Smiley. Happy. Love.

“Don’t go through life, grow through life” – Eric Butterworth.

Is this really true? Can we really grow through life? In order to make a dream a reality you have to dream about it first. And that is exactly what I was doing.

At my age I wanted to be happy along with all the usuals to earn money, own a house I could call my own and possibly be in a stable relationship.

To my surprise the seizures came at the most inconvenient time whilst I was on the telephone to an irrate customer.

I was informed after a babbling conversation with my colleagues that the telephone cord wrapped around my neck whilst I was flopping out of my chair with the first aider trying to get the phone receiver out of my hand whilst I’m growning in her face and foaming at the mouth.

The final straw was falling out of the chair, convulsing for over three minutes before then wetting myself. Honestly. The trials and tribulations of seizures eh? I thought for some strange reason that I had grown out of them I hadn’t had one for so long. I was embarassed to say the least. My colleagues were alarmed but not as alarmed as me trying to analyse where I was, how I got on the floor and how I managed to wet myself all at the same time.

I kept on saying to myself maybe I was due a one (when I mean a one I mean a seizure) Was it the customer that tipped me over the edge? Was that customer my trigger? Nah it couldn’t have been.

The shakes were in full swing and to top it all off the seizures came to join them. Although the seizures had returned the shakes scared me more. Maybe it was because when my seizures came they lasted five minutes, when the shakes started they lasted hours. My life was one big shake and I was getting used to juggling the two.

Although they were here there was part of my mind that just thought what is the worst that can happen? A few people have asked over the years if I could choose between shaking regularly and having a bad epileptic attack which one would I choose. Obviously I wouldn’t want either however the shakes are more bearable. You usually know where you are and you know you need bedrest, water and maybe a bar of chocolate to calm the nerves.

Unlike others I have spoken to I have never had to undergo surgery or constant testing. I have been fortunate in the respect that when I have a seizure I can (depending on whether my brain will let me) go several months seizure free. The one downside to that is that when they do come I literally have no warning so you are always on alert.

One minute I can be in a happy calm envirioment giggling and having a good time before the next minute I’m either sitting on the floor shaking or falling down a flight of stairs. You get no aura, you get no tingling sensation you just fit.

I have such admiration for those who manage to cope with their seizures on a regular basis. My heart goes out to people suffering from them daily. The one thing upside to my condition is that epilepsy has made me cautious of my surroundings and has made me appreciate myself and the people around me.

We are all in it together whether you are the worst effected or whether you are sitting on the shelf waiting for the fit to happen. We have all had that unpleasurable experience that we share with one another. This sharing takes that stress off your shoulders and makes you realise that we are all in it together. Raising epilepsy awareness is key.

I was still on the waiting list for therapy and I was getting impatient. Although my neurolgoist remained the happy chappy he was I was wondering when on earth I would ever get to see this “person who was gonna show me the way”. It took approximately a year before I was ever going to see the people who I would eventually give a detailed account of my life to.

What was changing was someone new would enter my life and make me question who I was.

As soppy as this sounds I had entered a new relatioship and was happy.

Not only was my partner my friend but was someone who understood what being self concious meant. This very person would be the man I would marry two years later. He is and always will be the person I go to with whatever’s on my mind as I know he will answer my questions openly. My husband doesn’t hold anything back. He says what he feels and I love him for it. Like my family he says things because he cares.

Like me my partner had insecurities of his own and could relate fully to the way I felt. Apart from the occasional arguement he has never been one to judge me, in fact he would be surprised if I didn’t have the nature I have. He would probably ask what was wrong with me if I wasn’t worrying about something.

My partner popped jokes about my personality and brought me out of my comfort zone. He wasn’t bothered that I was epileptic and worried constantly. He saw beneath my condition and could see that I was a woman who was determined and driven to succeed. I bet you for one second my husband didn’t think that the very person he was attempting to put in the recovery position a year previous on that first aid workshop would be the woman he’d marry!

I was a little dubious about going into a new relationship as I didn’t want to burden my partner with my condition. The seizures had recently returned and I didn’t want to put any strain on that relationship by justifying why I was shaking or convulsing. To my partner he didn’t care. He loved me for me and that was the most important. It was new to him however he was prepared to learn.

Had I met my match? Did I really mean that much to him? What would happen if he saw me have a seizure and how would he react? It wasn’t long till we found out..


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