I want to share my experiences with Deja vu. I am hoping that people will see this and also want to descibe their unique experiences. I realize these can be very hard to describe, because it is so intense and personal, and if you are having them you know exactly what I mean. Epilepsy is a serious medical condition. Along with that burden comes this incredible almost enlightened feeling in the form of these deja vus or simple partial seizures. I am not saying I enjoy them, I am only saying there is something strangely familiar and baffling about the whole process.
I have experienced these deja vu episodes for a few years now, and have just come to learn that these are simple partial seizures (SPS). I was diagnosed with epilepsy in May. I had a tonic-clonic seizure on May 21 2009. My Dr. says that I have been experiencing SPS for a couple years now. As for the Tonic-Clonic, for some reason on May 21, my SP seizure took a different path and became the tonic-clonic. It could happen again. But it is hard to say when, because I usually don't have a tonic-clonic after a SPS. (Meaning that a deja vu/SPS is an auru or pre-cursor for the tonic-clonic, but that doesn't always happen for me.) This was my first tonic-clonic (that I am aware of) and I am 31 with no history of epilepsy in my family. I have no memory of my tonic clonic seizure, which is a pretty big head trip. My husband was there and he saw it and called the medics.
I was woken up early that morning with my usual deja vu with metallic flavor and hot flashes. I was having them over and over from about 6:30am-8:30am. I got up at about 8:30am and went to the bathroom. I told my husband I was going back to bed, that I was having my deja vu's. By now, this was fairly typical, I had been experiencing them for a few years. There was a definite pattern of symptoms that came along with them. My husband heard a huge gasp from the bedroom and came in to find me drooling, my eyes fluttering, and I was rythmically shaking, arms, legs, etc. I was unconscious and he called the medics. They came around 3-5 minutes later, and I woke up to them standing over me asking what my name was, my husbands name, what year, etc... I was able to barely respond, and I was confused. I was told I had had a seizure. I was able to get up, and I noticed my tongue was all bloody and chewed up, it was all very scary and confusing, because I didn't remember any of it. I was driven to the hospital, where I continued to have more deja vus. I was so sick, they had to give me a bag in the ER cuz I thought I was going to lose it. Everything was fine in the ER, no tumors etc. ( I already knew that though, because I had actually had an MRI and EEG last fall. More later) I had the WORST headache of my life the rest of that day. A deep down neck and headache that makes you sick to your stomacch. My whole body felt beat up, every single muscle hurt. Not to mention the chewed up tongue... I was beat down for a few days, completely worthless and out of it.
Last fall, I started noticing a pattern of symptoms with the deja vu. When referred to a neurologist, I was unable to get a positive eeg. I was actually told I was having panic attacks and was dismissed. This really pissed me off, and made me feely a little crazy to say the least...
I can trace this (I think!) as far back as aug-sept. of 2007. I know it started a while before then- but all I can say is this- by aug.- sept. 2007 I had noticed a pattern- Deja Vu with a really strange metallic flavor in my mouth. The next big series of them was sept. 15, 2008. That is when they woke me up out of my sleep. How crazy is that! Now this was for real, and I knew it wasn't a trick of the imagination. To be jolted out of sleep by deja vu and a metallic flavor was just not normal.
I will usually have about 3-5 deja vu's with metallic taste, one right after the other. In the VERY beginning, years ago, I would think that maybe I had an inner ear infection, and my eqilibrium was off, so I would elevate myself halfway up in bed. I would take my time getting up so that I didn't give myself that awful feeling. Then for a while I thought that maybe I was still dreaming!! Maybe I hadn't woken all the way up. The deja vu seemed very dreamlike, but was just out of my grasp, although very intense, and the physical symptoms so INTENSE.
They usually happen in the morning, waking me up. Lately, If I have been woken up with them that morning, I will have them throughout the day.
