This post is part of the Epilepsy Blog Relay™ which will run from June 1 to June 30, 2017. Follow along!
Someone recently asked me to share my epilepsy story. This friend was surprised she wasn’t able to find the details of how I was diagnosed with epilepsy or how I started Living Well With Epilepsy online. The thing is I didn’t really start Living Well With Epilepsy to tell my own story. I always felt Living Well With Epilepsy was meant to offer a solution to the millions of families searching for information.
But fair is fair, I suppose it is time to share my story.
During the summer between seventh and eighth grade, I was about 12 years old. That summer I was invited to join my best friend Amy on a family vacation. In preparation for the trip, on an especially hot day, made a mess of my room packing (likely at the last minute) to go away with my friend. Halfway through packing too much stuff, I decided to take a shower. Like you do.
I remember the hallway, the green rug and my short summer bathrobe. But that’s it.
When I woke up, my parents and paramedics were all around me. I was splayed out all over the upstairs hallway but I had no idea where I was.
There was no way for me to know how big a left turn my life had just taken.
I had just experienced was my first grand mal or tonic clonic seizure. I then went on to have another seizure that day. That sealed the deal. I was diagnosed with epilepsy. I went on to have more that summer, and several more in the years that followed. I was put on a variety of medications through junior high school and high school, and the doctors did eventually find a combination that worked to control my seizures.
Epilepsy has had a profound impact on my life. The thing is, my epilepsy doesn’t affect only me.
Back then, it had an impact on my sisters who were sent off to a neighbor’s house every time I had a seizure. They were too little to be left alone when mom and dad took me to the hospital. These days I would be lost without my sisters. They mean everything to me.
It had an impact on my dad. He wouldn’t admit it but he worries a little – even now that I’m grown up. I can’t imagine how he must have worried as he packed the car full of too much stuff (a common theme) and dropped me off at college.
And it had an impact on my mom. She worried too. Probably more than I even know. As you can tell the girls rule in our family. I have to say mom has led the way in strength. I continue to learn from and lean on my mom.
Husband and Daughter
Now that I am married with a family of my own, I lean heavily on my husband and daughter, and I have to say they carry the burden with grace. I am lucky to have so many people in my life whom I can count on.
As you can probably tell, my epilepsy story is a long and winding road that started one hot afternoon in my childhood home and continues today. There are good days and bad days. But the most important thing is I couldn’t do any of it without the love and support of my family.
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