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Trapped and depressed…

I’m now in the sixth week or so of being trapped in the house, unable to go anywhere, no longer living the life I had been used to. Even in this highly medicated, lonely situation I’ve had two smaller seizures which means I probably won’t be allowed to drive or bicycle or anything in 6 months as the doctors had specified (there’s a state law!) I have to go seizure free for half a year and they will assume the meds work.

They don’t.

“Don’t you have any friends who want to take you somewhere?” says my wife on her way to work. I make a couple of phonecalls, get answering machines, and still don’t hear from anyone. I used to be able to drive around Shepherdstown and visit folks at The Folly and at Mellow Moods or walking up and down German Street. Now I just sit and think about it.

A depressed man sitting on a benchIt is so depressing.

“Don’t you do crossword puzzles?” my Mother asked the other day. I don’t. I don’t want to. I read and write this blog and endured endless hours of news programs showing Romney’s gaffes – not as entertaining as they originally were.

So here I am waiting for my cell phone to ring, or waiting for e-mail to arrive or for someone to knock on the door wanting to see how I was doing. Unfortunately, I no longer think it will happen.

A personal note – I’m living in considerable fear…

Yesterday I had another seizure like the dozen or so I’ve had in the past three years. As I mentioned at the time of the accident 4 weeks ago that left me with broken ribs and shoulder blade and collarbone (and sent me to the hospital for close to a week), my fall down the stairs was caused by one of these seizures. My car accident which took away my right to drive was the result of another seizure four weeks before that.

The worst part of these seizures is that after blacking out (and falling or actually carrying out some activities), I remember nothing until I come out of it… maybe a few minutes later, but occasionally a much longer time. Those who have experienced seeing me in such a state have confirmed that I talk to them and often do things… something I have never had a memory of.

My fear now is that these seizures may start coming more frequently. I’ve been through a large number of medical tests with no results. One doctor thinks it might be epilepsy and a couple of weeks ago had me watch out and see if new seizures happened, even with prescribed medication. I’ll have to call her today and tell her it has happened… not something I look forward to.

Elly is afraid that I’ll have one while she is at work and that I will fall and hurt myself with ho one around. I fear that, too… but I’ve got to go on living somehow.

Actually, this blog is one of the things that keeps me going and for that I thank the several hundred readers who view it every day. Sorry I’ve spoken about it now… I’ll try to lay off in the future.

– Bill

Thanks to all of you who have called and e-mailed after my accident…

So many of you have wished me well. I am still in some pain in my ribcage (I’m  calling it “airbag shock”), but, in general I’m feeling much better.

Several have asked what caused the the accident and the best I can say is “I don’t know.” Essentially I had a blackout seizure and when I finally realized where I was I was 30 miles down the road having hit two cars and a power line. When I noticed a police car behind me and I pulled over, I had no idea what was going on, or that the whole front of my car was just about gone.

Somewhere in the course of the accident I lost my Superfocus glasses… I terrible loss for me. We don’t know yet of the insurance covers the loss as part of the accident.

Anyway, they’re not likely to let me drive again unless they can figure out what causes the seizures (apparently I’ve had a couple of other ones, not while driving, over the last couple of years. Most of these include lapses of time that I don’t remember, either.)

So my computer and I will continue to travel the world… but I won’t be getting out of the yard unless someone else takes me.

4 and a half minutes with the Medical Industry

I blew my morning this morning with a Neurologists visit in Hagerstown. I see this doctor every six months because he has me on a prescription to not have the strange blackouts I had last year (he says they are seizures, but apparently I function normally during them…I just don’t remember what I’ve done when  I recognize my surroundings again.

Anyway… it takes close to an hour to drive to this Dr.’s office, five or six minutes to go over insurance information and copay stuff with the girl at the front desk, then, being shown to a little room, I wait.

By around 10:30 I have been waiting for my 10:15 meeting with the Dr. for fifteen minutes.

Then he comes in and asks me if I’m taking my meds (yes, I say) and have I had any seizures (no, I say)…good, he says, I’ll see you in November.

My total time with the Dr. is 4.5 minutes. I don’t know how much the insurance company is paying for this, or what they are going to charge me, but my main thought is “I could have done this over the phone.”

You’d think he’d tap my knees or look in my ears or something. But he didn’t (I didn’t even get put on a scale…the girl who checked me in asked me what I weighed. I could have said anything.)

The medical world is a gaggle of thieves.

Another seizure last week…and I wait every day for another.

This is getting scary.

The other night while looking up an e-mail address I felt a little snap in my head and the next thing I knew my wife was asking me questions. They were the usual… my daughters’ names, my dogs’ names… and, as usual in one of these, I couldn’t remember them.

To me it took about 20 minutes to snap out of it and start remembering names. Elly says it was more like fifty minutes and I spent a long time just staring straight ahead until I started speaking again. I do not remember this.

Now, for the last couple of days, I sit in fear that this will happen again while Elly is at work and I won’t remember any of it. Or, it will happen and I won’t snap out of it at all.

A week from this Saturday they’ve scheduled me for more tests. It’s a long time to wait.

Getting ready for an eight hour EEG…

The neurologist has scheduled me to come in Sunday morning to take the 8-hour EEG to see if they can find out if there is anything unexpected that caused my seizure last week. I’ve felt like another one is coming ever since it happened…at least I haven’t felt quite right. If this is me getting to the end of my game I’d at least like to know it…know what’s causing it.

Eight hours! that seems like an awfully long time. Plus, I’m supposed to be sleep deprived before I take it (which, given the way I don’t sleep anyway shouldn’t be a problem.) Of course, the seizure could have been caused by extremely low blood sugar which, with my diabetic condition, can happen.

I’ve just got to make it a little longer than three more months to reach age 65, something my father never did. That’s my short-term goal. Not sure what I’m going to do after that. Full Circle Theater announced it’s 2012 season and there’s nothing there for me to direct. I’d like to direct something somewhere while I still have my creativity intact. I’ve still got the radio show on Friday mornings. And I’m working seriously on starting my podcast(s)…that I can do from home. Other than that there’s not much left in my bag.

8 Hours! Whew!