Café Complex

It began innocently enough. I had an urge to speak in metaphor a little more than usual. I was sleeping better. But then it began to get strange. Words started taking on abstract shapes and colors. Sometimes I lost them in my head, I could see them floating around in there, but I couldn’t quite pull them out of my lips. Then they began to take on emotions that has nothing to do with reality. I fell in love with words like “Essence” and “Edit”.  Some of them made me gag to say them. Some made me shutter. I began to stutter.  One day, I was awake, but I could not wake up. Let me tell you friends, Zonisamide is no fucking joke.

I know there are a few of you who read this blog for specific reasons. A few of you read it because you too share my peculiar affliction. I know from experience that it is strangely comforting to find someone who understands what it means to have Epilepsy. It sounds terrible, but sometimes I wish it on my friends. Not because I want them to hurt, but because there is no way to verbalize the experience.  I have a few friends who try hard to understand, but for the most part, no one really get’s it. I can’t say that I blame them. I barely get it. It is only since I have taken more than one drug that I can now discern between what is a drug side effect and what is not. This last one had side effects that even the mighty Kale could not conquer.


This is how my brain felt about half the time I was on this medication. For the full effect you would need to shoot your entire body full of Novocaine, drink two or three of the drinks recommended below and light your hair on fire while reading Finnegan’s Wake. I would NOT recommend it.

If you search Youtube for information on Epilepsy you will find videos from the US featuring a pubescent girl, press conferences on intellectual property rights and lots of drug ads. We are pitiful. My only solace ..India is more pitiful. Sorry friends, I know it’s not your fault.

I’m ready to move to Canada. They seem to get it. Here is one of their many educational video’s on Epilepsy. The goal of this series was to dispel common social myths and stigmas and they aren’t pretending it only happens to children, old people, brain damaged or mentally ill, scary looking people. They are, in fact, suggesting, that they are competent, successful, intelligent, and you might even know someone who has it. You might even find them….gasp….attractive. Imagine that.

Out of sheer terror, I stopped the Zonismide and went back to the Keppra. I had a long talk with my pharmacist friend when I could form proper sentences again. He gave me a little perspective on how far we have come as a society. He said, “A hundred year’s ago they would have just cut your brain in half and not asked many questions. In ten or twenty or fifty years we might have a cure.” I sighed, saddened at the thought. I just don’t think I can wait that long. But, then again, maybe I hold a small part of that cure in my head.

Zombie (just a little taste of what Zonisamide feels like)

1/2 oz Bacardi® 151 rum
1 oz pineapple juice
1 oz orange juice
1/2 oz apricot brandy
1 tsp sugar
2 oz light rum
1 oz dark rum
1 oz lime juice
Blend all ingredients with ice except Bacardi 151 proof rum. Pour into a collins glass. Float Bacardi 151 proof rum on top. Garnish with a fruit slice, sprig of mint and a cherry.

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