First Seizure


First Seizure


The day I had my first seizure I was taking a seminary class. There were about 12 other people in the class. I say there were about 12 because I didn’t know them very well. The class was held in the Chinese city of Kunming.

I don’t remember the seizure happening. I have notes in my book from that morning, so I know I was there. Those memories are gone.

I woke up on the floor. People were hurrying around me. One of my classmates was kneeling over me. That’s when I learned that she was a nurse. She kept telling me not to move.

Someone told me that an ambulance was coming. I remembered wondering what I would read to pass the time in the hospital.

The ambulance people strapped me to a stretcher. Because the elevator was too small they carried the stretcher down 12 stories. Many buildings are tall in China.

When the stretcher reached the street, I saw a street food worker selling food next to the ambulance. I realized that other people were still doing things even though I had had a seizure.

I don’t remember the drive to the hospital.

I remember spending the night in the hospital. I remember having nothing to read. I stared at the ceiling sometimes. I stared at the elevated sides of my bed sometimes. My bed felt like a baby’s crib, except much bigger.

One of the other students stayed the night in the hospital with me. They did this even though we didn’t know each other. He was also American…Chinese-American, so he could speak Chinese.

Today, when I am writing this, it has been 7 years and six months since my first seizure. In order to prevent future seizures I take Keppra. Keppra is the 92nd most prescribed medication in the United States. I don’t know how many people take it in China.

Later a doctor told me my seizure was a front temporal lobe type. People who experience those kind of seizures often have déjà vu beforehand. When the doctor told me that I remembered having lots of déjà vu the year leading up to my seizure. That memory is real. Not déjà vu.

I have never had another seizure, but the doctors want me to keep taking Keppra. They say the Keppra is what is keeping me healed.

Recently I was looking through the notes I took the morning of my seizure (the notes I don’t remember). On one of the pages this is what I wrote:

In Luke 9:42 Jesus healed a boy with epilepsy. “You really are an unbelieving and difficult people,” replied Jesus. “How long must I be with you?”

Zary Fekete

Zary Fekete has worked as a teacher in Hungary, Moldova, Romania, China, and Cambodia. She currently lives and works as a writer in Minnesota. Some places she has been published are Goats Milk Mag, JMWW Journal, Bethlehem Writers Roundtable, and Zoetic Press. She enjoys reading, podcasts, and long, slow films. Twitter: @ZaryFekete

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