally stands up for herself, don’t be that girl…you impressed exactly zero people that day.  High school is not as bad as you make it sound.  Just keep your head down, do your homework and stick with band, you are extremely intelligent but fail to see it.  Oh, and taking honors physics while you’re only in pre-algebra 1 isn’t a wise choice, you’ll get a C.  Seek out tutors, do extra-credit projects, and study.  Your parents won’t be much help when it comes to school, since they’re never around, so make friends who are smart and do as they do.  It’s nothing to be ashamed of.  The cool kids for the most part have turned out to be losers, so don’t seek their approval, you definitely don’t need it now.  By 18, you’ve moved out, have 2 jobs and are running yourself into the ground.  Stay home, go to college, rush a sorority.  Trust me, not doing so has been a huge regret in life.  When a line cook at Applebees says “nice ass,” don’t respond.  You will end up a divorced, single mom.  There are other fish in the sea, plus, he’s more of an eel anyway.  When you find yourself pregnant, don’t be afraid of your parent’s reaction.  Face it like a woman, and don’t feel pressured to marry the idiot, your Dad will tell you later that they would’ve supported you if you chose to go it alone.  You really only married the guy so your parents wouldn’t be shamed, but you end up with a nightmare, so just have the baby without him.  Lastly, when you find yourself all alone, thinking that you are incapable of love or being loved, know that you are wrong.  You meet a guy when you are 31.  He will break every wall you’ve ever constructed by simply existing.  He will show you what it feels like to be cared for, respected, desired, safe, and everything else you’ve never truly experienced.  You two are at very different places in your life, so things don’t work the way you want them to, and it will hurt like hell…but I guarantee you, you will be fully capable of loving the right person when he does come along.  Never settle, never give up, never think you aren’t good enough, eat the cake, dance in the rain, and love who you are, because who you are is loved by the people that matter most.

Sincerely,

Your future self

Try – Colbie Caillet

 

 

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Like a blow to the chest…

We’ve all been there, ladies.  You meet someone, you fall hard and fast.  And out of nowhere, it’s gone.  Not only are you left confused; but your head is spinning, you don’t know whether to scream or cry (or order 15 large pizzas).   Sad music makes it hard to stay composed, yet you can’t help but listen to every one that makes you want to build a canoe, cry yourself a river and float down RelationShit Rapids without a paddle.  That feeling in your chest can only be compared to what I assume it would feel like to be shot with a Kevlar vest on.  Your heart is pounding, thoughts are racing and you wish you could reverse time.  Broken hearts don’t discriminate.  In most cases, nothing you say or do will make him come back, but that doesn’t stop you from second guessing your every move while you were with him.  That overwhelming feeling sets in, you miss him and there’s nothing that you can do but deal.

Bess Myerson wrote that “to fall in love is awfully simple, but to fall out of love is simply awful.”  So where do we go from here?  As women, how do we effectively cope with a loss so that we can move on?  Here are a few tips from yours truly, learned through surviving a disappointing profusion of fallacious love affairs.

  1. Find peace in your independence before starting something new:  We’ve all tried to fill the void with new guys; hey, for the time being they can help us to feel better about ourselves.  But just think, is it really fair to play with someone’s emotions just to feel better about yourself?  Absolutely not!  Chances are, you’ll both end up hurting in the end.
  2. Get out of the house:  It’s so easy for us to nurse a heartache in bed; lights out, under your covers and watching season after season of random shows on Netflix.  But the more time you spend in isolation, the more time you tend to devote to that gaping hole in your chest.  Chances are, you look, feel, and probably smell like shit.  So go do something!  Take a cleansing walk/run, go see a funny movie, buy a new pair of shoes, go have coffee in a bistro.  Do your make-up, fix your hair, and get your butt out of that house while you’re looking hot!
  3. Say  “I love myself”:  Positive affirmation is extremely effective at fighting the blues.  Make a list if you need to, leave post-its all over your house.  Write it in lipstick on your bathroom mirror.  Tell yourself repeatedly, “I have too much to offer this world, to waste my time and energy on self pity and sadness.”
  4. Help someone other than yourself:  It is almost a knee-jerk reaction to call your friends and sob, whine, and complain about your failed love affair.  Fight that urge.  That’s not to say you shouldn’t talk about your issues, but say what you need to say and move on.  No-one likes a Debby Downer. Instead, try being a shoulder for someone else in need.  Do something for your community, pay it forward at your local drive-thru, tell another woman she’s beautiful.  Doing things for others; nine times out of ten, will make you feel better about yourself and give you a positive outlook on life.
  5. Work through it, not around it:  Allow yourself time to grieve while still doing things that can improve your own happiness.  If you don’t take the time to mourn the loss now, it’s liable to bite you in the tush later on down the road.  A good cry at times can be just what the doctor ordered, your tears release tension.  Just don’t pitch a tent at camp woe, is me.
  6. GET OFF OF FACEBOOK:  Don’t look him up, don’t look up his new love interest (if he has one), don’t look through old pictures of the times you shared together.  Don’t post attention seeking statuses, have standards and show restraint.  You’ll thank yourself later for this.
  7. Ask for help if you need it:  This is the last, and in my opinion the most important tip.  Anxiety and depression are as real as the ground that we walk on.  Mental disarray can be debilitating.  If you find that you are in over your head, speak up.  Go talk to a professional and get medication if you need it.

