There are three events in my recent past that have really scared me and I wanted to share them with you – the first was a car accident with my youngest daughter who was about six months old at the time; the second was when I came downstairs one morning to find that our TV, amongst others things, was missing and the third was going on the pirate ship at Legoland.
About three years ago, I sat in the passenger seat on a motorway somewhere in the middle of Israel minding my own business when all of a sudden there was a crash towards the back of the car – my baby daughter started crying and my husband and I were flung forward. Someone had hit us. All I remember was getting out of the car and getting out of the car to comfort my baby daughter – but realising that the only reason why I was doing that was was because I knew that was that other people would do in such a situation – it wasn’t an instinctual feeling, it wasn’t innate, it was just something that I knew was the right thing to do at the time. And I felt scared. I still feel scared thinking about it. I knew that there was something wrong with me. I wanted to feel differently, I wanted to feel panicked and stressed and shocked, but instead I felt dead inside – just as I normally do.
Then about two and a half years later I came downstairs one morning with my elder daughter, aged eight standing behind me and she said in a loud shrill voice, looking through the open lounge door, ‘The TV’s been stolen; we’ve been burgled,’ and at first I really didn’t quite understand what she was saying. I then became aware that the TV wasn’t there. ‘But did that necessarily mean that it had been stolen’, I thought. ‘How did she come to that conclusion so quickly? Could there be another possible explanation?’ I couldn’t think of one. And then I felt scared. I was standing in front of my daughter as we walked down the stairs – why didn’t I notice that the TV was missing first and why couldn’t I just put two and two together figure out that we had been burgled. I knew there was something wrong with me and I felt stupid and scared that my very thoughts somehow weren’t doing what they were supposed to be doing but I didn’t know what to do about it.
And the last event was, when I went Legoland in that same year, with my family. We were reaching the end of the day and had found the Pirate’s ship. ‘That looks fun’, my eldest daughter said and off we went to queue up. We sat right right right at the back. The ominous bar came down and I was scared – scared in a good way, but still scared. And as the ship went faster and faster I kept on holding my daughter’s hand tighter and tighter and my screams got louder and louder. Whereas previously, after the car crash and the burglary, I had detested feeling scared, now I rather enjoyed it. Feeling scared gave me an exhilaration that I rarely every have. ‘Let’s go again’, I said to my daughter.
Therefore after analysis of these three situations I conclude that feeling scared is all in the mind. At the same three events other people might have felt extreme panic or anxiety – the only difference being that their brain reacted differently. Thus feeling scared is just about the brain reacting to certain events, or thoughts, and is actually not about what is taking place before our eyes.
In other news
This week I have had further testing – at 24 hour EEG, where wires were attached to my scalp for a day to measure my brain activity. I have had this test done many times before so I am not expecting anything the results to show anything new but it is worth taking the test anyway, just in case.
My first appointment at the ketogenic clinic isn’t until late September so in the meantime I have been carrying about research about cannabis oil. Although in the UK, you cannot be prescribed medical Marijuana, you can buy quite legally, cannabis oil – a substance made out of the hemp part of the cannabis plant and there was been some research that says that this oil can help with seizures. So if the ketogenic diet doesn’t work I will try that.
Now that I have almost finished working on London City Airport – The first thirty years – I need to find something else constructive to do with my days. My neuropsychologist contacted Headway, the brain injury charity, to see if they could assist me with finding something, but unfortunately because I do not have a diagnosis of a brain injury, Headway does not have funding to see me. As I said in my last blog, I will not being see my neuropsychologist again. However, I responded to the Epilepsy Society’s request for suggestions about how they could best serve people with epilepsy (train neurologists in the non-seizure impact of epilepsy, carry out research into how cognitive of the condition could be treated) and I also attached a link to my blog. They got back to me and said – would you like to write a blog for us about the ketogenic diet. I thought that was a good idea, so that is what I am going to do – it should keep me amused for a while.