Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Lights Are On, But No One Is Home

So, the first 24 hours of the liquid diet phase is over. I consumed 3 protein shakes, 2 sugar-free popsicles, 1 greek yogurt and 80+ ounces of water - while only occasionally staring longingly into the refrigerator at things I could chew. I got a little cranky towards the end of the day, but I suppose this is to be expected on a day where you only ingest 725 calories all day. (I did manage 93 grams of protein, so yay Muscle Milk shakes!)

But the really weird part occurred right around 3:30 yesterday afternoon. We were sitting in the office of a title company, working on scheduling the closing on our home, when I very distinctly felt my brain shut off. It is hard to describe it otherwise - one moment I was looking over the paperwork, the next I was unable to focus on anything, reading the same line over and over. I am real familiar with this condition - this is how postictal state feels: that is, the period of time after a seizure. But there had been no seizure to accompany it.

I struggled through the next half an hour - forgetting my email address, filling out paperwork incorrectly, trying to remember how to sign my name, for goodness sake. I smiled a lot to make up for it, and we exited the office.

I mentioned it to Lor cautiously, fearing this might be some weird interaction between the severe caloric restriction and my epilepsy. She just nodded her head. "Yeah, that's what happens when you are on the liquid diet. You come down with brain fog."

Wait...she felt like this for 4 weeks?

Yes, it turns out that, for Lor at least, the 4 weeks of liquid diet were accompanied by serious mental confusion and inability to focus. She spent the whole first week like this, recovered for week 2, and then the surgery tipped her right back over the edge into "brain fog". She is only now really getting her mental legs back under her. 

If everyone feels like this while they are going through this process, no wonder they are in a bad mood! Being unable to think straight for a month would drive anyone crazy. We were told to expect fatigue, not mental confusion, during this process - which makes me wonder how many people are just going to bed rather than trying to think.

For maybe the first time in my life, I can be grateful for my experience with epilepsy. I have over a decade of experience in getting through life with my brain functioning at "a sub-optimal level" (as a neurologist would put it.) But it is a very strange sensation - normally I just sort of sit quietly somewhere while post-ictal and wait for the lights to turn back on. Here I am having to push through, not expecting to get back to normal...until August sometime.

Thank goodness I am a writer and am used to sitting around and staring at a blank page, waiting for the next idea to arrive. Can't imagine how this would work if I was an airline pilot. Or a brain surgeon.

1 Hour & 30 Minutes - Longest Time To Write A Blog Post Ever,

- Hawkwind

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