|Posted by 13 of Nazareth on October 13, 2010 at 10:13 AM|
welcome to the latest edition of Nazareth News, the breif informative newsletter of speech-hop artist 13 of Nazareth...although today will not be so brief
16 years, 3 days, 4 hours, 43 minutes & 10...11...12...13 seconds ago
On October 10, 1994 at 5:30am I collapsed onto my bedroom floor only to awaken several hours later in the emergency room to the sound of my own heartbeat being monitored. I had an oxygen mask over my face, an IV in my arm, and was surrounded by family members who seemed surprised that I was alive. I soon learned that I had a seizure and within several weeks I became familiar with terms like EEG, MRI, and Epilepsy. The latter being my diagnosis and quickly that diagnosis became a kind of run-on death sentence that would not end. I sank into depression and gained 60lbs in the remaining 8 months of my high school senior year. I spent the following two year getting kicked out of college in 3 months and adding phrases and phases of my life to that run-on death sentence.
By September 13, 1996 I had lost all the weight...unintentionally...and sat dumbfounded attempting to wrap my mind around the private celebration of my 20th birthday and the public mourning of Tupac Shakur who was just 5 years older than me. During and before my diagnosis Pac was my voice; he communicated in no uncertain terms all of the contradictory frustrations and beauties of being a young black male in America. His death/My celebration left me mute as I watched an except from an MTV interview wherein Pac said, "I may not change the world, but I will spark the brain that changes the world." and I felt like he was talking to me personally.
In the 14 years since I have worked to fulfill that "obligation" to change the world. The last decade has been spent being a spoken word artist and traveling the world to a degree more than most people I've known and know but less than I'd like to...and both can be attributed to me having epilepsy. Having seizures cost me a job and prevented me from seeking new employment throughout 2001. In attempts to busy myself after the release of Complex Simplicity with my partner in rhyme godchild the omen, I hit the road to do what I love primarily because having no college education it was the only work I could pursue and control my own schedule. However the seizures also inhibited my travel...causing me to miss shows or have to turn them down because of my required sleep regimen lest I wake up in an unfamiliar city in the emergency room (which has happened on several occasions) I was taking various medication but none of them stopped the seizures.
In 2007, almost 13 years to the day of my first seizure a neurologist told me that none off my EEGs were showing that I had epilepsy and that it was basically all in my head, he suggesting that I see a psychiatrist and/or psychologist instead of neurologists who in his opinion would not be able to help me. He also took me off of all medications because they were neither stopping nor decreasing the frequency of my seizures. It was as heartbreaking a moment for me as the original diagnosis in that I realized that I had identified myself as "epileptic" defined my life by that term and even named my first solo project (Fallout Shelter) based on it. I sat in the doctor's office an cried trying to figure out where to go from there. What would I do with this new freedom? I continued to travel, continued to have seizures and refused to see a neurologist until 2 months ago....
Dr. Jonathan Bresner who of all the neurologists I've seen in 16 years comes across as the most compassionate and most concerned with me a person not just a patient...although that may just be because he's the first one I've seen and had medical insurance to cover the cost. I also think he recognized me from being on stage in the area because he said I looked familiar on my first visit. I still haven't mentioned being a spoken word artist but think I will share this email with him because by my third visit to his office, he prescribed a medicine that I'd never taken before called Keppra and I thought I'd taken them all. He also informed me that the reason previous doctors could not see any signs off epilepsy in my previous test is because seizure activity is like a short circuit and is usually localized to one area of the brain but my activity in generalized so it happens throughout my whole brain which make the spikes in activity appear "normal." Well I have been taking the Keppra for about a month now and I have had absolutely no signs of a seizures...and I mean none.
As it turns out Keppra is also the name of the Ancient Khemetic (Egyptian) god of transformation. I only bring this up because I feel transformed on every level, as though for the first time in my life I can fully pursue my dreams without restraint or worry, as though I can actually fulfill my obligation to be the brain that changes the world
IF YOU WANT TO...
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...and to think that 16 years, 3 days, 3 hours, 43 minutes & 10...11...12...13 seconds ago all that you just read was not even possible.
This has been another of edition of Nazareth News and apparently this is another edition of me....I am 13 of Nazareth aka exactly who, when, where, what and how I need to be.
Be a Blessing/Peace Within/I'm Out
13 of Nazareth
PS. If we are friends on Facebook or you are a member of my website you may already be familiar with "My Most Immediate Goal" but if not you can read about it on 13ofnazareth.webs.com