As I slowly began to collect my belongings for what was to be a joyful reunion of old friends in one of my favorite cities, it occurred to me as I looked at what appeared to be very few sheets of medication that something didn’t seem quite right. As I began to correlate the days left with the dosage, to my absolute horror I realized they didn’t marry up, I was short. The panic which engulfed me was indescribable. I’m sure fellow epilepsy sufferers, if this is a situation that unfortunately is familiar to you you will understand exactly to what I’m referring. Initially, I simply sat on the floor dumbfounded, how could this possibly have happened? I had never made this error in my calculations before, I’m obsessive compulsive and with good reason (!) when it comes to travelling and medication. The two essential elements that go hand in hand when I travel are passport and pills, any other absent items are insignificant as they can be purchased.
As my brain began to process the ghastly situation and the fear began to rise like a phoenix out of the flames in my stomach, I realized I had to get logical not emotional (had he known, it would have been much to the delight of my logically minded partner!) to figure out the options. My first instinct was to change my flight to leave early, but I didn’t relish the thought of paying probably what would have been the same price that I had paid for the return flight in the first place. Plus, I had another presentation to give, a few more days to stay and I had made a commitment to the community in order to do this. I certainly didn’t want to let them down or spend less time there unless it was absolutely necessary.
Two ideas that sprung to mind were; trusty FedEx and calling the local doctor’s surgery for which I had previously visited when residing in the community to see if they would issue some AED’s. The only difficulty which could arise was that despite being nine months into a twelve month prescription of medication obtained from the UK prior to leaving, I was now liaising with my doctor in Washington to obtain more. However, the British medication, Epilim or Sodium Valproate I discovered is not available in the USA (again when that news was broken another mild panic ensued and an anxiety filled email flew straight to my British neurologist’s inbox! Needless to say he saved the day with a prompt and reassuring response to say that Depakote was the one for me, a combination of Sodium Valproate and Valproaic Acid, fine to take and at the same dosage – phew!). Reiterating the newly ascertained information to my American doctor I found, and naturally so, it was still necessary to visit a neurologist here in Washington, no problem, on my to-do list for my return. However, with this delightful little pickle I found myself in now, the current lack of neurologist could prove problematic.
Throwing caution to the wind, I gave the local doctors surgery a call only to find that the doctor was on vacation and there was no one to cover. That was plan B eliminated. Onto plan C, calling FedEx. This would have cost me $215 for an overnight delivery – the ding, ding, ding of the jackpot, or lack of, filled my head. Was there a plan D? Not really! I decided that two heads were better than one and there is none more logical than my other half, who after some rummaging around found the price of mailing the AED’s to be $12. He also discovered we get 70% off mailing via FedEx from our building – bonus!
Knowing he was taking care of this was a relief I cannot explain. He unknowingly became my knight in shining armor, for some, perhaps that may seem a little dramatic, but knowing what the outcome would have been made him nothing short of a life saver. As my faith in silver linings continues, a friend said, ‘If for nothing else at least this could be great material for a blog entry’ and she was right, here it is.
The number one trigger for seizures in epilepsy is missed medication.
Remember to check your amounts before you travel and take a little extra medication with you, it’s always better to have too much than too little!