As epilepsy warriors, there’s something we can all agree on; our journey is long and tough. We deal with so much on a daily basis that we can get completely worn out by days end. Now, were any of you prepared for what happened about five months ago? The answer is simple, no. Not only do we have to manage our epilepsy, but now we have to navigate the coronavirus. With little to do over the past few weeks, I thought I would put this piece together. Welcome to 2020!
It’s funny because I felt like the coronavirus pretty much stopped my life on a dime. New experiences, memories, etc. were all going to be put on hold right? Not at all! My friend groups jumped on the opportunity to make the most of this situation with plenty of FaceTime calls. We would spend hours on the phone reliving old memories or making jokes about each other now as we managed our way through quarantine. What I loved was that despite being confined to our homes, we were making new memories that will definitely last a lifetime. Whether it was a group FaceTime call or a quick phone call with a friend, we made sure not to let this affect our ability to be with each other. Take some time to call one of your friends and have a nice long conversation reliving your past or joking around to make memories for years to come.
One thing I was taught was to always try and help people as much as you can, and being at home I found one opportunity that hit home. When I realized that local epilepsy foundations had to close their doors and go the virtual route to be with their patients I wanted to step in. It’s not the same talking with a counselor over the phone than in person. As time progressed, I decided to help out some local epilepsy foundations by holding virtual interviews. Conducting those interviews showed how important foundations are to the community. I couldn’t be more grateful for the directors I met and the information they provided epilepsy patients around the world. It was something all of us were blessed to be a part of. Helping people in any way you can will go a long way especially now.
“We’re requiring you to stay six feet apart.” How many times have you heard this? Being six feet apart doesn’t mean you can’t pick up your phone and check in with your epilepsy friends. One night I spent an hour just messaging my epilepsy friends around the world checking in. That one night messaging people has led to more conversations with new people to this day. Everyone, especially now, could use a nice conversation. The best part about our community is that we don’t always have to talk about epilepsy. Yes, support is always needed, but just being there to talk is more important. I encourage everyone to pick up your phone or computer and message someone to see how they're doing.
Throughout these past few months, I’ve been able to really reflect on my epilepsy in general. Can I find any triggers? What time of day do they occur? Am I handling my seizures good? These are all questions that I’ve thought about and have pretty much answered. While I can’t find any triggers or a specific time of day they occur, I do know that just trying to figure that out shows me I’m handling them well. The quarantine life has taken a toll on my epilepsy, but by no means have I let it affect my quality of living through this. Epilepsy may suck, but corona is a once in a lifetime event.
Like with any big life challenge, light will show at the end of the tunnel. This is truly a mystery for everyone, but we all overcome it. I have no doubt that we will be living our life not six feet apart. And for the record, the first thing I will be doing when all of this is over will be heading to an Eric Church concert!