23,000 Pills

It has been over 4 1/2 years that I’ve lived with Epilepsy. I suffered my first grand mal seizure at age 16. Seven years later, it returned in full force. EKG’s and MRI’s confirmed that medication was the recommended method to tackle my seizures in the attempts to control them as best as possible. 4 1/2 years, I am not free from Epilepsy but I am doing the best I can to lead as normal a life as possible, medication as my side kick. Every day, 14 pills. Every day four times a day swallowing pills. Oblong shaped troops coursing through my body, through my bloodstream with one mission. Battle back the out of control surges of electricity inside of my brain that renders me weak and powerless whenever it feels like it. Medication every day.

How long have you had Epilepsy? In the time that you’ve been diagnosed, have you ever wondered just how many pills you’ve consumed in that time period? How many pills have traveled within your body, within your bloodstream in the hopes of controlling your seizures? In the hopes of saving your life? In my estimation, no solid numbers can be accurately assured… In the 4 1/2 almost 5 years on this Epilepsy journey, my body has consumed somewhere in the midst of 23,000 pills of Epilepsy medication. Not including vitamins to repair any damages the medication may have caused. 23,000 pills. Can you imagine?

Some people can’t even commit to a daily vitamin. Imagine in order to save your life, committing to medication for the entirety of your life. Unless a cure can be found. A cure that has yet to be found for Epilepsy. There’s no way around it. There’s no gambling with it. It’s not an option, its a life saving routine. You take your medication or you run the risk of gambling with your very life. A risk I surely am not willing to gamble with. 23,000 pills give or take. I don’t know what caused me to sit down and do the math, but I found myself curious to know one day. Would you want to know? How would it make you feel to know the number?

In thinking of such a number, I think about how my body must feel. How my stomach and bloodstream feel having digested and coursed these medications within me. How does a stomach and bloodstream react having carried such a heavy amount of medication each and every day? Are they doing okay? How will they be five years from now? Ten years from now? Can your insides stay strong or do they take any damage at all? Sure, I worry but I try not to think too much on it. I place my unwavering faith in the Good Lord Jesus Christ that He will carry me through this stormy journey without a bump or scratch inside and out.

The number of pills we take in a day varies from person to person. Some take more and some take less than others. But I’ll bet no one really thinks about the bigger picture, which is the number of pills consumed thus far. Some nights I lie awake and pray that not only will my seizures be held back but the rest of me that takes the impact of my medication will be kept safe as well. Medications can tackle an ailment but attack other things in addition. That’s the downside of medication. A two-faced entity. A friend and a foe.

Regardless of the number of pills I’ve consumed in nearly 5 years, I am thankful that it is helping. Allowing me to do small things that I worried I may never do again. Hold down part time jobs, cook breakfast lunch and dinner for my family and even have “Me-Time” when I feel that I need it without too much fear of being alone. Yes, there are some things that I’ve made a conscious decision to let go for good. Some things like driving and being in water all by myself but these things are minimal and not things to fret about.

I pray one day I won’t have to consume not another pill. Counting out handfuls of medication to fill up my pill divider. My stomach and bloodstream would sure love a break, I’ll assume that to be so true. Haha!

For those who do not know a personal journey with Epilepsy, this is so important to know. Epilepsy is so much more than a seizure disorder. That is just the tip of the iceberg for those of us on this journey. There’s so much to learn of a person with this condition. An Epilepsy condition or any condition for that matter, is compared to that of a tree. The condition is the trunk and all that entails with the condition splits off into branches and so much more. So much more than most people would assume. I’m sure that those with Epilepsy or any condition at all reading this would agree. This is the part of our lives we live every day.

Pill after pill. Smiling even through the storm with anticipation for a cure. No matter what, never give up.

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!


  • Rayella

    I’m with you – given up being in water alone. Sort of given up on the hope of driving but a tiny bit of hope for that still clings on, no matter how unrealistic. Have never thought of the number of pills – too many! I am happy with that though. It’s a small price to pay, despite any side effects, just to keep things in check and make my brain behave itself.

  • Holley

    I’ve had E for over 30 yrs, once I was on 28 pills a day! I’ve been over medicated quite a few times, what I learned is this is my body, I’m in control and if they say let’s increase I say no, how about we try a different approach bc I see this going down a familiar path.
    Doctors do not like me bc I read medical journals and I’m up to speed on the latest technology and drugs. I’m also an experienced epileptic… Haha. So I am one up on them, I have been studying this since high school and I won’t stop, I probably do know more. Which helps.
    Educate yourself, don’t allow pharmaceutical companies and doctors run your life- you run it!
    Don’t be a zombie.
    I don’t even want to think about the amount of pills! You have to weigh in their rate a-d in toxicity as well. It’s crazy.

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