Alright, so I just came across the phrase “Hard Living”. At first, it just went in one ear and out the other, but then something clicked. Having had epilepsy for over 15 years now, I think it’s safe to say it has been “hard living”. This whole journey has prepared me for so many other challenges that came (and will) my way. Now, I know some of you have had it way longer than me and I give you so much credit for the fight you’re putting up! Let’s dive a little deeper into “hard living”.
Is it safe to say our first seizure made us stronger than a lot of people? I know mine did; just ask my friends about the battle scars from hitting the cement when I had my seizure. None of us were prepared for something so life-changing both mentally and physically. Having a seizure is like stepping on that wrestling mat for the very first time not knowing what to expect at all. Epilepsy affects ourselves, and so many other lives, but we grow stronger each day together.
Is it just me, or were you taught that the “real world” started after school? Sure, a lot of things change when you get a job, buy a house, get married, etc. But to me, you learn just as much on how to go through life before you graduate, especially if you have epilepsy. How many nine year olds hear the words “you have epilepsy”? What high school athlete has to say “coach, I just had a seizure, but I’ll still wrestle tonight”, or “coach, I was in a car accident due to a seizure, I can’t make the golf match.”? I'm pretty sure you've all had to face a few questions of this sort? They're not easy at all.
I was the only kid at JCU on a Wednesday night at 10:30PM who had their nurse on one phone, parents on another, and a very nice (and crazy) friend in my room with me. All this because of stupid seizures that felt worse than the ones back in elementary school. The next day, I was able to see the lessons learned throughout the entire all-nighter. The communication that took place, the importance of telling my story to friends so they would be with me during times like that, and just the ability to manage it all while being away from home. It was one tough night, but one that provided me with more lessons in a few hours than an entire semester of one class..
Epilepsy may be tough, but it sure gives us the strength and lessons we need for upcoming challenges.