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Positives of Epilepsy

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By Rene PetersPublished 2 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - January 2024
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Positives of Epilepsy
Photo by Maria Orlova on Unsplash

I know I have written many pieces about how awful epilepsy, seizures, and medications are. This piece, as the name states, is slightly different. I was thinking about it and realized there are a few good things that have come out of this awful diagnosis.

1. I learned at the age of 13, without any real drama, who my real friends were (you know, for teenage friends that don't stick around after high school ends).

2. I learned compassion that most teenagers don't have. I learned how awful some people's situations are by starting to go to a support group only a day or two after seeing a neurologist for the first time. It was scary to be around new people (I'm very introverted and have had anxiety since I was six) but even though it sucked, I met people dealing with epilepsy for decades. Relating to them made me more understanding than I already was (always loved the medical field) about what people can be forced to go through.

3. I learned how to speak up for myself and later on, others as well. I wasn't like this at first, I hid my seizures as much as I possibly could. It wasn't easy but most people didn't know at first. My epileptic seizures have never been super common. In the nearly 10 years with them, I had 0-3 a month. It never went above that.

4. I learned how medication decisions are made... by weighing pros and cons. For example, my very first medicine worked. I was seizure free for nearly 5 months on it but they took me off of it because of my mental health deteriorating on it. I was extremely depressed. I thought, since I was 13, "It's making me not seize so why are you switching it?" I didn't think becoming depressed was an issue despite the severity. I thought it was normal for people to want to die. That was the only medicine that ever gave me seizure freedom but there's no point in using it if you don't want to be around anymore.

5. This realization is both humorous and shitty... at least I can't drive. It sucks BUT I don't have to pay for car insurance, maintenance, or gas. Yes this means I have to find other ways around and hope they work for me but there's a local bus for people with disabilities. I have used that and gotten help from family since I was 18. My grandma wanted me to feel like a typical 16 year old so she let me drive in an empty parking lot. I had a seizure behind the wheel. Luckily, she pulled the emergency break so neither of us got severely hurt.

6. I learned how to teach people. I put in a lot of effort to learn. Even with my introverted nature, I began to teach people in high school about epilepsy and seizures in general. It took years to get to the point of advocating but it is definitely worth it! After all, how can awareness be spread without those truly affected sharing their knowledge and experiences? Sure, there are doctors who spend years of their lives going to school to learn but everyone has a different experience with anything in life but especially when it comes to medicines and health issues.

7. I didn't know this until I saw a neurologist for years but doctors don't have all the answers. If a doctor seems to have all the answers to everything you ask, BE SKEPTICAL! It doesn't matter how long they went to school, as I said above, everyone is extremely different. I'm happy I learned that at a young age (around 15-16) because it has helped me know if I'm seeing a good doctor.

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About the Creator

Rene Peters

I write what I know, usually in the form of poetry. I tend to lean towards mental health, epilepsy, and loss/grieving.

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Comments (25)

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  • Meeloun Education4 days ago

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  • Great job on seeing the positives in such a situation. I don’t know if I would be able to if I were in such a position, but that’s why it’s a good thing that there are people like you out there educating people. Number 7 in particular is very important, and something that I’ve learned the hard way as well. We have to be willing to trust medical professionals, but if they claim to have all the answers to all our problems, there’s definitely something not right.

  • River Joy17 days ago

    This was really well done and I learned a lot from it! Proud of you for looking at the positive side of things. Good for you for being skeptical and pushing for correct medical intervention.

  • Mila Violet25 days ago

    Amazing ARTICLE

  • John Acerabout a month ago

    nice ARTICLE

  • ROCK 2 months ago

    Your outlook on epilepsy is uplifting; I really like the part on Dr.'s opinions vs. know-it-alls; eye-opening and positive. Good work 👏👏👏

  • Naveed 2 months ago

    Superior effort! Keep the outstanding work—congrats!

  • Cathy holmes2 months ago

    You have such a positive attitude about this. This is great, like a breath of fresh air. I was diagnosed as an adult about 15 years ago. I don't mind not being able to drive either. And you're right. You find out who really cares. Kudos to you on a wonderful story.

  • Back to say congratulations on your Top Story!

  • Huan Huan 2 months ago

    Hey! Thanks for sharing this positivity. A close friend of mine most probably has epilespy and I'm thankful you shared this piece of your life~

  • Suze Kay2 months ago

    I love the positivity you’ve found here! I had some health issues as a kid too and you’re totally right… you definitely learn who your friends are and how to advocate better for yourself by going through that. Thank you for helping me find the silver linings in my history, too 💕

  • L.C. Schäfer2 months ago

    It's a testament to strength of character to find positives in unpleasant things 😁

  • Shalom Elkin2 months ago

    Great job, I couldn't stop reading! Congratulations on achieving top story status!💖👍

  • Tiffany Gordon 2 months ago

    Excellent work! So insightful!

  • Celia in Underland2 months ago

    Wonderful to see, congrats Renee 🥰

  • Wonderful insights into the silver lining to some very dark clouds. Thank you for sharing this with us, Rene. Prayers & blessings.

  • Grz Colm2 months ago

    I’m glad things are significantly under control for you, but appreciate the challenges you’ve faced. Yes some meds can have also sorts of reactions on some people..and I truly agree with your last paragraphs about doctors..it’s not possible for them to know everything or how something will affect a diverse range of people. Thanks for sharing yourself with us! 😊👍

  • Lana V Lynx2 months ago

    This is a great, insightful piece, thank you for putting it together, Rene.

  • Shirley Belk2 months ago

    Rene, this is an outstanding story on so many levels. I am a nurse and all nurses need to read this. We learn about epilepsy, but don't feel it and understand it like you have described so perfectly. Be proud of yourself for so much growth in your personality and character! I love your self-awareness. Wishing you the best starting this New Year!! I'm a new fan and subscribed to you, too.

  • Ace Melee2 months ago

    Beautiful piece, Rene. It's hard to see the light of things when it comes to conditions, but it is possible to do something positive come out of it.

  • Celia in Underland2 months ago

    Rene this is wonderful x Such a positive message and loved the humour in there too! 🤍

  • Babs Iverson2 months ago

    Fabulous list!!! Very positive and inspirational article!!!

  • Mother Combs2 months ago

    Truly inspirational piece and very uplifting. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Omgggg, I've been suicidal since I was 10 so I too thought it was normal to want to die. I'm 33 now and only 2 years ago I found out it wasn't normal 😅 And that last one about being skeptical, that is soooo true! I'm so glad you wrote this! It was so optimistic and powerful!

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