FACES OF EPILEPSY
Sponsored by: Keith Metcalfe and Kathy Reid
My siezures started after I was in a car accident at twelve years old. I had been having massive migraines that would last some times for more three days. In high school, I went to the office because I was not feeling well. I woke up in the hospital. I had a grand mal seizure. It shocked me when I heard this. I managed to graduate high school in spite of feeling drowsy and confused all the time from the medication I had to take. The medication did not control the seizures all the time. I felt very alone.
As an adult, the seizures went away. They returned in my mid-forties. I am back on medication which makes me feel the same way I felt in high school.
I cannot drive, have experienced seizures at work and suffer from aching muscles caused by seizures. I am not the same any more. I fear everyday that I might have a grand mal seizure. The person that I was is gone. I am someone’s wife, the mother of two great children and a grand-maman to two wonderful grandsons.
Cathy (Burr) Adamson
Sponsored by: Margaret and Lloyd Adamson
I am an adult living with Epilepsy. I was diagnosed when I was 13 years old due to a concussion. I was devastated. I thought my life would be over. I felt so isolated, I had nobody around me that understood what I was going through. People shied away from me. They did not know what to do if I had a seizure. They looked at me differently, it was like I was a freak or something. Imagine your Doctor telling you to wear a helmet if you rode your bike or that you would never drive a car! I had turned to reading to get support, back then the internet wasn't heard of. I had read somewhere that "Epilepsy is the ability to have a seizure" I embraced this and made it my life motto.
Most of my seizures are under control, due to various medications. When I was first diagnosed I felt like I was a Guinea Pig. I worked with three Neurologists before we finally found something that worked. I know my triggers: stress and flashing lights. I hated EEG scans, they were torture. Reflecting on my past, I realize that I needed to experience them in order to figure out what was causing my seizures. I wish there were tests that aren't so torturous.
My last grand mal seizure was July 13, 1985 on my Wedding Day. I still have the occasional petit mal seizure, but I can live with that. My seizures are so minor people don't even realize I am having them. Now people are shocked when they find out I have Epilepsy.
I have overcome so many obstacles in my life: I have my driver's license (since I was 18). They wanted to take it away from me, but I fought for it. I have driven a car, truck, fork lift and even used machinery that they told me I couldn't!
Needless to say: I am one of lucky ones, I am a survivor!