Anxiety, stress, and over excitement can be triggers to people with epilepsy. We try to keep Bella informed of everything going on around her, without adding too much exhilaration. But, life is filled with emotion, and some days are just not meant to be filled with peace.
Anxiety. Since Bella completed her schooling in May, she has been nervous and anxious about her future. She wants a job. She needs a schedule. She is kind of in that typical phase when any young adult finishes school. An unknown path lies ahead. She feels a need to know what is going to happen next. It is a fear of the unknown. She has a wonderful job coach, but instead of relying on him completely and trusting all will work out, she lets her anxiety levels build up.
A little over a month ago, Bella had some breakthrough seizures. She hadn’t had any in over a year. We have been trying to wean her off of phenobarbital, and trying to get back to just the other three medications she was controlled on for so long in the past. We do not know if her seizures were triggered by the lowering of the medicine, or if anxiety played a roll, or if it was a combination of those, and maybe even other factors.
Stress. Unfortunately, when Bella has one seizure, she goes into a cluster of them until we can get them stopped. She has gone into status epilepticus several times, so we do not mess around. This round ended up with a five-day hospital stay. The level of stress for each of her sisters, her dad, her grandparents, her aunts and uncles, cousins, etc. is immeasurable. There is no doubt some of this stress is passed onto Bella. We try to act like everything is fine, but she feels the emotions in the air. Of course, the moment we start seeing “our Bella” waking up from all the extra medications she has been given, and we feel we have gained control over her seizures once again, we all breathe a breath of fresh air. Our smiles could not be wiped off of our faces this last time especially.
Excitement. Just a couple of weeks ago, my younger sister decided to surprise us with a visit. We had not seen her in a few years. She sent me a text while I was taking a walk with Bella and one of her sisters. I read the text out loud immediately, and I held no emotions back. Bella’s excitement was almost too much, to the point that Cass and I became a little nervous. We quickly went into our routine of acting kind of casual about the visit (that was happening NEXT WEEK! Are you kidding?!) But for Bella, we played it down a bit – until Aunt Laury actually arrived. Then we just had a blast, and the week went by in a blink of an eye!
So, with all of these things going on in Bella’s life lately, I am seriously going to need to find some affordable yoga classes for the two of us to sign up for. Life throws unexpected things our way all the time. Whether these things are good or bad does not make a difference. The fact is, we need to find balance. The need for balance is heightened when the unbalance can actually trigger seizures. But in reality, we all will live longer, happier, healthier lives if we find a way to balance all of our highs and lows.