I was diagnosed with epilepsy at the of two. Epilepsy is a seizure disorder. However, I usually had one of two types of seizures known at the time. The first one was known as grand mal and the second one was more of daydream state to which I seemed able to function to some extent. (Note never put an object in the mouth of person having a grand mal seizure they may swallow the object.)
Most of my seizures occurred while I was sleeping. I would fall out of bed and hit my head on my garbage can. Well that’s what my mom would tell me. I was usually unaware I was having a seizure till after the seizure had passed.
I used have seen a neurologist. He ran all kinds of test on my brain. One such test is the EEG which stands for electroencephalogram. (Note see Bibliography page). The EEG will check the electrical activity in the brain.
My neurologist also treated my seizures with different medications over the years. He ran blood test to check that my medicine was working and my cell counts were normal. Even so, when I was 10 I started dance lessons at a place called Dance Dimensions. Even though I was a beginner they treated me worse. I found out years later it was because of the epilepsy.
Having epilepsy changed my life in other ways as well. It made my parents more protective of me. I remember one year I was visiting my grandparents in Freehold, NJ with my brother when I went into a seizure one of the daydream state ones. I thought the world around me was dead and I was in heaven. The people by the way were nurses and doctors as my grandparents had a doctor’s appointment. While in the waiting I was able to play the video game that my brother and I had brought along. It was like I was half there in the present.
Now that seizure lasted from about 9 a.m. (after breakfast) to about 1 p.m. (after lunch). When I finally came to my senses I had no idea what I said or did but my grandparents decided that it would be better to cut the visit short.so later that or the next day they took us home. I was fourteen or fifteen at the time.
It’s scary something like that can happen and I hate I can’t remember chunks of time because of the disease. This disease can go into remission I’ve been seizure free since I was nineteen and I am thirty-six now. But things have changed for me. I now suffer from depression. Depression is a battle every day. Every day I fight to get out of bed.
The struggle began for me somewhere in the middle of my epilepsy drama. But it wasn’t truly acknowledged till July 2001. In 2001 I started a new job and about seven into it life took a downward spiral for me. I guess all the pressure of quitting one job, starting a new one, a break up and who knows what else was happening in my life at time took its toll on me. My depression just came out full swing.
Needing help I tried to make light of the situation by joking with a co-worker by saying I needed a psychiatrist. However, the customer I was taking care of didn’t think it was funny. So he complained to the manager in charge at the time. Then the manager called me into the office the next time I worked.
“Are you okay April?” he asked
“No not really I’ve been feeling really down lately.”
“Okay how can I help you April?”
“Well I need to talk to someone professionally. Someone like a phyciatrist or therapist.”
“If I help you find someone to help you will you go?”
“Yes I will thank you.”(Note I don’t remember the exact conversation word for word but that basically what happened between me and the manager.)
Next thing I knew I was seeing a therapist and a physciatrist in downtown New Brunswick, NJ. But I was fighting the therapist at first. I was resistant at first because I was confident I was physic and physically connected to a famous boy band. Especially my favorite band member who is only a year younger than me it’s complicated to explain without using our birth years.
I was in love with his bad boy image and at one point I thought we were having out of body sex. I was so adamant that when I went to a concert of this famous boy band the man of my dreams would notice my “will you marry me?” poster and whisk me away. Well that didn’t happen and I became even more dejected. But I began to see I was living in fantasy world.
The fantasy world for me was much better than the “real” world. But I could see I was doing more damage to myself than I realized.
At one point I was in such bad straights I was suicidal. I even threatening to kill myself.one day I grabbed a steak knife and threatened to use it on my wrist. My mom and brother were getting upset.
Everyone was crying and screaming at the same time. I felt I had no reason to live. My job at the time was stressing me out. This job is first job I ever had. The job before the manager agreed to help with the depression.
My depression has so many ups and downs at times it feels like I’m riding a roller coaster. The closest thing to a roller coaster I’ve been on is the log flume. To keep my depression at bay or under control I take two antidepressants. They help a lot. But things seem to have taken a turn for the worse since I had to put down my cat of 13 years. It was the saddest day of my life. Even though I have a new cat in my life nothing can replace her (my old cat) in my heart.
Sometimes I just feel like crying for no apparent reason. And sometimes I will just break down and cry. I even feel like crying right now. I am no longer suicidal but, I have other worries instead. I also suffer from migraine headaches. They can be deadly so once again I am seeing a neurologist.
She has me on a variety of medication that is supposed to prevent the migraine and for the most they do. But recently I had a migraine for over a week. So I went to the ER. Boy did they dope me with all kinds of medicine. Migraines can make you lead a half-life or as a commercial puts it a maybe life. And that’s what I was doing living a maybe life every time I had a migraine.
I started to keep a headache diary to keep track of the migraines. But sometimes I forget to write up the headache. If you ever get a serious migraine seek help medically immediately. I say that because a serious migraine can more than mere headache. This is why I decided to see a neurologist again migraines are no joke.
These are only a few of the battles in the 36 years of my life. And I’m sure I’ll face many more battles along the way. Wish I could I was happy right now but I’m not. But I also know I will make it through this trail just like so many others before. Ever since I found Jehovah and his Witnesses I’m doing better most of the time. However, I’m only human and I still have my down days. Just like Jesus I need to say “go away Satan.” And then maybe Satan and his demons will leave me alone.
My life hasn’t been perfect I know that. I know that in due time I will be happy all the time.
Food for thought: what I’ve learned from all this is life is journey. A journey that can be made on how you make it. But only Jehovah can truly guide you. I know I will never be truly happy in this world ruled by Satan and his demons.
Epilepsy - PubMed Health
My life story from the point of how each disease affected or still is affecting me.