Sometime towards the end of grade 11, I started experiencing what I initially called “seizures.” It was the closest explanation I could come up with. My muscles would lock up and start shaking. It would center on one part of my body and radiate out. The longer the attack, the farther out it would go. A friend first witnessed one of these attacks during a skype call when we were in grade 12. He threatened to call my parents to get them to help me, but I refused, citing that I wasn’t supposed to be on the computer at that time. Mostly, no one knew I was experiencing these attacks. They’d come and go, sometimes I’d have them all the time, sometimes I wouldn’t have any. In 2011, I had the worst attack yet, it lasted over 3 hours. It started when I was at college, studying before heading home. Another student who I talked to on occasion noticed and asked if I was okay. She was my catalyst to finally seek medical help. I somehow managed to get myself to the bus stop, onto a bus, and to the hospital. I got in and saw a doctor relatively quickly. The doctor didn’t listen and barely looked at me before telling me that since it was an ongoing problem, I had to talk to my GP, and he sent me home. I experienced spasms for a further half hour after leaving the hospital before finally coming out of the attack. A bit later, I was able to record a video of an attack so I could show it to my doctors. I ended up seeing a neurologist who ran an EEG and sent me for an MRI. Both came back normal and he was dismissive. A second neurologist was equally dismissive on seeing the results and told me that my experience was psychosomatic.
I don’t talk about my past, prior to the whole no-sleep thing, very much on this blog, but I feel this little bit is important. The muscle spasms showed up sometime around 2007 and vanished sometime around 2014. About 7 years of intermittent painful muscle spasms that no one could explain. And since then, nothing.
Until a couple weeks ago.
A couple weeks ago, I started experiencing what I can only describe as going blank. I’ll be in the middle of something (never verbal conversation) and I’ll suddenly just stop. It’s about 50/50 if I stop and just stay in that position, or if I flop. Flopping is kind of like, my muscles go loose, like if I were drifting off to sleep. Either way, my mind just circles around the idea that I’m not able to think of anything else, that I’m not able to move, that I’m stuck. I’m vaguely aware of what’s happening around me, but I can’t focus on anything else. Slowly, I come back into my head and out of the blankness and pick up wherever I left off. Unlike the muscle spasms, this is happening around other people (though no one’s recognized it yet).
Also unlike the muscle spasms, I’m aware that I’m overwhelmed and stressed and anxious. The doctors said that the muscle spasms were psychosomatic, and perhaps they were. Going blank seems to be as well, for all I can tell.