Day's Data - Part 12

0615: I dozed for 90 minutes, woke up, decided to go back to sleep and then...had a fit.

Yes. Confession time. You see, I have a form of epilepsy. At least I think I do. I've had it all my life.

Each attack lasts 20-40 minutes, starting gently, building to a peak about halfway through, then gradually fading away.

When I say epilepsy, I'm not talking about the stereotypical juddering, twitching, foaming and moaning episodes some people have, and I'm not talking about the temporal lobe epilepsy of the spiritual experience. With me, it's tactile, auditory and temporal exaggeration.

Tonight, I knew it was starting because, when one toe brushed against a bedsheet, it felt like the toe was three times it's normal size, and so was the bedsheet. I could feel the texture very precisely.

Minutes later, the sounds and sensations of my breathing became long and slow, as though I had the lungs and chest of an elephant sized creature, inhaling and exhaling slowly, ponderously, noisily.

My arm brushed against one of my nipples, and the nipple felt like a bulbous plate of flesh a foot wide. I scratched an itch on my cheek - the finger, the nail, the cheek and the itch were all somehow enlarged but remained in proportion to each other, and the action taking correspondingly longer to do.

I could feel the hairs of the stubble on my cheek in fine detail, against my fingertip. The itch was stretched and diffuse, like a piece of chewing gum pulled to cover a wider area but becoming "weaker" or "thinner" in the process.

It's impossible to do anything rapidly during an attack. Or rather, its impossible to feel like you're doing anything rapidly. I've walked with no loss of balance - if anything, the opposite - but with the sense that my legs are moving at a quarter their usual speed.

My speech is similarly slowed. I think the slowing effect is real because...on three or four occasions it's happened when I was with someone. On some I tried to explain what was happening, and one said my voice was strange and I was scaring them.

Sounds are loud - or rather, their volume is in some way stretched like the itch, so they're both louder but somehow thinner. Music booms and is "smeared", as though it's being played underwater.

When I was young the whole experience used to scare me. I remember once when I was about five it happened, and it felt/sounded like a train was being driven through the center of my head. Crashing and relentless, blotting out all other sound - all I could do was curl up and wait for it to end.

In my teens I got curious, and on one occasion wondererd what an orgasm would feel like in this state, so the next time it happened I masturbated. The orgasm was like the music, dull and heavy, muffled and indistinct, like the writing on an overinflated balloon.

These attacks happened irregularly, sometime seperated by a fortnight, sometimes for months. On averge I'd say they happened every three months. Between about 25 and 35, I think they became about half as frequent, but now they're happening about as often as before.

I've always been perversely ashamed of these episodes, and I hated having to tell anyone about them.But now I realise this shame is just as unhelpful as all the other shames I've discarded over the years. So now I'm telling you.

Perhaps this is quite a common experience, I don't know. Nowadays it's more an inconvenience than a problem, but I'm vaguely curious to know what's really going on in my brain.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Great description of the event.
    I've been in the presence of epileptics, and it's an unnerving experience, esp since I hope the person is okay and not hurt.

    Have you seen a doctor? They may have some treatment that can help you reduce the episodes.

    I do have one question thought. Do these episodes happen after eating cheese biscuits and hot chocolate?