It has been four plus years since epilepsy became a reality in my world. Prior to this it was not something I had given much thought to. I vaguely remember a boy in my elementary school whom we nicknamed ‘headgear’ because of his ever present helmet of protection. I don’t ever remember witnessing any of his episodes though. And yeah, I do believe his name was Glenn, maybe. Or the time I saw a body lifelessly hanging half out of a truck as I went by in the school bus. My mother later informing me the young man had not taken his medication and suffered a seizure while driving.
More recently my golden retriever had seizures in her younger years, idiopathic in nature; no known cause. She would come to me, knowing one was approaching and lay her head on my lap, her body growing rigid and uncontrollable, her eyes opened wide like a frightened deer. I would do my best to soothe her and talk her through it, comfort her, stroke her and ultimately it would pass. But none of this would prepare me for the world that swallowed me whole as I watched my youngest child engulfed by epilepsy.
It is a long arduous road, not one for the faint of heart, but then again, no life altering event ever is. What it has taught me is that there are moments in life we have no control over, literally and figuratively. We just have to ride the tsunami of whatever life is bringing us. And when we are washed ashore, time and again, sputtering, soaked and sand covered, we are still alive. We all have these challenges; in this I am not alone. It is perhaps that which makes us grow and stretch and become who we were meant to be.
That being said, there is no other place I would rather be than by the side of my child during his journey. Epilepsy is but a pebble in my shoe, watch me walk.