It’s about six weeks since I wrote about all how my life turned up-side down this summer (and not in a Fresh Prince of Bell-Air way) and I felt like it’s a good time to write an update, writing stuff out still seems to help.

You can read that first post here if missed it and want more context.

I think at the time I wrote it I was feeling weirdly detached from everything, and I almost felt like a fraud because I was getting a lot of friends and family reaching out offering support and love, but I didn’t feel all that bad so it almost seemed like they were overreacting. I read my blog post back to myself and the story didn’t feel like mine.

I put it down to a mixture of the Lamotrigine my neurologist prescribed for my seizures (also used as a mood stabiliser for bipolar disorder) and maybe some denial. I kept expecting to crash and for reality to hit me and after about two weeks, it pretty much did.

Talking to my therapist was helpful, sort of. She pointed out that it’s important for me to grieve, not only for the end of my relationship but for the loss of my previous self. The person who didn’t know it, but had things going pretty great. Maybe I did know it actually, I just didn’t know how precarious it was.

But that was several weeks ago. How’s it going now?

Actually not too bad. At the time of writing this, it’s my penultimate day at my job. The three and a half months notice I gave has absolutely shot past. It’s been an especially emotional week as I realise I’ve also been in denial about leaving the job which I love dearly and diving head first into uncertainty. I won’t lie, it’s scary as fuck. But I’m clinging on hard to all the encouragement and support of friends and especially fellow freelancers who’ve been in these shoes.

I wish I could say I’ve not had any more seizures but I have had a handful – thankfully they have all been partial ones where I haven’t lost consciousness but they scare the crap out of me every time.

A few weeks after my first MRI, when still waiting for results, I got a letter asking me to come in for another one, this time with a contrast dye injection. The letter said “this should cause you no concern…” bullshit, it caused me plenty. You’ve seen something in my brain and you want a better look at it. Cue cancer scare waiting period #2.

Thankfully this time the worry only lasted the weekend, as my neurologist called me that Monday and explained she’d looked at my original MRI and found something.(The ~4second wait to hear what she said next felt like an eternity).

It was a congenital defect in my temporal lobe. Fairly rare, but unmistakeable. A bit of my brain didn’t properly unfold in the growth stage as a baby and now there’s a lump of scar tissue there. I might never have known, but I have always been at a higher risk of seizure, and all the other stress (and heat wave) probably set it off. It was kind of a relief to hear, but also weird to realise that it wasn’t going away. I have epilepsy now, and in fact always did. She said my various fainting episodes over the course of my life were almost certainly undiagnosed seizures.

Now I have a week of organising myself, eBaying excess clothing, hospital appointments and packing to do before I fly to the US for 2 months. It’s a very strange feeling and I’m still trying to figure out who this new person is.

But I am feeling more optimistic, and generally less sad, so that’s a big positive.

Also, I feel a new tattoo coming on, I just don’t know what it is yet.