10 Years Seizure Free


10 years ago today [Sunday 9/10] I signed papers on a new-to-me car. I had to go to work, and hadn’t really driven it, other than half a mile home from the dealership, then to work and home that day, 3 miles max.

On 9/11 I pulled out of my driveway and headed to Iowa City to grab some new wiper blades. I’m a Rain-X girl; I had called the best friend, Shawn, in Nashville and woke up off and on in an ambulance.  According to Shawn she said my line went silent, she heard the phone drop, and then eventually hung up when I wasn’t answering. She thought the call just dropped. What happened was, I turned right, then drove a few miles on Highway 6 in West Liberty out of town towards Iowa City and ended up on the other side of the road on top of a fiber optic box.

The great people of WL came to my rescue in both as a passing car – Denny Wachs who managed to find and save my glasses, and call my parents, and the WL Fire & Rescue who are a great group of volunteer EMT / Firemen who took me to the ER.  I’m told at one point I was in and out of awareness and Dave who’s last name I cannot remember; asked me “Jess do you know where you are” and I apparently replied in typical fashion “I’m in a fucking ambulance I must have had a seizure” I don’t remember but apparently they were all laughing and agreed “Yup, she’s good”

A state trooped showed up in the ER room and took my license on the spot, long story short, he was the brother of a good friend who passed in 2003, and ironically my first reported seizure was the night of his funeral).

I had to stay overnight at the hospital, I mostly slept, a lot. I came home and slept for at least a full day, my dog rarely left my side.  My car had a punctured radiator, and had a few thousand dollars of damage to be repaired after I had signed paperwork less than 24 hours before.  I had some time to repair it, and it sat in a shed at my uncle’s farm.

My meds did not change the day of the seizure in fact the ER doc was kind of a dickhead. He thought my meds were working just fine. Yes, that’s why I had a grand mal. Working great.  It wasn’t until almost 6 weeks later I had a visit with my neurologist who switched my meds, to what I’m on now. 400 mg generic Zonegran and 50 mg of Topamax.  My dosage has changed a bit, currently taking 500 mg generic Zonegran and 50 mg of generic Topamax.

Previously it was just 500 mg of Topamax – at this time it was only name brand, since then the generic has become available.

This concoction is working well for me. My seizures are caused by stress and lack of sleep. In this time I’ve been at the day job for 9 1/2 years with a bit more normal sleep / work schedule vs managing the bar and grill my parents own with hours from 9 am – 9 pm.

Double digits, this is incredibly crazy, but it’s working. As long as I am on anti-epileptic meds I will have to fill out medical paperwork for the DOT – which I’m on a 2-year rotation so I only have to do it when I renew my DL.  I always toy with asking “can I get off the meds” then I get really tired and a tiny headache happens and I realize that you know, for the low cost of my meds monthly and the pain in the ass that it is to do the DOT paperwork and all that, it beats the hell out of a seizure and having to depend on others to drive me around.

I used to post each year about another year seizure free. I think from now on I’ll just let it go. Maybe at 15 I’ll bring something up.

I took the day off work to just do whatever I wanted. However, I’m running errands, chatting with my Scentsy mentor and will be sitting at the hospital with my great aunt, while watching Hurricane Irma coverage.  More on this later.  Perhaps I’ll do something for myself but honestly, I’m here, I’m able to drive, I’m healthy just chunky, and all is well.  I always say I’d rather be fat than have seizures.


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