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8 Weeks Seizure Free!

Diane
8 weeks seizure free, post-op right temporal lobectomy as of yesterday! Enjoying my newfound freedoms by going out to lunch…with no fear. How amazing. All these tiny, humanizing freedoms that mean so much. I actually went out for lunch. Life is wonderful. Each day comes with it a new discovery, a new excitement, a new, fresh taste of life. My heart is brimming with happiness, love, and gratitude. Life marches on…and here I am, living like a “normal” woman once more. πŸ’ͺπŸ’œ

Top Ten Things I’ve Learned During PTSD Recovery

Diane
You are not alone I’ve learned that as much as I wanted to isolate myself, connecting with others, heals. I’m not going to quote the depressing statistics here, but child abuse is rampant across the globe, as is domestic abuse and rape. The link from trauma to survivor is very personal, but just remember whatever your situation – you are not alone. #metoo I isolated myself for a very long time. It didn’t help me – it hurt. Isolating yourself slows down, if not stops, the healing process. There are numerous online PTSD forums which I’ll link to at the

Overcoming the Burden of Guilt

Diane
When something terrible happens to you that causes you to be constantly fearful or ashamed, a deep level of guilt can begin to take root. Guilt can keep you from seeking out and experiencing the joy you so desperately need to fully heal by making you feel as if you don’t deserve it. Everyone feels guilt once in a while, but if you’re a trauma survivor, it becomes a part of you. Suddenly all the mistakes you’ve ever made (or think you’ve made) start to overwhelm you. You can feel guilty for what you did. You can feel guilty for

Post-Op Lobectomy Follow-ups All Clear! 6 Weeks Seizure-Free!

Diane
Appointments with the neurosurgeon and neurologist done… all the good breaks were mine today! Such amazing news!! Seizure-free, let’s bring down the dose of those meds now, shall we? YES!!!!! πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ Tomorrow one of my morning med doses comes down, an unexpected and lovely surprise. Everything else, including my night doses, stay the same. A two-year odyssey of weaning begins – slow and easy wins the race. I got so many hugs today… it was awesome. When I delivered my card for the nurses to the Neuro ICU, one nurse announced “Right temporal lobectomy is here… and she’s NOT IN A

SIX WEEKS POST-OP, SIX WEEKS SEIZURE-FREE

Diane
TODAY…the incredible freedom from seizure clusters continues! Who could have ever thought that when medication after medication failed that one surgery could CURE me? I am astounded, and absolutely over the moon with happiness!  I have been waiting *so long* to make posts like this. Six weeks! Without a single seizure! And I’m beginning to feel like a healthy woman again.  Tomorrow I begin the trek to Tucson for my follow-ups with the neurologist and neurosurgeon on Thursday, this time with good news for a change.  Giddy with excitement, and strangely proud that I haven’t had any seizures, as if this

R Temporal Lobectomy Successful: 72 Hours Seizure-Free!

Diane
Seizure-free for over 72 hours! And, getting discharged today!! Ladies and gentlemen, this is the face of a woman who has survived brain surgery and has now officially gone 72 hours seizure -free! I know I look a little rough, but please, read on. I had 6 cm of my right temporal lobe removed, my right hippocampus, and my right amygdala removed on Tuesday, March 5, 2019. It was probably the most painful and challenging experiencing thing I have ever faced, however, I am so thrilled, so HAPPY. So grateful. If things continue, in 90 days, I can drive a

I’m out of here!

Diane
Homeward bound, wayyyyyy ahead of schedule – WOOHOO!!!!! My bilateral subdural grid placement to identify my seizure focus was a success, and I am being discharged to home. Soon I will follow up with my neurologist, then my neurosurgeon to go over the plan for the next phase of treatment, which will be surgery to remove the seizure focus identified in my brain. This will either reduce the number of seizures I currently have, or if I am very fortunate, render me seizure-free. What I thought might be up to a 30 day stay has only turned into 4 days

We are a go for surgery!

Diane
Neurosurgeon pre-admission – DONE! Hospital pre-admission: DONE! This is really happening! One more HUGE step towards becoming seizure-free and living a normal life. On November 6, 2018, I am to have a procedure that will localize the source of my seizures: a bilateral subdural grid placement. A neurosurgeon will carefully place grids/strips of electrodes on the surfaces of my brain in order to isolate the focus, or source, of my seizures. Essentially, this is an intracranial (inside the skull) EEG, with placement directly on the surface of the brain in order to more clearly interpret where exactly my seizures are

10 days.

Diane
10 days. 10 days until I’m admitted into the hospital for neurosurgery and a bit of a lengthy stay. I have seizures that are unable to be controlled by medications, so soon I will be having a surgical procedure that will remove the part of my brain that causes them – but first, they have to locate where exactly that is. So on November 6th I will have electrode grids implanted onto the surface of my brain, be taken off of all of my anti-seizure medication, and be monitored for up to 30 days in the hospital in an attempt

Five Little Ways to Deal with Depression

Diane
Reach out Do your best not to isolate. If I’m feeling low, instead of hiding, I come out of my room. Even though I am mostly housebound due to epilepsy (no driving), every day I reach out somehow – via social media, text, through an online forum, in some form I connect with someone. It’s not to talk about depression, it’s simply with the purpose of connecting to another human being, even if that person is a stranger. It reminds me that I am not alone. Play music – the uplifting, happy kind Have songs that you associate with good

Handling PTSD Anxiety Effectively After Being Triggered

Diane
There were times with PTSD that I would get triggered and get stuck with this nervous energy, a miserable level of anxiety that I simply could not shake. PTSD anxiety. The anxiety that you feel when your fight or flight response is triggered by some form of stimuli. Since there is no actual danger, you are then stuck with nothing to do with all of this nervous energy. Years of living with this issue led me into developing my own very safe and effective routine for dealing with being triggered. What you first need to do is deescalate the situation

Informational Links about PTSD

Diane
As a follow-up to the post I created yesterday regarding the effects of PTSD on the brain, I’d like to share some links with all of you. If you have research that you would like to share, please feel free to post it in the comments section or send me the information via the send a message form! It is together with knowledge that we find the tools to heal. Elevated brain cannabinoid CB1 receptor availability in post-traumatic stress disorder: a positron emission tomography study PTSD Pharmacotherapy Could Target Cannabinoid Receptors, Study Suggests Marijuana-like compound could lead to first-ever medication

Why can’t you just get over it? There could be a biological reason.

Diane
This question, while highly offensive when asked in the usual manner, deserves an answer. Those who suffer from PTSD day after day and year after year deserve answers. Do you feel jumpy all the time? Find it impossible to get to sleep? Have recurring nightmares? Are you angry or irritable for no apparent reason? There’s a reason for that, and it has nothing to do with character flaws. Below you’ll see brain scans of three different people: – one who experienced trauma and developed PTSD (PTSD) – one who experienced trauma and did not develop PTSD (TC) – one who