Tag Archives: dance

Dear Seizures: You Get in The Way of My Life

Dear Seizures,
I just thought I should write you a letter about our relationship. Hey guess what? It’s not working for me, and it never will work for me. I get it, you’re more tame these days, which I totally appreciate. I don’t like your temper, or when you go crazy on me. Can we try to keep consistency in your craziness?? That would be much, much, better. Because of you, I have to be extra careful today and miss my dance class. I have been looking forward to this class since well….a long time. Did you know seizures that if I went to a dance class and you decided to make an appearance I could hit my head, break a tooth, or sprain an ankle, just to name a few. Do you know how mean of you that is?? Causing injury on to people? That’s not proper behavior. Get your shit together and then maybe we can talk.

Sincerely,
Me

I cant adult today

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5 Tips For Better Seizure Management

Healthy Life Next ExitSo I was recently looking back on my childhood and youth, and I was trying to remember what I did to manage my seizures. Man, I make myself sound SO old! My childhood and youth weren’t actually that long ago! Anyways, now that I have done some memory retrieval I have come up with a list of Five Tips for better Seizure management. They may seem obvious, but when you are out of a routine, or are new to seizures I think they could come in really handy.

  1. Get Lots of Sleep!
    I cannot stress this one enough! It is SO important! Being in a regular routine of getting up and going to sleep at a certain time really helps your body to be in a proper sleeping cycle. I remember when I was back in middle and high school I would get up at the same time and then generally always go to bed at the same time, unless if there was a special school event that was happening. Lack of sleep is a major trigger of seizures for me, so this habit really helped to keep them on the down low.

  2. Eat Regularly
    food quoteThis tip may seem like a “no duh” tip, but I have found that eating three square meals a day plus snacks really helps. When I have not eaten in a while (which I am guilty of) is sometimes when I feel symptoms. This tip makes so much sense: lack of food+ lack of energy=fatigue and sometimes seizures. Planning out your meals can be a useful way to avoid this. When I was cooking for myself I usually made huge dishes of something, such as a vegetarian lasagna, to name one. I would put each individual slice into a Ziploc tupperware container and kept some of it in the fridge and some of it in the freezer. When I came home after a long day I didn’t have to spend extra time making food because it was already done! I just popped it into the microwave and added a salad. Easy as pie! I also sometimes keep protein bars on me in case I feel extremely fatigued when I’m out and about during the day. I find that helps to keep me going until the next meal. 

  3. Exercise Regularly

    EF2087Before my seizures relapsed a few years ago, I worked out at the gym at least four days a week, plus dance and running classes at The Running Room. Exercise served as a way for me to get rid of all my stressors, plus I was able to just enjoy some “me time” while listening to my ipod. Even though I am slowly getting back into dance classes, I try to go for a walk 4-7 times a week. Walking as exercise is so undervalued and has so many health benefits! Don’t under appreciate walking as a form of exercise!

  4. Spread out Your Activities
    Peanut-Butter-Jelly-Sandwich-Options-KidsThis one can be hard to do, and difficult to master. I kind of see it like this: when you put some peanut butter on a piece of toast, you don’t want all of it right in the middle. You want to make sure that you smooth it out all over the bread so its equally distributed. If fatigue and over exhaustion are seizure triggers for you, try to equally balance your work and social life. I try to avoid having a bunch of social engagements all in one night. I get tired easily, so going from party to party is a likelihood for disaster. My ideal week would look like this: go to work 8:30-4:30, have selected days that I go to work out classes and go for walks on the days that I don`t, have a few days where I see friends, and have a day or two all to myself doing chores and errands and or just lazing around with my boyfriend. Does that make sense? I’m not trying to do everything possible in one week, and in some cases I just need to say ‘no’. I have been told that I am “gregariously introverted”, so basically I love to socialize, yet I love being by myself and don’t get bored in my own company. Don’t feel silly about turning down social engagements! If your friends know and care about your seizures, they will understand. Health always comes first.

  5. Take your Medications Regularly

    It is super super important to take your prescribed medications regularly. When I was kid I used a little medication holder. As I’ve gotten older I stopped using it, but am going back to it due to poor memory and an incident of taking too many meds. Not fun at all!! I would 100% recommend using a dose it, so that way you know that you have taken your medication or not. Setting daily alarms can also help for you to remember to take your medication. Even if you are “feeling better” still take your medication. It means that the medication is working and going off of it could have severe consequences. Going off of medication is something that you can discuss with your neurologist, but never EVER do it own your accord.

