Saturday, April 19, 2008

Fourteen Seizure Drawings

Fifteen drawings by my daughter Lisbeth, fourteen of them done after she had seizures. Lisbeth has uncontrolled seizures due to a traumatic brain injury caused by a viral illness when she was six years old in 1988. Up until 2001, Lis had 12 - 20 Grand Mal seizures a month which would render her speechless and out of it for days. She would spend days in a zone of perseverative behavior that made her resemble someone with severe Autism, doing things repeatedly like a record that's skipping. Lis has no recollection of these days - they form a black hole in her memory. Before 2001 she had maybe a handful of clear days a month.
In 2001 Lisbeth was surgically fitted for a Vagal Nerve Stimulator Implant. This and some new meds have reduced her seizures to about 6 per month. Now she has a handful of cloudy days a month and her quality of life is much improved.
Posted here are some of Lisbeth's incredible drawings that she has made while post ictal (after a seizure). She has no memory of making these drawings and when she sees them, she asks, "Who did those?" She doesn't like them. The last drawing posted here was done when Lis was clear. This is how Lis likes to draw. "The pretty way of it," she says (Lis is still emotionally around 6 or 7). The seizure drawings powerfully describe the black hole and altered consciousness that Lis endures while in the post ictal state. They are frightening and beautiful. They blow my mind. Lisbeth blows my mind.
The last pic is Lisbeth with one of her neorologists, Dr. Greg Holmes of Dartmouth Hitchcock Hospital.
Lisbeth also makes the most amazing and beautiful cut paper mandalas. I will post about these soon.


Rob S. said...

The human mind can be so fragile, yet so adaptable and mysterious all at once. I'm amazed at the nature and form of these drawings, done in such a fugue state.
I'm glad Lisbeth is doing so much better, but I am also glad I saw these. A small insight into the complexities of human physiology and its relation to psychology, or, if you will, the soul.
Thank you for sharing them.

Martha Miller said...

You're welcome! They are very interesting images. I especially love the top pic - so complex! Those 2 figures making up one face...wild.