Writings of Sheri Hooper

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Seized Complexities






Total Recall, Extreme Recollection, a hideously UNCOMFORTABLE familiarity, previously seen and experienced. Call it what you want, Deja Vu if you’re boujee, it’s all a seizure disorder. Epilepsy, an attack, a fit, a GENETIC DNA MONSTER, whatever . . . specifically, Partial Complex Focal Seizures. I just described them, and they begin this way developing into a phantasm of horror as the hours/days go by. If I have an extremely long period of Partials, Grand Mals are often to follow. This year was no different and yet, it was. Am I confusing you? How do you think I feel? Yes, it’s all the same as I am still having seizures though this paroxysm is wavering.

First off, I am not special. Statistically speaking one out of every 26 people has Epilepsy. I was born with this, I passed it on, I am not proud of that at all. Had I known? I never would have parented. #FACT

A montage of relatives, all on the birthmothers side have this ordeal. No one to blame, we were born with it, actually, before birth, it is all genetic. Procreating on is taking the dice and rolling them. Your progeny may be born perfectly healthy but in their genes, I assure you, it has not gone anywhere. It sits. It waits for a turn. Will it be passed on? That’s life. C’est la vie you know?

Genes are fated. Had I known, however, I would never have had children, the guilt eats you alive. I did not know that the creepy feelings that befell me throughout my life were seizures. I was 27 before being diagnosed and by then youngest child aged five. Too late. Inescapable and predetermined. Dice Rolled. I wonder daily if this is what took Ripley’s life before he could be born. Did a Grand Mal seizure burst a developing brain of our baby? Ripley Hooper and the other that followed were In The Stars. The second began having this torment while in college. Another “secret” Seizure Journey successfully handed down from the same gene pool.

Understand, none of us would be here without it. Nevertheless, if you are related to me on that particular side, congratulations, there is a mutation in our genes. ALL OF US! Don’t pout, we are not special. Everyone has them. No one escapes genetics regardless of who you are related to. Condemning the innocent is wrong. Had I known, I would have chosen to adopt. I would have walked away from the pair of dice. No rollin’ here, I’d be too busy “flossin’ my ball!” I do it anyway. Epilepsy has not stolen my swag.

After 51 years, having the partials since at least the age of 2 and grand mals that began around age 10, I went until age 27 before diagnosis. My old man Rick just happened to be sleeping next to me. I have grand mals only while sleeping. We married in 1986 and at 27, we were about to celebrate our 9th Wedding Anniversary before he witnessed me having one. I freaked the poor boy out! Sorry Sugar, I did not know though I had a hunch from an experience in 1978. That story too is complex and only my birthfather believed me. Long story, I will end there, perhaps another time.

Usually, when the partials begin I will have them for 7-8 solid days. I measure them on a 1-10 scale with 10 being the worst. I also measure in 1/10 of the scale. It makes things easier to explain to Rick so that he knows where I am at. In May this year, I had an enormous bout of partials, worse than I have ever had in my life. I was ravaged for 24 solid days before it ended. Not surprisingly, on June 12th I awakened on the floor, so many times we are not sure, injuring myself like no time before. I was bruised head to toe and could barely walk for months. The worst injured were my ribs, back, and hips. We bought that giant king-sized, WAY off the floor bed with me on that side again… WHY?

I now sleep next to what I refer to as my “MAGA WALL” – the blasted fancy bed pushed all the way over. I type that with a heavy EYE ROLL! How utterly upsetting. If the bed had been there, to begin with, I would have never fallen. It won’t happen again ya’ll. I am banished to the “WALL”, forever, with Rick at my side. I pout as I say that because it was MY side of the bed. Not now, it’s his side and I am by “THE WALL!” — ah well.

GOD watched over my recovery which was painful, more than childbirth, I refused to be opiated or go to the hospital and be tortured with needles. I did make a trip to Illinois and swallow some THC oil. IL has tremendous compassion for folks like me. Tennessee? Where are those types? Who is willing to help me? Not an honest soul. No such person exists.

Perhaps one day it will be fully recreational in Tennessee and then and only then, I will have nothing to bitch about. Until that time, Illinois loves me. Going to the ER in this state of confusion would have them insisting on pain meds which only brings about other problems a few days later. No thanks. Lesson learned, sleep by the wall, get cannabis legal in TN or move back to the state of my birth. Other options? There aren’t any.

In August I had another round of partials but they lasted only a week. I was perplexed by that. Maybe it had something to do with the grand mals in June? When those happen, my brain is reset, yes, like a computer. Time went on, September, October and then….. a most unusual set of seizures. Forget that I missed September and October and focus on November. I kept a diary.

