About Me

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I am an artist, a wife, a mother, a friend, a deviant and a special education teacher. I say artist first because I cease to be sane if i don't work on my art, seriously, I have to go into therapy... My work is an evolution of my experiences and philosophy. It spans multiple mediums and subjects, most recently focusing on the balance of expression and form. I spend a lot of time on chaos theory and macro/micro theory. The theory of balance and entropy in the universe fuels my inspiration. I love movies and philosophy, sometimes spiraling into deep conversations about both. These are my musings and thoughts, as well as insight into my artistic process and my work View more at: GoldenSpiralDesigns.deviantart.com redbubble.com/people/caitlinpadilla

Friday, May 1, 2015

Change Is Scary

             So, on Hallowen of 2011 I was driving home, hungover, from class after a long weekend of partying. It was evening, but still light out. I was on the phone with a good friend and I just wanted to relax when I got home. I started having a strange feeling, almost out of body type of experience. I felt like I was outside of myself, on my left shoulder, watching. Everything looked far away. I tried to tell my friend, but I had no words.  I couldn't speak. It was really strange. I thought I was just tired and kept going.
             The next thing I knew, I was outside of my car and very disoriented. There was a guy, Magnum P.I. To be exact, and he was telling me to stay calm and asking if I was ok. He said a lot of other stuff, but I was so confused that I didn't really pay attention. Mostly I was trying to reconcile why Magnum P.I. Was talking to me and why his hair was blonde, but his mustache dark brown. Slowly it started to sink in. I had a seizure, while driving, I hit a building. Magnum P.I. Was a paramedic, it was Halloween and he was in costume.  I got into the ambulance and called my husband. I told him what had happened and to meet me at the hospital.
          The rest of that evening was E.R. and nurses in costume. A fairy came and took my vitals, hooked me up to things and asked me questions. Jon came, and was worried, but happy I was alright. A neurologist came, and after 30 seconds perscribed me keppra (a powerful anti-seizure med). Then we left. I went home and was confused, I had never had a seizure before, what did it mean? I took the meds, but after two days, I knew there was something wrong. I felt like I did in the car, like everything was fake. I don't know what suicidal thoughts are normally, but I started thinking that if I were dead, everything would be better. I wasn't sad or upset about it. It was matter of fact. I knew this was wrong, so I called Jon and family for help. I stopped taking the medication and stayed with family for a couple of days. I saw my doctor, and everything seemed to be fine. I went back to my life.
           Six months passed and it was June. I was at home, on the phone. It was afternoon. I felt that weird feeling again. I know now that is an aura and it is a warning sign. I had trouble speaking, but got out the words "please come" and sat down. The next thing I know, I am walking out into my living room, I had changed my skirt, and my friends were there. I did not go to the ER, but I went to my doctor and decided that I was drinking a bit too much, and that could be the trigger.
           I quit drinking, and six months later got pregnant and had my beautiful baby girl. Everything was great for over two years. I had started drinking again, but not nearly as much as before. On December 27th at 1am I woke Jon up having a seizure. After going to the doctor again, I decided that any drinking was too much. After a month and a half of no drinking however, I had another one in my sleep on Feb 15th. I had been sleep deprived and stressed. I have seen two neurologists and have a new GP (who is the best of the lot). I have had a random high white blood cell count for a couple of years, and he has experience with infection and seizures. After the Feb seizure I started taking Gabapentin, which seemed to be working. Occasionally I would feel an aura in the past and this stopped those. I was given another medication, Lamictal, to start. I wanted to wean my daughter before I started taking it, so I hadn't started yet, and the new doctor and I agreed that if I didn't need to, then I shouldn't. So, I went back to my life, as much as I could. I started taking all kinds of vitamins and trying to relax and get more sleep (yeah, right. With a 20 month old). But I did as much as I could.
            One of the unfortunate things is that you can't drive, you have to be seizure free for six months. I understand this rule, but it still sucks.  I have been staying with my parents because Jon is out of town, and they drive me and watch the baby. I've gotten used to it, and I knew it wouldn't be  forever. I am an elementary teacher, and school is almost over. I went to work yesterday April 30th like any other day. I was almost halfway to six months and summer wouldn't be that bad. I decided to quit teaching with public school and focus on my art and raising my baby. I had just told my principal and was feeling good with my decision. I walked into a classroom to talk to a teacher and started getting an aura. I didn't want to believe it. I couldn't talk. I should have sat down. I walked out of the room and fell, like a ton of bricks, smashing my head and shoulder on the concrete floor. I woke up to everyone surrounding me, telling me I had a seizure and the paramedics were coming. SHIT.
             My mom came with the baby and followed us to the ER. Jon left production in Santa Fe on an Adam Sandler movie and met me at the ER. I got a CT scan to make sure my brain wasn't bleeding. We went home. I started taking the Lamictal and will have to wean my daughter at the same time. I have done research, and it looks like it's a low enough dose that she will be fine. I am going to get another EEG and see another neurologist. I can't drive until Halloween.
         I feel scared and defeated. I don't know what's wrong with me. The last for months have been hard, like really hard. My daughter has had Roseola, a horrible stomach bug, a cold, and another stomach bug (which I think is what triggered the seizure yesterday). I have been stressed, sleep deprived had a stomach bug, can't drive, staying with my parents and bumming rides like a teenager. My husband has been out of town for three months and I don't like my job. So much has changed and is changing in my life, and I just don't know how to deal with it all.  I have an awesome family and great friends, a loving and supportive husband and a brilliant adorable child. I still feel good about my recent career shift. I just have this gnawing feeling, this uncertainty. A feeling of complete loss of control. I don't know why I keep having seizures, no one does. I just have to try this and wait.