My Goal Is Progress

I first started to have absence seizures when I was about eleven, but I never actually saw a doctor about it until I was thirteen. After an MRI and a two hour EEG, the neurologist I was referred to still wanted me to come in for a three day video EEG. I ended up only staying for one night because by then they had seen enough seizures to give me a diagnosis: Juvenile Absence Epilepsy. I started out on Depakote, then switched to Topamax because of the weight gain. Two years later I was considered to be in remission, but I went in for another video EEG just to make sure. While there, I had only one seizure, but that was enough to warrant two more years on meds. My doctor switched me to Lamictal at that point because I had lost a lot of weight on Topamax and there were some cognitive side effects as well. We also both agreed that if I was going to have to take something for two years, I might as well be happy about it. At an appointment a few months later, both of my parents told the doctor that they were still seeing the absences, so my doctor sent me in for a regular EEG. That confirmed what my parents had said, so the doctor started me on Keppra XR. Three weeks into Keppra, I had my first tonic clonic seizure. I happened to be at school, in band class at the time (I played tuba so it wasn't super pretty when I fell). I woke up in the nurse's office and my mother picked me up because I was too embarrassed to go back to class. About two months later I had a second seizure while at home. That time I must have fallen on the sharp edge of our brick fireplace because my teeth had gone through my cheek in some places. There seemed to be tons of blood, and when I woke up my dog was just staring at me. Unfortunately, I was home alone, so I called both my mom and my dad and tried to get them to hurry over to my mom's house. Eventually I got stitches but the scars are still visible on my face, and I feel like they're really obvious to everyone. I still have absence seizures on occasion, and I really hope they eventually stop because I'm 18 and I would really love to get my license. I still have tonic clonics as well, but they ususally only happen once per month, and only two of them have been at school. In spite of epilepsy, I graduated high school with honors and I now live in a dorm and go to college with the help of several academic scholarships. I'm majoring in Neuroscience, with minors in Biology, Psychology and Philosophy. After graduating, I hope to be accepted into a PST program, where I will get my MD and my PhD in just seven years. I play sports, I have friends, and I'm very involved with campus activities. I'm proud of myself and I take pride in knowing that I've accomplished so many things in spite of epilepsy, and I have never used special needs services for anything (such as extra time on tests). Although I really hope that I can drive at some point, I know I will be satisfied with my life even if that never happens.

furterae furterae
18-21, F
Mar 2, 2010