My Invisible Disability
I'm not lazy, I'm broken
Hi! My name is Chris and I have an invisible disability! When I was 12 years old I was in school, and I made my way down some bleachers when I found that I couldn't move. I collapsed and everyone laughed, I was mortified. I found that it happened every day since then, and it was worse every time. I thought, "It's in my head, I'm fine." So, I kept it a secret from my family, until I was fifteen.
When I had started having it happen 10 times a day, and it was stronger. Back then it only happened when I did something physical, like going up stairs or standing. I finally told my family and they didn't believe me. They took me to the doctor, who then directed me to a neurologist. I participated in an E.E.G. in which they monitored my brainwaves. They found nothing and sent me home, but I knew something was up. So, I fought and fought for years, until I was 17 and about to go into my junior year. They'd thought it was mental, and sent me to Psychiatrist after Psychiatrist. Finally, I demanded another neurologist and he did a three day long E.E.G. In which I had 60 instances of these episodes.
I went to the doctor afterwards for a follow-up. I was excited to see what was wrong, and he'd found nothing. I was devastated, but all was not lost! He told me this wasn't uncommon, and not all seizures show up on a scan. I was experiencing something called Simple Partial seizures, which has recently been renamed Focal Aware Seizures by the epilepsy foundation, and I was put on heavy medications.
My seizures stopped, but the medicine changed me; it made me angry, mean, hateful, and generally terrible. I hated it, and so I stopped taking my medication. Doing this meant it was my fault I had seizures and my family would get angry at me, scream at me, and berate me for not taking them. I felt I had to take them, but I don't.
I've lost two jobs and failed high school because of my seizures. There are discrimination laws, but they haven't helped me. I applied for disability and they have only denied me. I'm 19, and I'm stuck living with my grandparents, I have 45 seizures a day on average now, and I'm on the hunt for jobs.
Honestly, I'm scared. I can't drive, I can't hold a job, I can't live alone, and I can't be a person. I had a seizure and fell down a flight of stairs yesterday, and I was screamed at because it was my fault for not taking my meds. I nearly broke my neck and leg. I just want to be considered a person, but when people look at me they see a lazy kid who doesn't want to work. They can't seem my disability because I'm not in a wheelchair. Then when they learn of my seizures, I'm immediately a child and I can't take care of myself, and I need to be supervised. I can't be my own man, I can't be anything other than lazy and worthless, or a hopeless invalid that has seizures.