This anonymous personal epilepsy story was submitted to Living Well With Epilepsy by a mom living with epilepsy.
My life is the same as any other Mom. I wake up in the morning to my kids in my bed. Unaware of what time they have snuggled in next to me, meanwhile at least half of my body is off of the bed completely. A foot in my eye and a little hand grabbing mine… I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The difference in my case, however, is that heavy stress and lack of sleep are seizure triggers for me. A night of birthday drinks with my husband, little sleep and just being “mom” was enough to give me my first seizure in 2 1/2 years. It was a brutal reminder of what my life is and how I cannot take any of it for granted.
This seizure felt different. It was big. My mouth is chewed up so bad that eating and talking is tough. Feeling “normal” again, without pauses in my thought process or holes in my memory, has been hard to get back.
A Kid at Any Age
Everyone could feel that something was different. My own Mom hopped on the next flight out from Denver to take care of me all week. Brian had to travel for work, so I don’t know what I would have done without her. I guess I now realize being a mom, you will do anything for your kids…at any age (Thanks Mom).
Old Dogs Need New Tricks
Post kids, my body is different. I’ve been twitching in my lower extremities and my eyes, and experienced a few panic attacks. I attributed this just to not working out enough or getting older. A visit to my neurologist a few months ago had her worried that my Epilepsy was manifesting itself differently as I am getting older and old tricks just aren’t working anymore. She was proven right… unfortunately.
I hate medication. I hate the way it makes me feel, that it can cause issues in my mental clarity, energy levels or gaining weight. This was the first time since giving birth that my Dr. asked me not just to adjust my medication, but also to try the Ketogenic Diet. The high fat, high protein diet is going to be much more difficult than anything I’m use to. I’m switching from 500 mg/day of depakote DR to 1000 mg/day ER, plus the diet. This is a big step in my journey, it will be a tough one.
Mommies Adjust to Life’s Curveballs
There are a few other things that this seizure did for me. It solidified where my kids are going to go to school. I now know I cannot make a 20 mile commute to and from work every day. I am unable to drive for 2 weeks and feel lucky that this time it is only 2 weeks. As a result, I have taken a step back to look at what is important. My kids were going to be fluent in Japanese and I was going to give them an opportunity of a lifetime in an immersion school. But, I don’t think that is the best thing now. I need to make sure I am close and there will be other opportunities. I now know this is the right decision. Lucky for me, Brian feels the same way.
Happy mother’s Day to all you mommies living with epilepsy out there.