By Mason Gehring
(Image left: Morning doodle- New goals for new Me, pencil on paper, 8.5″ 11″, 2020)
(Preview Image: Captive, acrylic on canvas, 12″ x 12″, 2020)
My one year anniversary of being seizure free is on Sunday. It’s also my one year anniversary of graduating from the University of Florida with my masters in Arts in Medicine. This final seizure was the type I call a small seizure, rather than the big seizure where I blacked out and stopped breathing and ended up in the hospital. The big seizure is technically called a tonic clonic seizure.
This small seizure was like 5 others that I had (even after being put on medication) where it starts with being filled with anxiety like so much it feels like I’d rather rip all my skin off than even think I could manage it, and then one side of my face goes numb, I’m not able to use my lips to talk, thinking of words is really difficult, and then one side of my body will go numb, my hand will crunch into a fist I can’t control, and down to my leg and foot will follow with numbness.
The final small seizure was as we were driving to UF to get my cap and gown and attend the commencement ceremony for my degree. I wasn’t going to let anything stop me from walking across that stage that day. I think back on it now and I was in a manic state, so many levels of anxiety, excitement, relief, and always the haunting shadow of the next seizure. A year later and it is so much better. I’m much more present, slower, listening to my body and mind. More gentle with myself and less trying to always juggle the entire world.
I recently found out from my neurologist that I will be able to get off of my epilepsy meds and that was the best christmas present a girl could ask for! It feels like a real shot at being more myself again but not going back in time. I am forever changed but this new me is pretty awesome.
Brain Waves, Pencil on paper, 8.5″ x 11″, 2020
SEIZEme, Acrylic on canvas, 30″ x 24″, 2020