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Karin Mitchell's books on Goodreads
Between Families Between Families
reviews: 5
ratings: 8 (avg rating 4.75)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Turning a page

I had my first seizure when I was 21. I didn't know it was a seizure at the time. It just seemed all foggy and confusing and then I could hardly move. For hours.

I went to the ER hours later because of how I could hardly move. I couldn't walk on my own, really. I was too weak. We waited in the ER for a long time when I unexpectedly felt fine. We went home.

Over the next several months I went through MRIs, EEGs, EKGs, glucose tolerance testing and much more. I was diagnosed with epilepsy and put on meds. I lost 1/3 of my hair. I had seizures 3 and 4 times a day. Even on meds. Which made me feel drunk and on an emotional rollercoaster. Oh, and did I mention I was 21 and losing my hair? Cuz being a bald woman is something that is bigger and scarier than it sounds.

Is it as bad as being quadrapeligic? Of course not. But its no small thing.

I tried different meds. My hair stopped falling out. But I was still an emotional mess and I still had seizures.

After months of this, I gave up. I stopped taking any meds. I figured what was the point of risking the side effects of medication when the medication wasn't stopping any seizure side effects anyway? So I quit.

I quit drinking. I quit staying out and up all hours. I quit eating shit for meals. And I started running.

I decided to run a marathon. It gave me a goal and a focus. At one point early in my training, I seized mid stride and fell flat on my face. I got up and finished my run. And after a year of training, I crossed a finish line.

And cried. And celebrated. (With a beer.)

Years later, there was a new medication on the market. I tried it. There is a fatal rash associated with this medication. But no birth defects (unlike the other meds I'd taken.) I cried hysterically for hours every time the dosage was upped. And my sex drive snuck away when I wasn't looking. I had no drive. I mean, none. It just didn't ocurr to me.

By this time, the changes I'd made to my health and lifestyle meant that I was down to 3-4 seizures a year. I decided I could deal with that.

I went back off meds.

I got married a couple of months later. I had a seizure the day after the wedding. I was ok with that too. I was exhausted and it had been a very stressful time.

I only had 2 more seizures after that. And one of them I'm not sure if counts. It was so mild.

And now its been over 2 years. 2 years of no seizures.

But I'm pregnant. And things at work have been beyond stressful. So I got a little worried. Plus, I'd really like to have the birth take place out of a hospital setting. In a perfect world, I'd have the baby at home. I know a nurse midwife to do the catching. But first I had to see a neurologist.

So I went to the neurologist. I had to make 4 appointments before one stuck but eventually I got in to see him. And I was nervous. Really nervous. I was absolutely certain the doctor would have some alarmist attitude that would say I was not a good candidate for home birth and would try to pressure me to go back on meds and put my life through upheaval again.

That wasn't at all what happened. The doctor said he felt it was very likely that I could turn the page on this chapter of my life. Those were the words he used.

He ordered a 72 hour EEG, which means I'll get to spend a weekend walking around with electrodes on my head and not showering but I can deal with that. He wants to use it to confirm that there is no seizure activity going on. Meaning, I could be in the clear.

He said he saw no reason I couldn't have my baby at home.

Its put me in an outstanding mood. But also had me thinking about all the lonely times when I couldn't drive and was scared of how the seizures that were happening one after another might ruin my mind. My beautiful, smart, snappy, snarky, spunky, silly mind.

I was at an AA meeting with my dad (he's a recovering alcholic) and they talked about how you are not your disease. But it is a part of who you are. And its strange to let it go. Its like an ugly scar that you grow used to. And it might be fading before my eyes.

Its something to celebrate, but its also something to say goodbye to. When the time comes. When the baby's over the 6 or 8 week mark and I still haven't had a seizure. I'll forget where I set that scar down, the light white one that used to be in the back of my mind.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Beautiful Spring

My hommie Dean called me and left a message once with another friend of ours singing "Let's go surfin' now." I still have it saved. This weekend he turned 30. He left me a message saying "Karin. Its Dean. I'm turning old this weekend. Yeah, 30. I'm gonna need to see you this weekend and throw water baloons at you. I've got goals, Karin. Goals."

I met up with him on Sunday. We saw Pato Banton (see also kickass Reggae,) for free in the beautiful sunshine. Pato dedicated a song to the preggos. And I stood next to some deaf folks and got to thinking how they must experience the vibrations of a concert. Made me really feel connected to the parasite. I started thinking about that song dedicated to shim and how it was all bouncing around in fluid to the vibrations of reggae and it just felt so good. Next thing you know the show's over and Dean's running around in the snow trying to fly a kite.

Afterwards a bunch of friends played hacky sack in the sun. Baby's first hack went off okay. Shim can stall that shit.

Then yesterday I stopped by Dean's and teepeed his room. Just for fun. He knew it was me though. I was the first person he guessed. He called all giggly. It made me really happy.

