A miracle is defined as:
An event that is considered to be the work of God.
In looking at the title of my article here, some might be thinking, “What miracles could possibly be extracted from having seizures or being diagnosed with epilepsy?” Seizures and/or an epilepsy diagnosis, is terrible, awful, devastating, heartbreaking. I could go on and on. However, if you reach down into the soil of the circumstance, not looking back and refusing to respond to the negativity that swirls about, there you will find miracles.
A tree has long, strong roots that travel far down into the soil and feed the tree nutrients to keep it growing tall and mighty. They don’t spend their days on the surface. They don’t give up.
We who are diagnosed, family, friends, caregivers, supporters, are the strong roots that must continually feed our mind, body and soul, nutrients to keep growing mighty in our journey to a cure.
What are the miracles that I’ve found within my personal epilepsy journey? There are countless miracles that I’ve encountered within epilepsy. Below, I’ll share a few of those with you:
At the age of sixteen years old, in the middle of the night, I experienced my first grand mal seizure. There were no warning signs. No out of character behavior leading up to going to sleep. It was a typical teenage kind of day. Wake up, school, homework, might’ve called my best friend on our gigantic cordless phone under the bed, but there were no indications that a seizure was drawing near just a few hours later. Thankfully, my little sister and I shared the same room. She witnessed me repeatedly striking my head against the bedroom window. My sister wasted no time waking my mother who called the paramedics and with emotions churning tornadically, held me. I was placed on epilepsy medication for a time, my single seizure had been tamed and I was eventually weaned off.
My sister ran for help. So often, I hear of heartbreaking cases of SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy) or Status Epilepticus (when a seizure lasts too long or when seizures occur close together and the person doesn’t recover between seizures). I thank God that wasn’t me. Though my head repeatedly struck the glass of our bedroom window, I did not suffer any brain damage nor did I break the glass and injure myself. My single seizure had gone dormant and I was able to enjoy the remainder of my teenage years without seizures getting involved in the mix.
Six years later, at the age of twenty-two, while driving to purchase birthday and Christmas presents for my newlywed husband and family, I experienced another grand mal seizure. Wrecking my car. Crashing into fences and eventually colliding with a tree. This time, I would be diagnosed with epilepsy. This time, seizures were going to be a frequent visitor in my life. This time, life would change drastically. This time there was plenty of testing and answers. I have epilepsy for unknown reasons,
In about 60 percent of epilepsy cases, there is no known cause.
and my official diagnosis, after numerous tests, medications and medication adjustments, would be Refractory Epilepsy.
In the beginning of my diagnosis, I struggled to find the miracles. I could not find a single one because a vale of depression, anger and reminiscing days prior to my diagnosis stood before me. With relentless prayer, loving help from my spouse and family, that vale was torn away and miracles washed over me like a cool tide. Breathing hope and faith into my heart, mind and soul.
I survived the car accident/seizure. I am alive. I am so grateful to be alive because it could have been much worse. I may have lost my car, job, our very first home as husband and wife but I still have what matters to me the most. My Father in Heaven, my spouse and my family. I can always be assured that they will be with me through the journey. My devastating diagnosis became a blessing in disguise as my calling was revealed. My husband and I soon began our organization, The Epilepsy Network (TEN) for those diagnosed, families, friends, caregivers, anyone affected by epilepsy to come together as a community to learn and share their experiences. I began to write about my journey living with epilepsy and officially became an epilepsy blogger.
If you believe that an unfortunate circumstance cannot reap any miracles, try taking a few moments to reflect and turn your perspective around. I’m not going to tell you that it’s easy but it is accomplishable. For every negative comment that swirls about, remember that you are a strong root that must continually feed your mind, body and soul, nutrients to keep growing mighty in the journey to a cure.
What miracles have you found within your epilepsy diagnosis or seizure? If you’re a family member or friend, how about you?