Now the hard part, putting these ideas into action.  It’s always easier said than done, but as sure as the sun will rise again, your heart will mend.  Chin up, princess…you have a life to live.  🙂

“It’s not you, it’s me…”

Like most single, thirty-something women, I am hungry for love. Since I left my ex-husband three years ago, I’ve seen a wide variety of men. Trying to broaden my horizon and experience new things, I have made some pretty sweet memories and had my share of detrimental lessons learned. What I have yet to find is an unwavering, unhesitating love, not held back by fear or uncertainty. I have met a few guys that seemed to have the fortitude to pursue something lasting with a single mother, but it was all smoke and mirrors, followed by excuse after excuse; many including the infamous “It’s not you, it’s me.” In my experience this means: it’s totally you, in fact, had it not been you or your situation, we’d probably live happily ever after!

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve left my fair share of broken hearts along this journey as well. I can’t seem to get past the stage of infatuation successfully. The stress of not knowing is probably the biggest roadblock for me. Having my trust broken repeatedly has left me lacking total trust in anyone. I tend to shut people out, fearing my own dubious suspicions and I jump to the worst conclusion in record time. This has made it hard to actually find something that works in both directions.

The most common issue I face is men not being able to wrap their heads around the sheer number of children I have. They say “maybe if you just had one or two,” or “I can’t see myself as an instant father of four.” To this I say, I never even said you’d have that opportunity. In the few years that I have been single, exactly zero men have met my kids. This was actually the demise of a very promising relationship. He was ready, I was not. That’s not to say I never would have been okay with it. I suppose when the right man comes along, I will be. Until then, an outsider would just seem completely incongruous to their normal, everyday life.

Why the long face, you ask? Simply the fact that I feel at times my children are holding me back from love. Now before you pick up your pitchforks and scream “selfish mom,” hear me out. My entire married life consisted of, cooking, cleaning, and kids. That was my career and I did it extremely well. I was somewhat of a Stepford wife, wired to cater to the needs of my household while remaining in pristine condition at all times. I put my entire life on the back burner to secure the best environment for my then husband and children. Now, I am picking up where I left off; no career, scholastic achievements, or savings…just life experiences. My ex-husband has the career and believes that it comes before any personal need that I may have. Having to bend completely around his schedule has caused many canceled plans and has left men questioning my desire to spend time with them. This will obviously get easier once the child barrier is broken and we can spend time together around the kids, but until then, my schedule is pretty tight. The most interesting thing in most situations seems to be, men are much more needy than they claim to be, or will even admit to themselves. Yet they claim to need an abundance of space…very confusing indeed.

Dating in the modern world is just disappointing, on so many levels. Facebook seems to ruin everything, and the new man logic is “I like her, I should send her a picture of my penis!”  With actual telephone calls being obsolete, we have the ability to misinterpret nearly every message sent. Sarcasm is mistaken for kindness, and kindness mistaken for sexual interest. Being in constant contact with a new romantic interest, exchanging messages all day, every day can give someone a false sense of comfort. Making one to feel as if they’ve known the other person for much longer than they actual have. Courtship seems to be a thing of the past, and exchanging sexual or romantic texts or messages with other people can too easily tear apart a couple.

The biggest challenge that we all seem to face, is not penalizing a new relationship for the offenses of past relationships. Someday, we will find our “person,” the one who puts all of our past lovers to shame.  So keep your chin up, and give it time.  In the end…our time was the only thing we truly ever owned.

I’m not quite sure where I’m going with this, so here’s a funny video about the “joys” of texting!