I hope these tips have been useful! Feel free to leave a comment or even ask if I have any more tips for seizure management! I am pretty sure that I have more than 5 up my sleeve. 😉

scrabble healthy life

Confessions of an Epileptic: My Body Image Sucks

Picture of me 9

I have struggled with my body image for a long time, but have always found it a difficult subject to broach. “I feel like my hips are fat.” isn’t the most glamourous way to start a conversation. For the record, I am self conscious of my thighs, especially my hips. Also from a women’s studies perspective, it is worrisome that talking about negative body image as it may create more negative body image amongst my friends. I never really had a safe way of talking about it with my friends, as it is hard to know who may feel triggered by certain comments. Additionally, I never thought that body image and chronic seizures could have any form of correlation. Through having severe seizures and the feeling of complete loss over my own body has made me feel negatively towards my body in general. Also going from completely active with regards to working out at least 6 times a week to only going for moderate walks every day (if I could muster it) was a complete life style change that I was not sure I was willing to accept. These added on challenges to an already feeling of insecurity towards my body has been a difficult path in these past couple of years, especially because I want to feel at peace with my own body and how I relate to it. 

   Sometime in late 2012 I was put on Topamax, which is an anti seizure medication. Topamax completely suppressed my appetite, which is a common side effect, although it does not occur in everyone who takes it. Dinner became the most painful meal of the day, as I had to sit at the table with my parents and literally shovel food into my mouth. Eating was no longer enjoyable and started to feel more like a chore than an enjoyable way of socializing with my friends and family. I felt full all the time and no longer had any cravings or desire for some of my favourite foods. I still ate food, but the pounds fell off as they pleased. No one said much, except for the scale screaming my weight up to me past my toes. I began to notice that my face was slimmer and my jaw line seemed to be less cushy. It wasn’t until I went to a program coordinator for the Social Work Program at my university did I realize how evident my change in weight was. Although I wasn’t there to discuss my weight, she had no issue in telling me her thoughts on my appearance. “Wow Sita! You’re so slim! I can’t believe it! You’re just so tiny! You look so great!” I ignored her comments and looked helplessly at my friend who had come to the meeting with me. I pushed past her comments to further discuss the academic matters I was there to see her for.

      After the meeting I just felt so confused. Was it good that I was “so thin?” Did everyone secretly think I was fat beforehand and now was just a convenient time to tell me that I was too skinny, yet looking great?My current ‘skinny’ weight also happened to be my stupid self internalized “goal weight”, but I here I was getting a slap across the wrists saying I was “too skinny!!” Due to my insecurity of my body image I should have been elated at losing so much weight, but I started to worry that I would continue to lose more weight. I didn’t have much more to lose! Although I did not have an eating disorder, I felt uncomfortable having lost so much weight. My old weight was healthy! I had more muscle on me and I exercised at least 6 times a week. At this weight I was so sick I couldn’t even go to the gym and my friends and family were constantly watching my back, braced for my next seizure.

    Okay let’s fast forward to 2013. Thank gawd I was taken off of the Topamax (which was a relief because it slowed my brain processes in addition to making me lose weight). It was great to have my brain processing at a sharper speed again but I had lost so much muscle due to my sedentary lifestyle. I was also fearful of having a seizure while exercising at the gym, and ultimately that fear came true when I fell off of a stationary bike. After that incident, I felt like I did not belong in the gym anymore. For a period of months I started to feel more and more like a blob, while constantly reminiscing over the days when I could run 5 km in 30 minutes, and when I took Burlesque classes with my friends. (Yes, that’s right! Burlesque!) This feeling of being ‘too soft’ and ‘not muscular enough’ trickled into 2014 until the beginning of May when I did a fitness class with a friend. It was a Barre class which was high intensity yet still close enough to the ground in case anything happened. Also the fact that I had a friend there helped a lot. Today my thighs are killing me but it was so worth it! I also bought a 10 class dance pass from Groupon which was valued at over 100 dollars but I paid only 19 dollars for it! I can’t help but say that it’s a helluva deal! I can’t wait to do some more Zumba, Burlesque, hip hop, and the other styles of dance that are offered. Dancing isn’t super close to the ground like the Barre class was, but I am too excited to back out now! Since I will be working out more, I bought a pair of cross trainers for the dance classes and other aerobics classes in general. I love them! Aren’t they cute?! 

Picture of me 10
SO SO much shoe love!

