Anne C. – Looking Out the Rear-view Mirror…Patient Then Caretaker

Anne has been a longtime friend of the organization, and has recently celebrated 20-years of being seizure free. Take a glimpse into her life now, and how she has gotten to where she is today.

 

There is the saying “hindsight is always 20/20” which proves to be very true.  My new saying is “life lessons can become clearer in the rear-view mirror”.

I had my first seizure at nine months old.  It was triggered by a high fever with the illness known as roseola (baby measles).  It rocked my parents’ world and their most dreaded fear became a reality.  Their perfect baby girl would have epilepsy.  Every normal milestone for others was a day of fear for my parents:

  • The first day of pre-school
  • The first day of elementary school
  • The first friend
  • The first sleepover
  • The first school activity
  • The first camp weekend
  • The first band trip
  • The hormonal changes
  • High school
  • Dating
  • Going away to college
  • Getting my first home
  • Getting married

As each milestone in life was taken, the fears grew stronger because of what else might happen if a seizure occurred.  I had many seizures at many different times in my life.  Some were uneventful and some were quite eventful.  After each, I would be ready to deny what happened, pick up the pieces to move on and pretend that it never occurred.  My parents could not do that.  For every seizure that occurred, my parents’ lives were changed.  Each and every day was approached with caution and prayer that it would be uneventful.  As I got older, my anger for their over protection and fear got stronger and their frustration with my reactions was heart breaking.

Then, one day it happened.  While in rehabilitation after having a stroke, my dad had a grand mal seizure while sitting at the table with me.  I wanted to take the fear off of his face and tuck it away.  I held him and I wanted him to stop shaking.  I wanted him to stop biting his tongue.  I wanted to stop the seizure.  I wanted him to snap back to normal.  After 8 minutes, it stopped and I held on to him and tried to tell him it was going to be ok.  It wasn’t ok.  I realized the pain and fear of those who have to be the caretakers of those with epilepsy. Looking back, it is a job that no person would ever sign up for, but God Bless the parents, the siblings, the families, the friends, and the volunteers who do and who do so with love

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