|Kindle Clippings File - graphic image only|
It's not that I can't sleep – not in the way that many people can't sleep because they're worrying about things. It's that at 5 AM I was jolted awake by the all-too-familiar pinging in the fingers telling me that a focal seizure is under way.
I was lying on my left side. It was first light, still almost totally dark in the bedroom. Usually when I feel a seizure coming on, I turn and lie on my back, but I decided to stay exactly where I was and see how coping with it went lying on my side.
The other fingers began to get into the act strongly. It's strange how it nearly always starts in this one place, the fingers of the right hand, where the very first seizure began over a thousand days ago. 1088 days, to be exact. This time it spread to the thumb, which isn't usual.
I don't like that. The thumb joint always has been perfectly mobile in all this time, giving me whatever power to manipulate objects that I have in the right hand. I was getting fairly good at using a dinner knife and tying my shoelaces again.
It was quite a strong seizure, and as it died away slightly in the hand I felt the iron sheath slip over my upper arm; creeping then the right side of the torso. It wasn't painful; just uncomfortable. Always a bit disconcerting, not knowing if it's a prelude to some grand performance.
It went on for a couple of minutes, increasing in force, and I felt nauseous. Then I felt it weaken as the sensation gripped the whole right side. Back to the fingers, and then it died away.
It was probably two minutes and not much more, but I couldn't be sure it was over. There comes a time when I do know. I needed to lie there until any paralysis effects wore off. I was glad I didn't feel like my bladder was full. I didn't want to get caught in no-man's land in the bathroom like that other time, towelling off after a shower, when I fell and did all that damage to my back.
I felt glad also that we made the decision long ago to sleep in separate bedrooms, in order to minimise unnecessary disturbance. In this case, if Tracey had been in here, she'd be just as jolted awake as I was, at the time she sleeps deepest – but when there's nothing she can do to help.
There's a bell I have at hand. If I ring that she'll come running, knowing I would use it only when I thought she needed to be there; if a seizure had gone on too long or getting weird, for example. That's not now. The time may come when the bell-ringing gets more frequent, but not yet.
It seemed that the seizure had passed. On the surface and as an isolated event, that particular one was trivial. But I needed to stay there, as safely as possible, until I was as sure as I could be that it was over.
I'd have gone back to sleep if I could have - I've done that before, but I knew that the watershed moment beyond being able to turn over and sleep again had passed. The main window, the one cracked by the earthquake, faces east. It had grown lighter and a large flock of cockatoos had settled nearby; quite noisy they were. Very close. Other birds began their morning songs.
I turned on the light, made a mental note of the time, and carefully I made my way to the bathroom. What to do next? Sometimes when I woke early, but not from a seizure, I would do the daily exercises. That felt a bit dodgy just after an 'event'. I went back to bed, and reached for the little Kindle.
This device is brilliant. The smallest and cheapest in the wi-fi range [wi-fi meaning it can connect wirelessly to the internet], having it means I can immediately read the day's news or anything else worth viewing, with some limitations. I could read any of the books I have on the go.
Or, I could read a couple of articles from the web I'd located yesterday that I'd decided I preferred to study on the Kindle screen. Doing that the way I do, details of which I'll spare you here, means that I can make notes in an electronic file that I can drop on the computer.
And what did I read this morning? Two articles that hang together. Disgust made me want to get up and write. I was going to talk about them right here, because they couldn't possibly be more relevant to my life – and death – than anything else at the moment. So I took my notes, and now here I am to talk about them. Which is funny, because both you and I have had enough of this epistle for the moment at least, and the seizure has blurred my vision, so that will be Part 2. Frankly, I'm surprised we made it this far together.
I need to eat now, and take my pills. It's 7:50 AM. By the time I've done that, and cleaned this up, it will be... let's see. [Insert posting time here ==> Nearly 1:00 PM.]
|The reason for the cockatoo disputes. Cherry tree now stripped. Not one cherry remains!|
After the pills, I felt a bit wobbly, and realised the possible precariousness of my position, so I went back to bed, and woke at 11 AM. That sure puts my routine for this day in a tailspin. Hey, but I'm still here.