Nathani Lunerburg - After the seizure they take me to another ward. And I see her with blurry eyes.

CONCEPT OF SERIES: THE LOOK UP: FINDING LIGHT IN A HOSPITAL ROOM

This series of artworks delves into the complexities and challenges I faced by being diagnosed with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (TLE), particularly focusing on the heightened risk of Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) subsequent to seizures. The artworks highlights the clinical manifestations of TLE, the potential mechanisms underlying SUDEP, and the psychological impact of hospitalisation following a seizure episode. Additionally, it sheds light on the my experience of confinement in hospital rooms, tethered to drips, with a sense of trepidation and uncertainty about future seizure occurrences.

Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (TLE) is a chronic neurological disorder characterised by recurrent seizures originating from the temporal lobes of the brain. While seizures themselves pose significant challenges to patients' well-being, the specter of Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) casts a shadow over the lives of individuals with TLE. SUDEP, defined as the sudden and unexplained death of an individual with epilepsy, often occurs following a seizure, particularly during sleep. Despite advancements in epilepsy research and treatment, SUDEP remains a distressing reality, necessitating a deeper understanding of its etiology and risk factors. TLE encompasses a spectrum of seizure types and clinical manifestations, including focal impaired awareness seizures (complex partial seizures) and focal aware seizures (simple partial seizures). The hallmark features of TLE may include altered consciousness, automatisms, emotional disturbances, and cognitive impairments. The temporal lobes play a crucial role in memory, emotion regulation, and sensory processing; thus, seizures originating from this region can have profound effects on cognitive and emotional functioning.

Following a seizure episode, I often find myself hospitalised, confined to hospital rooms, and connected to intravenous drips. The experience of lying in bed, gazing up at the ceiling, and contemplating the uncertainty of future seizures evokes feelings of helplessness, anxiety, and isolation. Despite medical interventions aimed at seizure control, the fear of SUDEP looms large, exacerbating psychological distress and diminishing quality of life.

In the artworks the image of my giraffe Natty is always present. She represents the seizure itself, the aura that warns me when the seizure is about to happen. In the context of epilepsy, an aura refers to a subjective sensation or experience that some individuals may perceive shortly before the onset of a seizure. Auras are often considered as a warning sign or a premonitory symptom that precedes the more overt seizure activity.

  • Nathani Lunerburg - After the seizure they take me to another ward. And I see her with blurry eyes.
  • "Look Up!" Group Exhibition
  • Digital painting, illustration and photomontage
  • 14.5 x 22.5
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