I took yesterday off work as a mental health day, and I think it worked. I spent the day sitting around reading, cruising Facebook, and generally slacking off. Today is also my day off, but I'll have to actually spend it productively.
I changed seizure med about 6 weeks ago, since my insurance provider will no longer cover Lamictal. I've been taking a generic version, Lamotrigene, which works like Lamictal but not as well. And because I'm a temporal lobe seizure person and not a generalized seizure person, "not as well" for me doesn't cause me to roll around on the floor and pee on myself, it causes me to think and behave oddly. Just to recap, temporal lobe epilepsy, or TLE, looks like this on me:
The symptoms felt by the patient with TLE and the signs observable by others during seizures depend upon the specific areas of the temporal lobes and neighboring brain areas affected by the seizure. The Classification of Epileptic Seizures published in 1981 by the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) recognizes three types of seizures which persons with TLE may experience.
Simple Partial Seizures (SPS) involve small areas of the temporal lobe and do not affect consciousness. These are seizures which primarily cause sensations. These sensations may be mnestic such as déjà vu (a feeling of familiarity), jamais vu (a feeling of unfamiliarity), a specific single or set of memories, or amnesia. The sensations may be auditory such as a sound or tune, or gustatory such as a taste, or olfactory such as a smell that is not truly present. Sensations can also be visual or involve feelings on the skin or in the internal organs. The latter feelings may seem to move over the body. Dysphoric or euphoric feelings, fear, anger, and other sensations can also occur during SPS. Often, it is hard for persons with SPS of TLE to describe the feeling. SPS are often called "auras," and are sometimes thought to be preludes to more severe seizures.
So my ability to function is for the most part left unimpaired, except that I can feel the hallucinations lurking around the corner (or more precisely, behind my right shoulder) and under stress I feel emotionally more volatile than I normally do. The idea of beating my head to pulp on the pavement starts to seem like it might be a good thing to do.
Since I've been on this ride before, I know how it works: I try harder to avoid stress by hiding out from my life, which works well for a while, until it begins to cause more stress than it cures. In the end I turn into a fearful, self-destructive hermit...and that's attractive, doncha think?
So my mental health day was to get a little more level and beat back the demons. I think it has mostly worked. Now it's time to plug back in and re-engage with my life.