I’ve had epilepsy since I was a child. I think I was around 3 when it started. Not very often, but about once every year or so. Not often enough to be a real problem, but often enough to loom over me and get in the way. I didn’t get a driver’s license until I was 32, just prior to my son’s birth.
I hadn’t had a seizure (confirmed as a genuine seizure, anyway) since my first year as an undergrad – back in 1987. It’s been a long, long time.
But, I had one the day before Northern Voice. Thankfully, I was in a safe place (in every meaning of the word), and my friends were absolutely amazing at helping me feel comfortable and recover. Before I get a seizure, I get an aura as a warning. Since it had been so long, I tried to ignore it. I figured it was low blood sugar or something. Then, I could feel myself slipping, and I was gone. The next thing I remember is fragmented snapshots of my friends standing over me, looking worried.
I didn’t say anything to the rest of my friends who were in town for Northern Voice, because I didn’t want the thing to turn into Are You OK? Fest 2010. I was fine. After a good night’s sleep, I felt completely back to normal. There was no point in telling anyone else.
But, it took me much longer to recover from the seizure than ever before, so I needed to get things checked out. I saw a doctor today, to get a referral to a neurologist (my own neurologist sadly passed away a few years ago, and I never had the need to be transferred to a new one until now). The doctor wrote a prescription for the meds I used to take, to hold me over until I can get in to see a neurologist and we figure out what’s going on.
I won’t be driving for some time. The bottle of IPA in the fridge is likely the last beer I’ll have in a long, long time. Things will be different, but not radically so. I already ride my bike to and from work, and will be doing more of that to run errands.
Why am I writing this? I remember when I was a kid, I was terrified that people would find out I had epilepsy. That they’d think something was wrong or damaged. It was something to hide. I don’t want to do that anymore. My epilepsy is not a big deal.