My name is Ann Eshaw, I am 25 (aging is kicking in! Yaiks!) and I have epilepsy. Let’s get that out of the way, right? No need to feel shame or fear about that part of my life. If anything it has done to me, it has made me stronger and more focused and disciplinary. Let me take you through a short journey with me.
I was 10 or 11 years old and I was playing outside with my friends when I felt something strange. I ran to the bathroom, but once I got there, the strange feeling was over. I told my parents about it and they decided to go to the doctor. A few tests and doctor appointments later we found out that I have epilepsy. I was diagnosed with epilepsy that was characterized with having simple partial seizures. Basically, this is how it looks. First, I have an aura- which is a warning that the seizure is coming- and it’s that kind of feeling you have when you’re in a roller coaster. That feeling of fear and excitement in your stomach. However, what’s coming after that feeling wasn’t that exciting: the seizure itself. My seizures- simple partial seizures- look like this: light twitching in my right cheek for about thirty seconds. Fully conscious though.
I was blessed enough that the doctor found the cause of my epilepsy- which was a tiny tumor in my brain (benign though!)- and they decided to try a surgery with a potential cure. However, the surgery failed. The tumor was too deep and the risks were too high to continue. But! I still got medications so my seizures would be controlled. They still aren’t completely controlled, but it’s not bad. I won’t lie, I do feel a little ashamed if it happens in a train or bus and there’s nowhere to go than sit there and wait until it’s over. But then you realize that the seizure only took about thirty seconds of your life/ time and now you have so much more time that you can choose to either spend it thinking about the past and be grumpy or spend it happy. Let’s not be cheesy now, but of course I choose happiness. (It’s like I was born in the 70s, right?! All that happy hippy- dippy stuff. Just kidding! Hippies are awesome. I think. Don’t know. I was born in 1989. Moving on!)
I finished primary school with some awesome friends. They even visited me after my surgery. I was so terrified that they would see me with a chunk of my hair shaved off, but they handled it perfectly. As if nothing had changed. See, nothing really big changes unless you let it. If you’re open about it and you let your friends know that it’s part of your life, but it doesn’t define you, they will know how to deal with it. You will learn how to deal with it.
After primary school came high school, equally as awesome. And then I went to the university. I got my Bachelor’s degree and soon I’ll have my Master’s degree in health sciences. I got my driver’s license, I traveled to so many beautiful places, and different experiences made me realize that we’re not that different. No matter who you are or where you’re from, we all have our struggles. I didn’t change anything in my plans because of this diagnosis of epilepsy. See, change is inevitable. In fact, the only constant in life is change itself. So embrace it and make the best of it! Life is pretty great if you smile more often. Happiness is contagious. Spread it.
Have an awesome day!
If you have time and you’re interested, check out this website I decided to make one day: www.simplythinking.wix.com/letstalk.
Name: Ann Eshaw