August Ninth Two Thousand Two
Prior to this day I had not had a seizure since June 1997, over five years had gone by. I had stopped taking my medication without a doctor’s approval because it had been so long since I had a seizure that I figured what were the odds of it happening again. After a visit with my neurologist, I found out exactly what the odds were. He wasn’t mad that I had decided to stop taking but he told me I had a 30-percent chance of ever having one again which to me, a 20-year-old kid who had barely graduated from high school, was a small number. I found out months later after visiting with my doctor that it wasn’t that at all.
Ten years ago today I woke up and I felt woozy, didn’t feel well and had a laceration on my tongue. My mom had called me from work that morning to tell me the family had thought I had a seizure, my third one. None of us would know for sure until we visited my doctor some time later, but the tongue wound was clear evidence that I did. My first came in high school as a freshman back in April 1997, the second one was the aforementioned June 1997 seizure, and now this one,my third. It didn’t feel bad at first,other than my tongue hurting like hell from me biting down on it so damn hard during the seizure.
To show how young and stupid I was, my first concern was not if I would be okay or even to get some rest but I wondered if I would even get to go to Santa Cruz for a beach party with my youth group the following day. I went.
Though I was thankful my friend Julie was nice enough to drive the two of us at 5:30 in the morning, I wish I had the decency to stay home. I didn’t feel very good at all that day when we went. Not just my tongue hurting, but also me being absolutely tired combined with the hot sun didn’t make matters any better. On the way home Julie and I stopped a couple of times to sleep because we were both tired, me especially, and were both nodding off in the car.
We eventually got home and she stayed there for a bit having dinner with my family. After that, I went through a lot of trying to get back to my old self which if I had to guess took about three months. I just wasn’t right, I didn’t feel like I was getting better fast enough after it happened. About a couple weeks after it happened, our youth group had a softball tournament, the last one I would ever play in because I was aging out the next year.
I was terrible. I didn’t get one hit the entire tournament. I was pissed. Very pissed. So pissed that in what turned out to be my final at bat, I smacked home plate really hard with my bat and when I got back to the dugout I chucked it aside.
A girl I was once friends with tried to tell me what I was doing wrong and I told her “Look, I know what’s wrong, I almost died in my sleep two weeks ago!”. I felt bad about going off on her because her heart was truly in the right place and she was trying to help someone who was not only doing terrible at the plate but was also healing from something very bad that happened. I apologized and she said she understood.
I probably felt all the way better and back to normal around November of that year and following that day, August 9,2002, I have not had a seizure since which makes me 10 years seizure free (You’re welcome, pharmaceutical companies!). During that time, I have been wary of having another one and in the process I’ve done some stupid things. In my defense, I was and am still young and am figuring life out. I will say that I’ve been very lucky that I haven’t had a seizure come my way. I’m taking the right medicine for my condition and doing so regularly. I have a pill container at home that contains the right amount for the day so I don’t take too much or too little (There was a time where I was forgetting if I took my medicine or not and was taking more than I should have, so I bought the pill container so I wouldn’t do that anymore).
I’m not a drinker. I’ve drank before, but not too much because I don’t want to get sick. The medicine I take lowers my tolerance for alcohol. I’ve tried wanting to have a life with alcohol, but it’s just not going to happen,even in moderation. Certain kinds of people can’t drink,I’m one of them. More power to epileptics who are further in their recovery that can drink, I just can’t. That may change one day but that remains to be seen and to be honest with you, I don’t have it in me to risk it.
Overall, I’m very lucky to have gone this long without an episode. There are others who wish they could go a day or even an hour without having one. Those are the folks I feel bad for and I know how they feel. I wish everyone who has this the best of luck in their recovery and for myself I hope I can go another year without one.