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Special thank you for Mother’s Day

Reflecting on my life with epilepsy, I remember the medications and how they made me feel, the hospital stays, and the many, many doctor appointments. This Mother’s Day, it’s time for a special thanks to my mom who was there through it all.


Looking back on the early days

When I look back at my life with epilepsy, countless things come to mind. I remember the medications and how they made me feel, the first time I could swallow a pill, the nervousness of telling my classmates about epilepsy, the hospital stays, and many, many doctor appointments. Through all of those memories, a couple of things are consistent and one of the biggest ones is my mom. (Don’t worry Dad, you’re in there too–you’ll read about that later.)

As I have adjusted to adulthood and managing my epilepsy, I grow more and more thankful for all of the things my mom did to keep me as healthy as she could. Going to all those doctor appointments couldn’t have been easy and it must have been hard trying to keep all of my history straight. She is an amazing keeper of my records and shows me the notebooks she filled with details. I applaud her for sitting on hold with the insurance companies for hours and working with the insurance representatives…the older I get, the more I appreciate her patience!

Mom was a source of constant support

There was a point in school where it was clear the seizures were hurting my functioning. I went from straight A’s in school to barely comprehending simple stories. My working memory was low and medications made my hands shake so bad, Mom bought me weights to wear on my wrists. When I started working with children, I gained insight as to how hard it must have been for her to watch this decline with little control over it. Though my medication was switched and I grew to higher functioning, I struggled to gain what information I lost during that time in school and find a friend group that fully accepted me. She calmed me while I experienced insomnia due to medication and watch me do “normal” things while constantly worrying about my well-being, never letting me see how difficult it must have been.

Thank you on Mother’s Day and every day

The coolest thing I notice when I look back at my younger days is the never-wavering support from my mother. She was at every appointment, many activities, each hospital stay, and all the pricks of blood work. I never noticed how tiring it must have been, how frustrating it was to see her daughter’s ups and downs, and how much she fought for me to have a normal and functioning life. The gratitude I have for her is never-ending and successfully navigate life because of each lesson I learned while watching her fight for me.

Mom, in case I haven’t told you enough–thank you.

Follow Leila Shields:
Leila shares stories on stigma and epilepsy based on her experiences and what she hears from others. She was diagnosed with Epilepsy at age 8 and is based in Pennsylvania.

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