When I think of how to describe life lately.. the word exhausted just keeps ringing in my head. Exhausted and grateful. Let me explain…
So the biggest piece of news you may or may not know is that recently my brain rudely started to have seizures without warning. What?! I have zero personal or family history of seizures, have had no recent trauma, and no new meds or any of the common things we as healthcare providers see as culprits of new onset seizures. I am, however; so unbelievably thankful that both of them happened while I was around people, in a public place, and not driving. Having a witnessed seizure helps tell a little bit more of the story than let’s say waking up on your floor at home without knowing why.
Most fortunately, my second seizure happened while starting a morning of one of my clinicals – so I was with a very skilled nurse practitioner and right next to an ER. Now that I’ve got anti-epileptic meds in my system and quite literally just had my 4 day long EEG removed from my scalp, I’m hoping some answers will be coming my way soon. BUT I just want to say I am terrifically overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support I’ve received across all of my channels. Someone even sent me a beautiful set of 2 dozen roses, although I have zero idea who it was from (the card had no signature and the company wouldn’t tell me!). The fact that so many people (most of whom I’ve never met) care so much about my health and wellbeing is just so much love that makes this world a better place.
I also want to say this: I am GRATEFUL to be exhausted because that means I’m still alive. Yes, seizures are scary and the unknown can be even more daunting but being ALIVE to experience a full day and the ensuing tiredness is something you just aren’t guaranteed tomorrow. The feeling of knowing something is wrong but not being able to control it or even having the time to let yourself sit down before you collapse is the most unnerving and terrifying thing I’ve ever felt. You’re losing sight of the world and your surroundings and you have absolutely zero clue if you’ll even wake up. What if it was a sudden brain bleed or stroke that immediately killed me? I have an amazing friend, Robin, who IS a brain bleed survivor and has been the consistent strength, resource, and positive force I needed behind all of this. She knows how scary it all is and what it feels like to be suddenly stripped of your independence. Robin, you are amazing and I’m so thankful to have you as a friend!
I’ve also had so many people share their experiences either personal or people they know that have had seizures, how they cope, and what works (or didn’t work) for them. Sharing our personal stories and intimate details isn’t always something that is a comfortable thing to talk about, so I want to thank everyone who has done so. It really does help me feel less alone and like there is an answer out there.
Other than my fun trip down neurological lane, I’ve been mostly focusing on school. This summer schedule of classes has been intense but it’s really amazing to challenge myself again and approach patient care from a provider’s perspective and shift away from a beside nurse mindset – despite the stress and moments of crying. I’ve been fortunate enough to finally meet a lot of my fellow classmates (the program is mostly online) and I’m so glad to be in a group that is so supportive of each other. School in general feels less intimidating when you have people around you who understand the stress of your field and tears that come with your studies and cramming your brain full of seemingly endless amounts of information. As of right now, this semester looks *hopeful* in terms of my brain being willing to retain information and pass appropriately. Time shall tell all.
I have don’t a monthly favorites or roundup since….. March/April? I swear I blink and 6 months race by. I’ve purchased a few things since then, some things I really like and some I’m not so crazy about. I’ve read one or two books (other than school books). I’ve watched some shows, and tried a few recipes.
Let’s go over some of them, shall we?
- Stranger Things 3 – I mean, how can you not? I LOVED this season and I really enjoy seeing the talent of all the kids continue to grow. They’re all so amazing and Millie Bobby Brown is just my spirit animal. I wish I was that cool at her age.
- The Last Czars – if you’re a history buff like me, this show is amazing. History is just so fascinating! It’s a little bit of historical fiction mixed in with real clips of Imperial Russia before the last of the Romanov dynasty was murdered.
- Big Little Lies – so far I love season 2! I just think the cast is phenomenal and can’t wait to see how this season unfolds. Meryl Streep is a powerhouse and does an amazing job at portraying a crazy obsessive mother in law. To be continued..
- Divorce – I adore SJP and really liked the first season. BUT I just heard they’re cancelling the show, WHAT?! I’m super bummed.
- Orange is the New Black – I’m eagerly awaiting this release. I’ve been watching since the beginning but felt like last season just wasn’t the same. I’m hoping this last season is the send off it deserves!
- Always be my Maybe – Okay, cutest movie ever. I love seeing movies that centralize around actors of color. It’s refreshing and honestly in this movie is SO funny!
- The Handmaid’s Tale – this season so far is SUPER good! I keep feeling like something is going to happen to June and I’m on the edge of my seat!
- Younger – this show is one of my favorites. The entire cast is gorgeous and have such amazing chemistry together. Plus the fashion is 👍
- Toy Story 4 – omg so first of all, I recently watched this snippet on Twitter about the evolution of Pixar. It is mind-blowing and just the COOLEST! Technology and its continuous advances never cease to amaze me. That being said, Toy Story 4 was so good. I loved the new character but was absolutely not prepared for the ending. If you haven’t seen it, take tissues. I’m still not recovered.
- Rhinestone Hair Clips – I feel like I’m 15 all over again. I had SO many of these clips. I like that these, of course, are bedazzled and catchy, but also rather large. I’m still growing my hair out (grows at a snail’s pace) and the baby hairs are real.
- Emesis Bins – this might be gross to some of you but these have been an essential part of life post seizures and migraines. I also used these in the ER and ICU with my patients and they’re the best. No spills and easily accessible. My home now has a humongous stash of these plus copious ginger ale.
- Pedialyte Pops – These are amazing. Having an upset stomach is rough on the throat and you have to replenish your electrolytes. These popsicles are so right in every way!
- Headache Hat – for any of my friends who suffer from migraines, get too overheated in the summer heat, or just want to relax, this headache hat is so soothing. Robin recommended to me for the post seizure migraines but honestly the coolness just helps with so many things.
- ASOS Palm Dress – this print is so pretty. I love the toile vibe and how summery it is without being the cliche palm print.
- Tie Dye Gym Set – I just found this at Target and I’m over the moon for it. Cute gymwear equates higher motivation, right?
- Striped PJ short set – this set is SO soft! It’s just warm enough but not too hot. A sweatshirt/short combo is right up my alley!
- Too Faced Born this Way Powder Foundation – super excited to try this out. I saw Courtney Kerr using it in her stories a couple of weeks ago and it sounded intriguing! It’s a three in one foundation that’s supposed to provided even, excellent coverage.
- Too Faced Mr. Perfect Brush – She used this adorable bow tied brush to apply the foundation. It’s just too cute not to use anyway!
- Honey Savior All in One Skin Salve – My dear friend Kat Ensign (@KatWalkSF) swears by this stuff so I finally caved and bought it. It’s a multi-purpose salve that can be used on hands/feet/face, you name it. I have a really tough time keeping the soles of my feet from cracking (I know, ew), and this worked like a charm with one use!
- The Ordinary Caffeine Solution – this stuff is less than $7 and works WONDERS on tired eyes! I cannot rave about this product enough, and this price is just wow wow wow. Eye products can get pricey in a heartbeat, I love that this is so affordable AND works so well!