After hearing the hip hop version of how I was diagnosed with Epilepsy I figured I would share the actual story. I would say that I started to have absence seizures (Absence seizures are lapses of awareness, sometimes with staring. They begin and end abruptly, lasting only a few seconds.) when I was approximately 21. It was strange because the way it felt was nothing that I would have considered a seizure at the time. They would happen very sporadically and without warning but they would literally be so short that I could be talking mid-sentence and it would happen but no one around me would even notice. I could be driving, taking a shower, working out.. you name the task I could be doing it and I would experience this strange feeling. However it only happened ever few months.
At the time I thought it was just something that everyone felt because it was so subtle. You know the feeling that you get when you are starting to fall asleep and suddenly you feel a violent jerk and you wake up? It felt like that but I would be wide awake in the middle of the day. It did not occur often enough when it first began for me to think anything of it and in no way did it interfere with my everyday life. I just kept on living like nothing was happening. I was a young college student about to graduate and start real grown up life; nothing could be wrong with me.
Adulthood: After we grew up and realized that we should probably be a bit more mature. Kara struggles with photos.. don’t go thinking I’d put a bad pic up of my friend.. she has a syndrome. It’s called Camerafacefobia. It’s a real thing.
At the age of 23 I was living in Indianapolis with my best friend Kara (hence the above picture). We were sitting in our living room talking about life and I was asking her if she had ever felt that random jerking feeling during the day. She looked at me like I was Brick from Anchorman while I was explaining it and then told me that she thought it sounded like I was having seizures. I looked at her like she was Kim Kardashian telling me she was a virgin. Come on, let’s be real here. Seizures?
How in the world could this very minor feeling that I experience (although it had became more and more frequent as time went on) be a seizure? My only experience and knowledge of seizures were the type that caused people to lose consciousness and fall to the floor having convulsions. After much talk we decided that I should go to the doctor because something clearly was not right.
After my appointment with a primary care physician I received a referral to a Neurologist. The neurologist then scheduled an EEG, (An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test that detects electrical activity in your brain using small, flat metal discs (electrodes) attached to your scalp) MRI, and a sleep study. This was crazy talk. All this money being spent when I am clearly in good health. I have no family history of any serious diseases and I have been very healthy my whole life. At this time in life, I did drink like alcohol was about to be against the law in the next 15 minutes but didn’t everyone at that age? I also smoked cigarettes as well because I believed I was invincible. I didn’t even like the taste and the smell was repulsive but I did it because all the cool kids were.
Even with all of this I still felt no fear. Nothing is really wrong with me. I am perfect… right?
Part 2 will be tomorrow and I’ll try not to drag this out too long. Just don’t want you guys to have to read so much at one time. 🙂