Posted in Developmental disability, Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

My aura

A cracked desert landscape.

With epilepsy, an aura — from the word for breeze, because for some people it feels like a breeze blowing over your body — is a mild seizure that gives you a signal that a more severe seizure is coming. So you might go from feeling a breeze blowing on you, which would normally be a simple partial (at least in the terms from the time I knew them — I think they call them something different now) seizure, to a full tonic-clonic seizure. And the breeze feeling would be the aura.

My aura is a feeling of extreme dryness to the point of pain. As if all the water has been instantly drained from my body and I’m parched and in the desert sun. And then time can seem to become infinitely long. And there may be déjà vu, especially if it’s in clumps rather than just once. And any of those things can be an aura for me. I used to have other ones, but this is pretty much what it’s been for a very long time.

Usually if I have seizures with auras, then it’s leading into a specific type of complex-partial seizure, rather than into other types of seizures I’ve also had. Complex-partial seizures are my most common kind of seizure. So for me, it usually runs that it starts out simple-partial (aura) and ends up complex-partial. The difference is that simple-partial seizures don’t impair consciousness, and complex-partial seizures do impair consciousness. But both can be experienced and remembered, either partly or fully, unlike the type of seizures where you don’t remember anything at all from during the seizure.

Auras are useful because they give you a warning, so you can take meds or lie down or stop driving or do other things to prepare for the larger seizure that is usually coming.


Hufflepuff. Came from the redwoods, which tell me who I am and where I belong in the world. I relate to objects as if they are alive, but as things with identities and properties all of their own, not as something human-like. Culturally I'm from a California Okie background. Crochet or otherwise create constantly, write poetry and paint when I can. Proud member of the developmental disability self-advocacy movement. I care a lot more about being a human being than I care about what categories I fit into.

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