And then one day.
You know, I don’t really remember what I was doing that day. I do remember I was walking through the living room, and all of a sudden I fell over. My glasses fell off, but I couldn’t tell where they were. My neck was curled up against my shoulder—I knew I was biting my tongue but I couldn’t feel it. My arm was jerking behind my back in some kind of spastic disco move. My legs were probably twitching and kicking; I don’t remember. I do remember praying that I’d lose consciousness. Then it went dark.
I don’t know how long I was awake before realizing I was. My first thought was “Is it today?” A bit incoherent, but I knew I didn’t even realize what day it was or how long I’d been lying there. After maybe ten minutes I gathered enough strength to turn my head to find my glasses. They were right there beside me, but I couldn’t move my arm to reach them. That took another five minutes or so. Eventually I managed to get up, stagger to bed, and fall asleep.
Being alone can be a great experience, liberating and fun, when you’re healthy. When you’re chronically ill? Not so much. Fortunately it’s easier to find support now (online, for example) than it was twenty-plus years ago; still, having a seizure alone is one of the most harrowing experiences I’ve ever had.
If you know someone has epilepsy, say hi. Ask how they’re doing; be friends. It means a lot to us, it really does. And if you have epilepsy yourself? Don’t be afraid to talk about it. Don’t let it control you. People are good; life is good. Let it be good to you.