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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

It looks like I have Aphasia…

What a miserable day today has been.

First, I had my quarterly doctor‘s appointment with Dr. Kugler over in Hagerstown, MD, and brought up, as I have just about every time I have been to see him in the past few years, that I have these small periods (usually not more than a couple of minutes) where I lose control of language when I’m speaking. These “seizures” as he calls them do not effect intelligence or physical presence… I just babble incoherently for a couple of minutes until I become aware of the meaning of words again. It is one of the reasons I am glad not to be working as a teacher or sales professional any more… it HAS happened during a class and when I was doing an Insurance presentation to a client back in my Aflac days.

Anyway, now I am apparently blacking out for a couple of seconds on some of these seizures and waking up without remembering what has happened. I’m not rolling around on the ground or anything like that… I just don’t remember what happens at the time.

Dr. Kugler sums all of this up as Aphasia. According to the National Aphasia Association, the definition of this condition is:

Aphasia is an acquired communication disorder that
impairs a person’s ability to process language,
but does not affect intelligence.
Aphasia impairs the ability to speak and understand others, and
most people with aphasia experience difficulty reading and writing.

It also seems to be caused by either a stroke, a brain injury or a developing brain tumor. I don’t think I have had the first two, and a worry about the third. Over the next two weeks I have three different tests with specialists… a neurologist, a heart person and someone else, that Kugler’s office set up. I’m not excited about this, because…

Second, as I came out of Kugler’s office and started up my 2001 Toyota Echo (which has been a very reliable car) the engine started to overheat (a signal light popped up on the dashboard) and, as I went to the grocery store, it stalled out. I let it cool off a while, went to the gas station at the Grocery complex, filled the tank, checked the oil and saw it was low… added three quarts.

I started up again, but as I was going near my daughter Penny’s house in Martinsburg it started to smoke from the front and stalled out. I let it cool for a while, then slowly drove to Penny’s driveway where the car died. She had a bottle of coolant which we put into the coolant holder. Still couldn’t get it to start up… so I called Triple A.

After an hour when Triple A still hadn’t arrived, the car had cooled off enough to start up again and I managed to get it home, where it died again. I have an appointment at Brown’s tomorrow morning to find out what’s wrong. It may be the thermostat, or a coolant leak, or something else.  Whatever it is it will be an expense we didn’t predict this month and I’m dreading it.

So, as you see, it’s been a lousy day so far. I hope yours was better.

– B