People can develop Epilepsy at any age, but I, myself, was diagnosed with Epilepsy in my first year of college. I remember waking up one morning in my cramped little dorm room at UCLA and I had a throbbing headache, I was exhausted, my limbs felt like lead, I’d wet the bed, and I couldn’t speak well as though I had something wedged in my mouth. Feeling dizzy, I made my way over to the mirror and opened my mouth- my tongue was grossly swollen, black and blue, and there were pieces hanging from it… I panicked and started to cry. What was wrong with me? I’d always been in perfect health- my Mom’s an amazing cook so I ate healthy, and I was extremely athletic. Somehow, I knew- I’d had my first seizure. I was terrified.
I won’t bore you with the daily details from 1999 ‘til now, yet I will say a few more things. Over the next year, I continued to have seizures while trying numerous drug combinations. Tegretol gave me a rash, Depakote made me lose huge clumps of hair, Dilantin gave me Steven Johnson’s syndrome, Neurontin, etc. I had tests. I wasn’t allowed to drive anymore. The drugs and the seizures made me feel as though I had no control over my own functioning… I was self-conscious and scared. I’ve fallen, sliced my nose and gotten a black eye (the dresser obviously won that battle). I’ve sliced my arm on a shower door and had to crawl on all fours out of the shower. I’ve watched myself have one in front of a mirror. I’ve dropped down in the middle of a dinner party full of strangers. The list goes on.
…I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy in April 2013 and pregnancy was one of the most incredible times in my life. Yet, it was also one of the scariest. After not having a seizure in several years, I began having them again due to the fluctuation of hormone in my body. And again I was back to that uncertainty of my first year- Why is this happening now? How come my pills aren’t working? Am I going to hurt my baby? And my greatest fear- if there’s something wrong with him, it’s my fault…
That’s when I decided I needed to talk about it.