1000 Word Summery. My Message to You
I had my first seizure when I was 7 years old. I had not hit my head, there was no birth defect, it just appeared out of nowhere. Being 7, I had no idea what a seizure was. But my parents and grandparents owned a comic book store. So when I woke up in the office chair, with absolutely no memory of the time between, the first thought in my head was pretty much “…Holly s*** I teleported!”
From then on, I had about 3 to 4 seizures a week. Not as bad as it could be, but still an inconvenience. At the time, my seizures were “Complex Partial” which means I would just freeze. I would not move, not even blink. I would have them everywhere. In the classroom, on the playground, at the babysitter’s; but never at home. It was a year before my parents saw one.
It was also a year before we figured out exactly what was wrong with me. I went for all sorts of tests. Cat scans, MRIs, I even went to a physiatrist to see if it was an emotional thing. Mind you, I don’t remember much of this, it is just what my parents tell me. But, she suggested that I take a sleep deprived EEG.
A sleep deprived EEG is when they stick all these wires or “electrodes” onto your head. The electrodes then measure your brain waves. The neurologist (a specialist in nerve disorders) then reads the brain waves and determines what is wrong if anything at all. There was a tiny spike in mine and she determined that I had epilepsy. I was put on medication that made me balloon to double my weight.
When I was 8, my seizures changed. I started going into full convulsions. The medication was effective in controlling my seizures, but I would often forget.
Nothing triggers my seizures. They happen at all times of the day. They last fir 2-3 minutes. I’ve had as many as 3 a day. Having them don’t really bug me. You know, I vomit, I go to sleep, I wake up, I’m all better. It’s when I inconvenience other people that bother me. We’ve had to post pone Easter and other family gatherings. I had a seizure at my graduation after party. I have seizures in the street, strangers panic, call an ambulance, than people have to come all the way to the hospital to pick me up. Not to mention the fact that I can’t drive, I need to get a ride from people to take me everywhere (there is a law in Canada that says that when you have a seizure, you can not get your driver’s license for a year/it gets suspended for a year.) I just always feel really bad whenever I have one because everyone has to stop to help me.
Like many other epileptics, I have injured myself. Normally just small things. The typical bitten tong (it is impossible to swallow your tong) cuts, and bruises. But, sometimes, I’ll get something a little come serious. Torn muscles, chipped teeth, broken nose; the most serious injury I ever had was when I fell at work in a kitchen. The floor was made of concrete and I smashed my head up against it. I got a concussion and had a hard time walking for a while. My injuries don’t really scare me like it scares my family and friends.
Recently, I was in the hospital, not because I was injured, but because I was taking a test. Another EEG. I’ve been taking EEGs about twice a year since I was first diagnosed, but this one was a little different. I was going to be staying overnight for 3 weeks. Reason be was because my new neurologist wanted to get a more accurate reading (we don’t get anything to show up on the EEGs that I normally take) So I went in, and was not allowed to leave the room. I was always had to be on camera. My head itched like crazy because the electrodes had to stay in during the whole stay. But we found out lots for interesting things. For starters, I have seizures in my sleep. That was something we always wanted to know. The alarm went off a lot because of the extreme activity in my brain. The machine kept thinking I was having a seizure when I really wasn’t. By the end, we came to the conclusion that I can not have surgery to fix this. Reason be is because it’s either coming from all over, or from the entire right side, and when I have a seizure my brain, in a sense, ‘explodes’. They can only perform surgery if it comes from one specific part.
Now, I’m not writing this to complain about my disorder, or to try to gain any kind of sympathy. There are people out there with much more sever cases than mine. I’m just trying to make people aware that people with epilepsy are just as normal as the every day man. Do you really think I’m not just like you? I get up, go to work, come home to my family. I hang out with friends, cook my food, go swimming, play sports; I even do the occasional dumb thing like jump off a roof into a tree. It’s not like I’m going to hit my head and develop some kind of seizure disorder XD But I take classes, have a religion, and am just your normal every day person. Heck, you, go the doctor too, right? For check ups, or when you get sick. Then he gives you some pills to make you feel better. Just like me.
Over 300 000 people in Canada have epilepsy. It’s likely that you know someone who’s epileptic. Find out what to do in the case of a seizer. Don’t freak out, don’t restrain them, don’t put anything in their mouth, and remember: when they come out of it, they are the same person as they were before.