I was given hints, incredibly subtle that I did not realize another attack of Partials would begin soon. The first oddity was a friend named Donna who posted a funny meme about something called “Creamed Possum” as a joke. Normally I would have fallen apart laughing. It was a drawn comic, not a real photograph of a ghastly stew. I had a strange reaction. I began gagging. Several minutes passed before I composed myself. I had to force myself to not think about it which was incredibly difficult to do. After awhile I was okay. Sweating a bit and confused about exactly why I did that. My first thought was, “OMG IT MUST BE CANCER-RELATED” (a frequent statement of mine). I was not at all nauseated the next day.

Next up a week later I had very visual nightmares. They would not suddenly vanish after awakening. They were haunting as a sudden memory flashback of a previous dream/nightmares I have had over my life. I am talking decades back. Then as soon as they would scare me, Rick would ask what I saw and suddenly they were brief and left me. I was not always able to explain what I dreamed of. I cannot tell you how disturbing this is.

A day or so later I said out loud to no one in particular, “Something doesn’t feel right.” – famous last words.

( Day one – “Not in the World” )
I feel disconnected from the world. I am having moments of deja vu and then je mais vu (where NOTHING looks familiar.) They BOTH suck. I have an ANNOYINGLY sweet taste in my mouth that by 9 PM turned into a SWEET and METALLIC taste. Deja vu and Jemais vu – not connected to the world, I feel alien, crawling skin, extreme fear, water, and coffee both taste like water with sweetener and an aluminum foil/pocket change vibe. It is revolting – everything. Mouthwash is temporary. Best foods are spicy and almond butter. Everything else, hideously sweet and a strong flavor of metal. Dinner was NOT a pleasant experience.

Terrie (school mate) started a prayer chain for me. My seizures were a full-on, day one, solid ten. Before the hour was up, 54-56 minutes, the seizures stopped. I knew immediately we had all witnessed a miracle. A lot of folks were praying and who can argue with that time-lapse? I expected to awaken to 10.0’s the next day. That did not happen.

(PS — THANK YOU TERRIE! — LOVE YOU SIS and EVERYONE who JOINED the CHAIN!)

( Day Two )
I should be having 10.0 seizures. I cannot explain this. My seizures, day two are 2.0 at the highest. My skin crawled a little and there were periods of cold and then very warm. Hands would sweat regardless if cold or warm. The sweating hands were the most annoying. A girly chick with sweaty hands? Oh, my children, this was revolting to me! On the bright side, normally I would be at a 10 on this day and it would be hell. I am anywhere from a 2 to a 0.5 at most. They keep jumping through these numbers but nothing is higher than a 2.0 – This is huge – what does it all mean?

( Day Three )
I hope I do not awaken to find this has all been a dream. There are no 10.0 seizures. Today even milder. I had the skin crawl, sweating hands, a bit dense, it was Friday, but I kept thinking it was Saturday. To rate these seizures, I would give them 0-5 to 2.0. I cannot believe I am writing this but 2 hours and 30 minutes after awakening they ended. Stopped. This has never happened.

( Day Four )
My hands are still sweating but much less. Seizures are 0.5 to 1.5. There is a noticeable improvement – I am overwhelmed, this would normally be a wretched 7 to 8 day. PTL!

( Day Five)
Is my epilepsy ending? As in leaving, going away, never to return again, ending? Is this how it disappears over time? Seizures today are 1.5 to 0.0 and they stopped after only 2 hours awakening. Extremely mild partials. A few shivers but nothing that I cannot handle. No hand sweating. Decades before I would be at around a 6 or so, 5 if a very good day. With 3-4 left to go. Bizarre. Here I am, the drama has subsided for the day. GOD, are you taking this “Cross to Bear” away from me?

( Day Six )
Mostly over! 0.2 with a few extremely mild cold chills. Lasted only about an hour after awakening.
I am Blessed, Highly Favored and very relieved!

( Day Seven )
Totally over, nothing a 0.0 – In the past this day has been anywhere from a 4 to a kick-ass, monstrous 10. My grammar has suddenly improved, thoughts and memories are easier to process. I am refreshed and back in “The World” – no signs of epilepsy whatsoever. Nothing out of the ordinary. The most dreadful seizures lasting for only 1 day instead of up to a week? Yes.

Thank You JESUS CHRIST!

I will keep everyone updated if these things happen again and if the recovery period is again strangely milder. I have a few ideas on why (Scientifically) this is ending? My heart says however – GOD is in CONTROL!

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