This day last year I was exhausted. Not the typical I didn’t get enough sleep exhausted, but, the exhaustion that not even a cup of coffee could touch. Unfortunately, that is very common for me. The medication that I take for my seizures makes me very tired. I didn’t think much of it and I pushed myself to get out of the house. It’s really easy for me to stay home these days.
I seriously hate cancelling plans so, I got myself and Cassidy ready and off we went.
I got off of the highway and that’s all I can remember. A few miles down the road I began to seize, going through the intersection, hopping a median, and going up an embankment. The front of my car was in the bushes.
When I regained consciousness there were people everywhere. I started trying to identify landmarks so I knew where I was but I couldn’t place myself. People began talking about the little girl. The little girl was Cassidy, she was in the backseat. I didn’t realize what happened until an EMT said it out loud.
The next part is a little traumatic because they told me I was going to the hospital but Cassidy couldn’t come with me. They were arranging for her to be taken. In a post ictal state, I can’t speak. I can’t form thoughts enough to make sentences.
As they were loading me into the ambulance I heard them say, her family is here. My aunt happened to be very close by and she was able to come and be with Cassidy.
There are a lot of could of’s in this situation. We crossed a busy intersection without getting hit by oncoming traffic, my vehicle hit bushes instead of traffic signs or the concrete plaza sign, my aunt was there to help instead of having complete strangers take Cassidy.
Answering Some Questions
I have been asked often a few questions, so I wanted to answer them here for you. It’s easy to pass judgement on people, when it’s not you. I have done it myself. So hopefully this will help educate and open your heart.
1. Why would you drive knowing that you have seizures?
My seizures are considered to be “controlled by medication” and that means a few things. One, I am not considered disabled even though I do have a disability. Two, I have to live life to the best of my ability. I have to fight off my anxiety, because there are so many daily living activities that you wouldn’t think twice about, that I have to worry about, examples: bathing/showering alone, driving, using a ladder, lifting something heavy, going on walks alone etc. Lastly, I do not get a single thing handed to me. I have to work to provide for my family. Jobs do not automatically let you telecommute or provide you special accommodations.
2. Why are you still having seizures if you take your medication?
There are a lot of ways to answer this question. Taking seizure medication does not cure you. Anyone can experience “breakthrough” seizures. Triggers can be lack of sleep, stress, alcohol and/or substance abuse, medication interactions, or medication levels in the body. All of those things and more can lower your seizure threshold making it easier for breakthrough seizures to happen.
3. Do they know “what’s wrong with you”?
There isn’t anything wrong with me. I live with epilepsy. Some people who have epilepsy know the origin or the cause. However, it’s more common to have epilepsy without knowing its cause. I have had second opinions and testing. I have tried different medications. All of my imaging has come back great. That’s what makes 1-year seizure-free so great.
1 Year Seizure Free
I talk a lot about what it’s like being a working mom and trying to find a good work life balance. One thing that always evades me is, self care. I put myself last all of the time. Sometimes that means skipping breakfast, forgetting to take my medication, not getting enough sleep, overbooking myself etc.
I have been able to make it one whole year without a seizure while balancing everything else. It’s really hard to do.
Each time I have a seizure, I cannot drive for six months. So it requires me to rely on people to help me pick up my meds, get to work, go to the doctors, and take Cassidy anywhere. It’s isolating and lonely. It makes me feel less than. It’s stressful. I have written about Motherhood with Epilepsy in the past. Check out that post if you want to learn more!
1 year seizure-free means that I am one year closer to living my life without seizure medication. It means that I have gotten to spend the last year having a better quality of life than I have since 2018.
If you are still reading this, I appreciate you spending the time to get to know me on my little corner of the Internet.