I guess I’ve kinda come full circle: supposedly too skinny, to feeling like a blob, and now back on the dance/exercise bandwagon again. It’s amazing how seizures have affected my body image and how I view my body. Even though I was insecure about my body image, it has intensified during my period of illness. It is slowly recuperating, but it just goes to show how illness can affect how we view our own bodies and or our loss of control over them. In this case, epilepsy is highly relevant as epileptics literally have no control over their bodies when they are seizing, which is absolutely terrifying. It is also amazing how the intensity of a person’s seizures can limit them from every day physical activities that people who are not affected with some sort of illness may not think twice about. Remember to count your blessings, and if being fit for you means taking a short walk every day then pat yourself on the frigging back! You deserve it! Yay for being fit again! I can’t wait! Love you all! xox

10 Random Facts about Me

i-love-you-art-black-and-white-china-teacup-Favim.com-487593_largeI can’t believe that I haven’t posted this earlier. I mean, it’s a great way of learning new and weird things about the brains behind this blog. Anywho, here goes!

1. I Have Wanted to be a Social Worker since Age Ten
When I was a kid, my parents had a subscription to Time Magazine. I happened to get my hands on one of the issues, and the featured story was about a young boy who had Autism. The article absolutely fascinated me, as I had never considered that other people might see the world in a different way, and even have difficulty communicating with those in their life. I knew from that point on I wanted to hear about the stories in people’s lives, and have the skills to be able to help them with their issues. I never had any doubts about the direction I wanted to take in my life, so I volunteered in my community and worked with school aged children. I continued my dream by mentoring a young girl with a developmental disabilities, which taught me a lot about helping others. I am finally about to start my last semester of my undergraduate degree in the Bachelor of Social Work program, and I am so excited to actually get out into the field and start working!

2. I Love Plaid and Polka Dots
For some weird reason I am obsessed with plaid and polka dots. I have an amazing polka dot jacket that I am completely in love with. I also have two plaid shirts that look amazing with black jeans. One thing to note about my love for plaid and polka dots: I never, EVER wear them together. 😉
 
3. I Don’t Drink Coffee
Unless you have been following my blog for a while, you’d know that I’m not an avid coffee drinker. The only time that I drink coffee is when I go to Starbucks or some other overly-priced coffee joint and I order some sort of pompous drink like a gingerbread latte. Otherwise, I usually make myself tea, Earl Grey Tea being my fave along with Jasmine Green Tea. I am trying to drink less tea, but it is just so addictive!

4. I Have Wayyy Too Many Lululemon Pants
Okay I have a confession. I have a slight obsession with lululemon pants. If you don’t know what lululemon pants are, they are the most amazingly comfortable workout/yoga pants in the entire world. I would generally choose to wear lulus over a pair of jeans, and thankfully I’m still a student so I can get away with looking casual on a regular basis. YAY!

5. Hugs Are The Best
What else can I say? I have a quota of hugs to be filled every day. Minimum: 3. Maximum: There’s no maximum. DUH!

6. I Re-Watch Shows and Movies ALL the time
You know how some people watch a tv series and then just move on to the next one? That seems to be the ‘normal’ thing to do, but I love re-watching tv series and movies. I find that I usually see something different the second time round watching it. I have watched season 1 of Orange is The New Black twice, Happy Endings, and parts of United States of Tara twice. I’ve also re-watched each episode of Four Weddings Canada at least twice. What can I say? I have no problems appreciating good TV.

7. I Love Black and White Photos
For some reason I feel that black and white photos reveal more about a person than colour photos do. A black and white photo shows a persons character, while a colour photo shows the person plus their surroundings. I also just love that old fashioned feel of black and white.
 
8. I Love to Dance
When I was a kid, I used to be really shy and was too self-conscious to take a dance class. Now that I’m older, I’ve learned not to care what others think. It’s one of my favourite ways to work-out, and I love that I get to listen to some of my favourite music while working up an awesome sweat. If I could choose, I would have to say that Zumba is my favourite type of dance. I’m not the greatest at couples dancing, so Zumba is perfect as I don’t have to depend on a partner or worry about messing up the steps and stepping on someone else’s feet. I have also taken a Burlesque class which was amazing, and I’m hoping to take a Pole Dancing Class once my seizures are really well controlled.

9. I Love Bad Jokes and Terrible Puns
I am kinda known for my bad puns, and most people groan at how awful they are. I, on the other hand love bad puns and stupid jokes. It’s just fun to laugh and be a dork. Why would you not want to laugh?It just makes life more fun!

10. I Always Save Room For Dessert
I love going out for dinner. There’s someone making food for me, and I can just relax with my friends/boyfriend while I ask the waiter for more water and anticipate the arrival of my meal. I’m not going to lie though, while I’m deciding on my meal, I always scope out the dessert menu to see if there is an amazing chocolate cake or brownie sundae on it. Sometimes a girl’s just gotta save room for some sweets. 😉

There ya go! Hope you enjoyed the Random Facts about me! Your turn! What are ten random facts about you? Love you lots! xox

Don't go bacon my heart