Journey with Epilepsy Part 1

Journey

My Journey with Epilepsy will document my journey from Sudbury, Ontario to the Epilepsy Monotoring Unit in London, On. I will also attempt to document my journey up to this point as best as I can.

The Begining of the End

It is October 2010, it has been your typical Afghan fall night. Cold an miserable. There is no wind but the dust is everywhere. I am sitting the gunners seat of a Light Armoured Vehicle III (LAV3). The work horse of the Canadian Army. A cigarette is burning in my left hand near the small open access hatch. My right is on the joy stick, my thumb controlling the remote weapons system. Consisting of a single 7.62mm NATO C6 General Purpose Machine Gun. My thumb on the controller, pans the gun system left and right searching for threats. The camera displayed on a screen in center console.

Left/Right/Up/Down I search. I am working the night shift and my relief will arrive soon. I am responsible for guarding the southern approach to our Observation Post. Shortly my 4 hours of watch duty will be over and I can grab a few hours of sleep before I have to work again.

Slivers of sun light begin to show over the horizon. I switch the camera from Infrared to Day. Finishing my cigarette I field strip it and toss it out the hatch. Almost immediately lighting another. A routine I have repeated several times over the past 4 hours. My first two were spent outside in an outpost, over looking the Northern sector. My last two here in the LAV 3.

I hear a commotion in the rear, I look back to see my relief dropping off his gear. He climbs up a rear hatch to the top of the vehicle and heads over to my hatch. Opening the hatch I climb out, we exchange pleasantries and I brief him what happened during the night here and elsewhere (heard on our radio). The hand over completed I make my way to the rear hatch and climb down as he climbs in and does a system check. I grab my gear and head the few feet over to our tent area. Hungry for breakfast I grab a ration of Beens and Weiners and place it in the warmer pouch.

Awakening

I open my eyes. No longer am I out in the desert surrounded by sand and dust. My brothers are nowhere to be seen. I see an IV line in my Left Arm, I see the whiteness of the walls, the softness of the bed. I am in the Role 3 Hospital. Immediately I check my self from top to bottom. How I got here is unknown to me. I seem to have all my limbs and other body parts and no extra holes. My head hurts and I seem to have a blank spot in my memory.

Seeing me awaken a nurse comes over. Immediately my Chain of Command surrounds me. Everyone is there, the Colonel, the Major, both the Regimental and Company Sargeant Majors and the Operations Sargeant. Close to panicking, I try to keep my composer. My head is all fuzzy and I cannot seem to focus. I am given my tour coin, I hear the words seizure, going home. I am handed a cell phone and told to call my wife.

With what wits I had left I realized it was the middle of the night back home, as I wasn’t currently missing anything or otherwise injured. I decided to not call and scare the crap out of my wife. I blank out.

Waiting to Leave

Awakening again a doctor or perhaps a nurse comes in. It is explained I had a grand mal seizure in the field and was airlifted back. I am told my CT scan was normal and I would be sent on to Germany for further testing. The words are almost a dream. I hear them and understand them but something is missing in my comprehension. The world goes blank again.

I awaken to another medic sitting with me, who was injured and airlifted back.. I am in desperate need of a cigarette. Time has no more meaning to me. I have no idea how much time has passed since I was at the Observation post. He goes out and talks to the nurses, I am not supposed to leave in case I have another seizure. He however convinces them to let me out for a smoke. For the next few days I drift in and out of sleep. Other medics come by to see me and take me out for cigarettes. It is all a blur. Magically my laptop and external drive appears.

The next thing I know it is the middle of the night and I am being loaded onto an aircraft, I have no idea where I am going or why. Again blackness surrounds me while waves of nausea strike. The aircraft engines start and the back hatch closes. I lose all sense and awareness of time.

2 thoughts on “Journey with Epilepsy Part 1

  1. Hugs my friend I understand its not easy to find out why your going through this I too have seizures since I was 2 I completely understand the frustrations when they come on I have had gone through what you have and now dont need to take meds for them i had grandma seizures my whole life and my meds caused them i didnt need to be on it be strong i send mine to ya hopefully they find out what causes it .shan

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