When I was told to write about Motherhood and the lighter side of Epilepsy, I thought- what two topics could be further apart? Then I decided to just type and see where it takes me. I am a first time mom to an almost 2-year-old boy who is very outgoing, talkative, inquisitive, and loves attention… basically, he drives me nuts but in a great way. (He’s actually just like his Mommy.) And there it is- Point 1 for Mommyhood and Epilepsy- they both can make you seem “nuts.”
In fact, let’s go with that.
I remember when he was just beginning to smile, you know, those brief lifts of the corner of their mouths and you’re positive they now understand everything around them because they’ve hit that beautiful stage. You’re sure he’s capable of anything and finally you feel like you’ve accomplished something other than changing poopy diapers and making puke the new fashion trend. I fell in love with those smiles and as a former High School Honors teacher, now new stay-at-home Mom, I craved some sort of accomplishment. Big milestone- check. :D
The more he smiled, the more faces I made, the more noise I created and then one day I thought- what will he think of my face when I have a twitch? I know everyone’s Epilepsy is different. Some people have certain types of auras, some people have none. Some people taste, smell or even hear things as a precursor to a seizure… I often have a twitch (which is technically a partial seizure), where my eyes start to blink rapidly and I lose my ability to function for a second. I may be holding a water glass and being unable to focus, I’ll let it go sideways and spill, for example. They are not always precursors to my seizures but definitely a part of my daily life. (In fact, I used to joke with my husband and say that’s how I reeled him in- my extra rapid winking; it was quite effective. ;) ) They are part of my quirks, stemming from stress, lack of sleep, too much time on the computer (oops). All my “triggers.” Everyone in my family knows how to deal with them and is used to these episodes, but what will he think? Does he already notice something? I realize that was a stupid question then, but now? I kept making my faces, unintentionally throwing a twitch in here and there, often after I’d had a long night up with him and very little sleep. And he’d smile, making me laugh out loud at myself and how my Epilepsy was “contributing” to this whole Motherhood process. Although I’ve been Epileptic for 15 years, it was just the beginning of my “Mommyhood crazy.” lol As he’s grown older though, he’s noticed the pause in my play and the twitching is a little more distracting. When it’s over, I’ll laugh and say, “Your Mommy’s nuts, lovebug!” and we continue on as before. He’s become much more perceptive though… (Isn’t it crazy how smart they get after a year?!)
I’ve accepted that I can’t stop these episodes and so far, it doesn’t bother him. In fact, I remember he looked at me one day after a twitch, head cocked to the side with a big grin on his face, and said “love you, Mamma.” It’s like he knew I wanted him to laugh, to make it okay his Mommy sometimes makes a few “extra” faces than the other Mammas…
That’s been our best milestone by far. ;-)