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.
I attended college with a woman who had partial seizures. She would sleep walk, open the refrigerator door, and stand in front of it while rubbing the outside.
When you consider how hard it is to keep a computer running smoothly, can you imagine hoe difficult it is for the human mind to operate without a glitch? Scary.
You tried many medications, did a change of diet work for you or some other means by which to control the seizures?
Epilepsy can make our life a scary journey but we are still blessed with different life gifts. A husband and child have been gifts in my Epileptic journey as well.
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