I have noticed that I sleep really terrible that night, lots of tossing and turning, hot flashes. It starts with a jolt out of sleep- like you almost hit a car on the road, and you get that rush. Then- deja vu with a metallic taste that gets hot and fills up my mouth. It almost seems like it comes down from my sinuses, and up through my throat. I get this familiar feeling times 10,000. A dream or memory I can't remember- EVERYTHING is SO FAMILIAR every sound, sight, smell, every word someone says. I am always sure I have seen it or been in that moment before. Sometimes its the way I FEEL, at that exact moment - that -is the deja vu, with everything in perfect sychronicity around it. Lately, the deja vu is also accompanied with a flash- of a memory- of when I first had the original thought that the deja vu is about. It seems just out of grasp, but so closely familiar. I get so consumed by it I want to figure it out, so I sometimes wonder if I should change my path? If just maybe this is trying to tell me something.... Is this familiar for a reason? Maybe this means I am exactly where I should be at the moment, this is reassurance. It makes me question everything. I am completely stopped in my tracks. My face flushes my skin flushes and gets waves of stinging heat and sweat. Then after that I get cold and I turn pale white. I have never actually thrown up, but I feel really sick to my stomach. I have noticed periods of intense shivering and teeth chattering after the heat flashes lately. (I took my temp the other day during the hot flashes and it was normal. ) Also, if I have a night where I feel close to a deja vu (lots of tossing and turing and hot flashes etc) then that morning, when I get up, I can tell I feel close to having deja vu. If I look out my kitchen window, there is some kind of a trigger with the way the light reflects off of our flat roof. If I am close, that will usually send me over the edge. Its so strange. By the time I am halfway back to my bedroom I am usually in full deja vu mode. When I feel like this, it just comes in waves and makes me sigh really loud over and over to release the pressure of the intensity that my bdoy is responding to. Everything is so vibrant and intense.
Lately I have had them out in public. I am able to keep my composure and almost even push it away sometimes, but I feel so stunned that I know I couldn't or wouldn't want to respond if someone was to try to talk to me. I tend to gravitate toward people who I am familiar and comfortable with during this.
Two weeks ago, I felt like I had experienced the whole day before, like i was watching a movie. I was woken up out of my sleep with hot flashes and the awful physical feelings, but no deja vu. My husband and I drove to a yard sale, and on the way at a certain place in the road I had the deja vu so strong I said out loud- oh my god, i know I have dreamt this day, this is all so crystal clear, this moment. I kept on running into people I knew, and everyone seemed familiar, like I could almost place them in my life. Like 6 degrees of seperation, where we all move in similar circles with the same faces and people.... Every time we drove by that place in the road, I would get the metallic taste and all the rest, but no intense deja vu like the first time we drove by. The deja vu I seemed to be able to push away the intensity, because it was ALWAYS slightly there all day. I would just shake my head in amazement when the nagging deja vu feeling would get stronger.
How can our brains play this huge of a head trip with us? To know there is a medical reason for this is important, but bewildering when you are in the moment with it.
I know this entry is long, I hope it is easy enough to follow. In a nutshell, this has been my journey into epilepsy.
I would love to hear other peoples deja vu experiences. I would love to know- does anyone else feel like you are two different people? Meaning- when I am in the deja vu moment- I really feel like there is another life I am absent from- whether it is a past life, or just a part of me I am missing, I don't know. I often feel like I am watching a movie of my life that I have seen over and over. There is something very esoteric and special about these deja vus, that makes me feel like it is not JUST epilepsy. It is very scary for me to even say this. If you feel the same way- you know what I mean. I am not a religious person, nor am I a super hippy into everything magic and alternative. (Although I do I have interests there, I have been a massage therapist for the last 10 years, so I do believe in human energy and the power of it. ) I was told once I had suffered a very long fall in a past life and this stirred up so many emotions I immediately responded to this person with an unexplainable intensity of tears and a sense of yes! that could be true. I do not have a fear of heights, but I have a fear of falling. Every time I go down the stairs, I feel and picture myself falling. I am not sure yet, if I even believe in past lives. My heart tells me yes, but my logical brain looks for another reason.
Can anyone relate?