Epilepsy

It’s Not The End Of My Story

I remember so vividly. Waiting anxiously in the room with my husband for the doctor to come in to discuss my tests. The ticking of the clock seemed more intense than usual. Like the sound of echoing thunder and I feeling like a scared child. Fearing the unknown.

Finally, bringing me back to reality, the doctor walked in. In his hands, he held a manila folder that’s contents would change my life forever. I, thinking “ I don’t know if I want to know what’s inside that folder. Could be good news. Could be bad news. After all, I did have a seizure.” Taking his seat and opening the manila folder, we spoke a while about the tests taken and my seizure history. One at age sixteen and another at this time.

“You have epilepsy.” he said.

My mind went completely blank. I searched for what to say to this statement but wasn’t quite sure how to respond to being told that I have a medical condition that I had never heard of before.

After my doctor embedding the statement that I would most likely be on medication for the rest of my life, I looked at my husband and thought, since we had only been married four months, “My story is over. Our story is over before it even had a chance to begin.”

After losing my car, my job, and our home, I truly did begin to feel as though, my story, our story was over before it even had a chance to begin.

We just about hit rock bottom.

The important thing after hearing those three words from the doctor “You have epilepsy.” is to immediately decide that you are going to give it all that you’ve got to rise above and overcome. No matter what storms may come, those three words are the beginning of the new chapter in your life. God and you are the authors.

Remember….

After hearing “You Have Epilepsy.”

  1. Decide that you are going to give it all you’ve got to rise above and overcome.
  2.  Learn everything that you can about your condition
  3. Avoid seizure triggers
  4. Speak up, speak out about your condition. Doing so could help and inspire others.

In realizing that this was not the end of my story, not the end of our story, piece by piece, we began to rebuild life. Empowered. Inspired. Embraced by faith, God’s love and the love of our family and friends. Undeterred by any storms that may come, they would not stop me from achieving my goals and dreams. They only drew my husband and I closer together. According to Focus on The Family, statistics show that over 75 percent of marriages plagued by chronic conditions end in divorce.

According to Chris and I our marriage became rock solid for all eternity as we prepared ourselves to fight this battle being waged within my brain. As I prepared to rearrange my life to a new “normal”.

Things were about to change, that was for certain. We also decided together and individually that we were going to make some major changes in our lives from that moment on.

What were those changes?

  1. Eat healthier
  2. Kick bad habits to the curb
  3. Sleep better
  4. Include exercise in our lives
  5. Lower any stress in our lives

If it doesn’t help you limit your seizures, if it increases seizure activity or has the potential to increase seizure activity, it’s got to go. It’s a friend of seizures… That’s the way I see it, and any friend of seizures is no friend of mine.

I became empowered when I was wrapped in a blanket of a medical condition. I turned that blanket into a cape and I decided I’d fly with it rather than hide under it.

I’m alive. God saved my life that day I had a grand mal seizure and crashed my car into a pine tree.

It’s not the end of my story. It only just begun when I heard those three words, “You have epilepsy.”

Since then, I became an outspoken advocate for epilepsy, a blogger for epilepsy, God has blessed me and my husband in countless ways, we’ve created an incredible organization, The Epilepsy Network (TEN), which reaches the diagnosed, caregivers, and friends, offering education and support, growing more every day!

Should you ever think, it’s the end of your story, remember, it’s only the beginning of the new chapter of your life. Take a firm hold of faith. Storms may come, but there is always sunlight on the other side of those dark and thunderous clouds.

What goals, what ambitions do you have that you will not allow epilepsy to take away?… That you plan to achieve?

What advice might you offer to someone newly diagnosed?

I am a happily-ever-after wife, an Epilepsy Diagnosee, Advocate for Epilepsy Awareness (The Epilepsy Network), life lover & Christ inspired! Life is a journey and I'm loving every moment of it. Even the bumps in the road!

3 Comments

  • Malea

    Very well said..It is very scary to hear the words you have epilepsy.. I will never give in.”I have epilepsy but it doesn’t have me.” Would be much easier to give in but I choose to fight.

  • Dennis Shumard

    Tiffany. That was a beautiful story. Mine started when I was 16 which were caused by a brain abscess when I was 9. I handled it okay, but I’m sure you remember how high kids can be. Many made you feel like you have the plague. Girl I was dating broke up with me. Main thing you learn is if they act that way then they were never your true friends. So be happy with the other friends and family who support you. Hope some younger readers get to see this. Thanks for letting me share.

  • Aaron Gray

    Great advice for what ails many of us:
    Eat healthier
    Kick bad habits to the curb
    Sleep better
    Include exercise in our lives
    Lower any stress in our lives

    I strive for this list myself and when it is heeded I do better with my conditions…I am glad you are such a deep thinker and hard worker. That spirit of determination is what differentiates the victims from the heroes or heroines! Women admired or idealized for her courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities! That’s You!

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