Seizures. A word most people don’t encounter in their daily lives. Those of us that do know about them know just how scary and confusing that one word is. The majority of people don’t know much about them, but I do.
Seizures have been a part of my life for the last 10 years. That is 10 years of worrying about everybody ache being a sign of an oncoming seizure. 10 years of taking showers only when someone is home in case a seizure happens and I get hurt. Living the last 10 years in constant fear of not “will I have a seizure today?” but rather “when will I have a seizure today?”
Anyone who has seizures, knows just how unpredictable they are. The checks before going to bed to make sure there is nothing around you could hot and get hurt with in case it happens while I sleep. I could go on with the changes you make to your everyday routine and after a while even go a little nuts. From being so careful and cautious all the time.
My story begins just before my 18th birthday (I’m now 27). Back then I was a senior in high school. As a senior I should have been thinking about boys, prom, graduation, and college. Instead I was just starting to understand just how much what I thought a one-time seizure was going to be impacting my life. After my first grand mal seizure, we discovered that any stress I encountered would trigger a seizure.
So instead of getting excited about any of the normal things a senior in high school should be thinking about, I couldn’t allow myself to experience that stress and excitement. After getting through high school and trying to live a normal adult life was even a struggle. My friends could go around drink, be carefree and stay out as late as they wanted. Instead I couldn’t allow myself that freedom or put my body through that stress.
Of course there were some nights I just wanted to say screw it and enjoy being with friends, but I knew what the outcome would be. How could I do that to them? Make them witness that? And they wouldn’t know what to do so I’d be putting myself in danger and for what a few drinks and a late night out?
Fast forward my life to 2007:
Even though I lived my life cautiously, my seizures were only increasing. Sometimes as many as 10 a day. My parents would call my neurologist and inform him and all he would do is just increase my medications. Being on three different seizure meds was taking a toll on me and my family emotionally and financially.
Through it all my one constant was the overwhelming support I was surrounded by from my loving parents and friends. Being surrounded by such a strong support system has helped me cope with the battle I was facing.
I’m an emotional person and always express myself. With me, you’ll always know how I’m feeling. I’m so grateful that when I had bad days, weeks, or even months, I had a handful of friends that I could cry and vent out my frustrations to. They were always there with tissues and a shoulder to cry on.
One day in particular I remember meeting up with a girlfriend in the city and as we sat on the steps of the public library I just started sobbing to her all my anger and frustrations that living with seizures has built up inside of me.
Being able to let it all out to someone who has never experienced the things I have is a relief. I am able to be myself with no questions asked. That is a beautiful friendship.