Saturday, October 4, 2014

Involuntary Convulsions

Sigh.

I do not delight to reveal this for public perusal but I feel much compelled by heaven to do so.  As mentioned, I suffer from pseudo seizures due to extensive trauma, and I have from time to time had people ask what it is like to endure these limb flailing, convulsive, frame contorting episodes.  It is with a heavy heart that I answer this question in writing for it is an unpleasant experience and I would shield the public and those I know and love from understanding just how painful it is. 

Firstly, while this looks much like a convulsive epileptic seizure, it is not so.  Such seizures arise from the brain itself.  The type I suffer find their points of origin in the psyche.  I have had an MRI and specialists in neurology have affirmed that the condition is due to trauma, not damage to the actual brain.  But I fear I digress in a natural desire to postpone discussing the experience itself.

We must also understand that it takes a great deal of pain and trauma in order to have even one pseudo seizure.  It is, in its purest form, a distress call from the mind to the body warning that the mind can take no more pain and tries to force the body to distance itself from whatever pain is causing the trauma.  It is a form of the mind's self defense.  The first night I endured one I had been through so much pain and fear that I first vomited from stress and then fell on my bed where my entire body proceeded to convulse involuntarily.

What is it like to actually endure it?  My soul weeps to have to relate this.  Well, beforehand, as the pain and trauma mounts, one can feel every cell of one's body in fiery anguish and revolt against the cause of the pain.  This may last a few minutes or it may be mounting and increasing slowly over a course of days.  It is difficult to prevent an episode though even with this warning because as the bodily pain increases the fuzziness of mind does too, and one does not realize the magnitude of the danger until it is too late.  Often the spine may feel so filled with stress that it feels literally on fire and extends a feeling of captive brittleness through all the nerve fibers in the body.  One becomes profoundly aware of the state of one's body, for in every nook and cranny, both at skin level and beneath, agony resides in a manner I can only describe as the very torments and pains of hell, for surely I know of nothing in this world to compare to it. 

That is only the beginning. 

When the pseudo seizure hits, it feels as though the soul is literally vomiting and rebelling against all the traumatic stress it has endured, which brought it about.  Pain and tension claim every shred of the body and though you can feel your body convulsing and even sometimes hear yourself screaming in anguish, there is nothing you can consciously do to stop it.  Once it has you in its grip, the only thing I know is to let it run its course.  I have had people try to hold my body still during these episodes but it doesn't generally serve to lessen the severity.  Many times the episode has proven powerful enough to create serious, mind shattering pain in my torso and it felt as though my chest was splitting apart.  In discussing this with someone who had been acquainted with the condition in intimate terms I found my suspicions confirmed - that the agony I had experienced was my weakened heart skipping under physical strain. I have known those who have died from this and can well comprehend how such a condition can create death in some and at times cause others of us to plead for it.

Yet here I stand seven and a half years and well over 1, 500 pseudo seizures later.  My health is very delicate in this respect and any incident echoing of the original trauma which excited this condition serves as a trigger to bring it to the forefront again, forcing my mind, soul and every feeling in my body into a vise of indescribable and absolutely blighting pain coupled with extreme, irrational fear.  Indeed, I have had episodes within the last week, but I trust in God, whether in life or death, health or sickness, and recognize that we all have trials of some sort.  I am grateful and awed that the Lord considers me strong enough to bear this with His help and it has created a deep and intense love and conscious dependence on the Almighty to carry me through each and every day.  And I am thankful for that.

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