If you ask me what is something in my life that has impacted me the most and taught me a life lesson it would be my epilepsy. I feel that I have gotten stronger from it and since it was a hard time for me and my family especially because I got it at such a young age I feel more brave. I had my first seizure in 2nd grade, when I was 7. I had no idea what was going on and I didn’t know what to do when the seizure hit. I remember the exact moment and the exact feeling I felt. I woke up in my sister’s room not knowing what was going to happen or what was happening to me, and I can tell you that moment was the scariest moment of my life.
My parents thought I was just choking and I could hear them but my words weren’t forming. Their voices started fading away slowly and my ability to walk or do anything was also fading. I don’t remember much after that but I remember waking up to the sound of the ambulance and my parents crying. I couldn’t remember anything, not my dog’s name or my own birthday. My brain was all foggy and still at that moment I had no idea what just happened to me. I went to the hospital and they told me I had just had a seizure and we thought It would never happen again. The next week, the same exact thing happened.
Two weeks later, I was diagnosed with Self-limited Focal Epilepsy of childhood. My doctor explained that I had a really minor type of epilepsy that would go away as I grew up. We got medicion as soon as possible. I continued having seizures and it kept getting worse. I would even have multiple a week sometimes, which was scary to me and my family. After we tried two different medications that weren’t working we finally found the right one when I was about eight or nine.
As hard as the epilepsy was for me it wasn’t just about the seizures I had, it was about the stress and anxiety I got from it. Because of epilepsy, I wouldn’t be able to go out to sleepovers, I would have to always be around my mom and dad, the second it started getting dark outside I would have panic attacks because my seizures always came at night. And the sport I did, rock climbing, I quit because I did it at night and I had too much anxiety to stay committed to it.
Once I found the right medication, and I became seizure free and have been for about 3 years now. I have no anxiety from it and I live my life perfectly normal. Although in the beginning as a kid it was very stressful for me It didn’t change me and I don’t think of myself different to other kids just because I have epilepsy. I am thankful I have a minor type of it and I am thankful for becoming stronger as a result. I got through all of it and powered through the anxiety I had. I thought I would never get through it and when I was younger I would tell my parents that I will never be able to be out at night and I would always need my family by me.
Now I am so proud of myself because I triumphed over that thought in my head that I would never be brave again. This experience, especially at such a young age, has made me different but not in a bad way. In fact, in an amazing way because now I feel I can get through anything and no matter how much doubts I had in my life and thinking I will never have a normal life. That was my main fear, that I would never live life normally because I had this brain disorder and I was scared people would see me differently and would be more “careful around me.” I was even scared to tell my friends sometimes because I didn’t know how they would react.
Time has passed and I feel completely comfortable telling anyone. I know I can live my life normally and I don’t ever let epilepsy get in the way. No one should, because epilepsy is a normal and common thing with people and it doesn’t make you any different.