Showing posts from October, 2020

A New York State of Mind

Gazing onto East Seventh Street four stories below, people looked like figurines. Some walked their dogs, others carried packages.  One couple, holding hands, stopped to steal a kiss. I watched as he drew her close,  g ently brushing a wisp of hair from her eyes. I couldn't see her reaction but imagined her smile. August in New York. Two proper nouns that never go well together.  The haze and humidity swirled in a stifling blend that could lull anyone to sleep — if not for the intolerable heat.  I had expected the city to be a ghost town, but  people were out. Buying produce at Second and Seventh, stopping for a bagel, going places. It was nearly 11 a.m. on Saturday.  I was standing in Dennis's new apartment. With the windows closed, walking in  felt like entering a sauna .  And yet it was easy to see what he saw in the place.  Heavy on wood with a Beatnik mystique, the vacant studio  was a study in contrasts, like Dennis himself. It was barely 500 square feet in size, but pull

A Deep Dive on Auras

More than 20 minutes into it — with my nose fully fragrant and recess over — it hit me. I hadn't gotten flashing lights in two months. The dizziness was my new aura.  An aura is a warning that a  tonic-clonic seizure  may be coming. It's a seizure  in its own right, where you don't lose awareness. But I never knew that. I mean, do people know that?  As a young girl with epilepsy, I learned that auras were "warnings." And that's how I understood them, even into adulthood.  Not everyone with epilepsy gets  auras . It depends on the type of epilepsy you have. For people diagnosed with tonic-clonic seizures (like me) auras can be part of the package. The two often go hand in hand. Like hopscotch and hide and seek, auras were just another aspect of youth. I don't remember them in my youngest days. They muscled their way in, to my life or my memory, somewhere around second grade. An aura can manifest in any number of ways — as a metallic taste, an odd feeling,

A Metromix Moment

The dizzy spells came every month after that. They always lasted for 30 minutes to the second, it was weird. The blend of vertigo and pressure felt more significant than anything I’d experienced, and I couldn’t shake the notion that it meant something profound.  I didn't tell anyone about them. Not my parents. Not Dr. Sullivan . Not anyone.  Over the last several months, my faith in neurologists had waned. As the daughter of a physician, the breakdown in trust felt like a betrayal. As it was, I'd left my Chicago neurologist in December,  after she dismissed the negative thoughts . Her rigid approach to medicine wasn't a good fit, and it was time to move on.  "Not possible," she had said. Not possible for an epilepsy drug to cause negative impulses. And yet they persisted five months later. Granted, I had referred to it as "depression" instead of suicidal ideation. Didn't want to alarm her or anything (for my sake, you know, not hers).  Nonetheless, I