Life's pretty sweet.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Baby Moves

Here's some advice I plan to follow with regard to giving my children things to drink.
Give water. Nurse. Feed fruit. Rinse. Repeat.
No juice. Never. I mean it. Not until the kid's old enough to decide to spend pocket change on a chocolate bar vs. soda vs. juice vs. all the other things they shouldn't be having but we all do. Meaning, when my child is old enough to have pocket change. To go to the store and spend it and make change and make bad decisions they have to begin living with all on their own.

In other news, I felt the parasite move. MOVE! It was the most excitingest thing ever. Seriously, I couldn't focus on a thing afterwards and just kept coming up to Rob (who was trying to play his banjo) and saying "The baby moved, Rob. It MOVED!" Wander the house, attempt to read, rinse, repeat "The baby moved, Rob. It MOVED!" It was so awesome. Little thumps, not rhythmic and I don't know where they come up with flutters, thumps.

It made the chin hair I pulled out and the fact that the top of my boob touched my stomach when I bent over and my thighs touching and replacing "happy hour" with "gassy hour" and giving up soccer this summer all worth it. And none of those things are awesome. But 8 seconds of it moving and I was all set on my mission.

I have to say, though, I miss skiing. Badly. I'm going to be a mess by next season. Now I'm not even dreaming about skiing as much. Sad. I'm not supposed to ski. And at first I was allowed and it was fine. And then the doctor's office was all, "you shouldn't ski after your 1st trimester." And my friend who is 10 days behind me pregnantways was all, "Yeah, but I'm sure its fine. You'd pretty much have to break your pelvis for it to cause a problem." And I thought "ok." But then my coworker BROKE HER PELVIS! So yeah, no skiing.

The other good/weird thing is the dreams. Mine and other peoples. I dreamt about the baby being born and that was cool. It felt kinda like pooping in the dream. Like when you get the thing moving, it started to feel better and then it was just out and I was dying to know what it was.(We're waiting to find out if its got twignberries or a girlie playground until the bursting day.) I also had a dream about the bugger having teeth and coming at me to breastfeed, but that's another story.

And this! This is an email I got from a friend:

So I had the most fucked up dream EVER last night!!!! You were in it. I was pregnant...so were you...you were soooo excited that I was pregnant and I kept trying to explain to you that it wasn't a good thing that I was pregnant and had no idea who the father was...not because I had slept with so many people....but because I hadn't had sex??? But you were in the room at my doctor's office for an exam rubbin my belly...and then the doctor stuck her finger in my butt???? And you were hysterical!!!! Woke up soooooo confused....and with nothing in my butt!

This is funny because its totally what I would do. But seriously folks, the obgyno is not supposed to put her finger there. Right? That's not some other nasty surprise coming around a corner from here, right? Cuz the baby moving just got me over the hump of all the things I'm missing and I'm not sure what else is to come in pregnancy to get me over a finger in my asshole.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wednesday Weirdos: Santa doesn't belong in April

wednesdsay weirdo

I saw Santa walking with a walker yesterday. Only instead of a walker, it was giant antlers. And they were black. What animal has black antlers that if you held up would be just the right size for Santa to use? I wanted to yell, "Santa, it is NOT ok to do that to Rudolf. I don't care what he did to your favorite pair of red velvet pants!"

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The line between asshole and normal is yellow

Know how I know?

I don't know why, but whenever I see shoes like this

high heels

I think, "I want to kick her/his ankle." Its sort of like sticking your finger in someone's mouth while they're in the middle of a yawn, or pushing your index finger into the middle of a person's bruise, or when someone's squatting on their haunches pushing them over. And I do all those things. I guess, I'm just an asshole. Although, for the record, I've never kicked anyone's ankle.

We all have certain destructive thoughts. Most of us want to knock down a tower of blocks, and have thought of smashing someone's face into a cake or smashing our computer monitor. The ankle kicking thing is like a cross between the yawn-thing and the desire to drive into the median. We just have destructive, mean thoughts sometimes, I guess. Or at least, I do.

I get a cheshirecat grin thinking about it too. That's prolly where it crosses the line into me being an asshole.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Friday Quotes!

"Pink makes me want to chop off my hair and hit people. The color and the person. Oh, and pepto. That shit's gross."


"Q-tip + ear = No-no, but it feels so yes-yes!"

"Jogging with a dog makes so much sense. But walking in high heels while carrying a dog? I don't get it."


"There's something about waiting in a principal's office in a kiddie chair that makes me want to write the F word on the wall in smelly marker."

"It's very clear to me that everyone celebrates my birthday with humping."

"With my son, after he dropped he kept getting the hiccups. It felt like my vagina was burping all day."

"Whenever I have to go to the court, "we're off to see the wizzard" starts going through my head."