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of everyone affected by epilepsy

Naomi Hunter

My mother never told me I was born with epilepsy, I always questioned why I'm mixed with white birthmarks on my body. I grew up a perfect childhood, no fits in sight until I hit puberty. I remember being 14 years old in my spanish class having what I thought was my very first fit, the feeling of shame and hurt and fear. I don't know whether it's a chemical change in my body that switched it off, but it seem to switch off after the age of 5 and come back when I hit puberty at 14.

I spent most of my time in hospital....test after test, fit after fit. Some worse than others. Not knowing when I was going to have a fit, scared me. It wasn't the thought of having one, it was the reaction and thinking that people would treat me like I wasn't normal......clearly I look far from disabled.

When I found out I had epilepsy I started to realise my flaws and covered up my birthmarks in fear of bullying and just people asking questions, all throughout teenage hood this was my secret, my bondage that nobody knew. I have a birthmark on my forehead and strange enough the ones on my legs are perfectly alined, I've also got one on my arm and my foot.

I'm still battling insecurities, but it's better then it was before. The thought of the wind blowing my fringe to the side scared me, but now I've moved on to make up and I'm slowly, but painfully wearing less, and wouldn't mind if the rain wiped it all away.

You see the power of the mind! It can make you strong or weak.

Let me explain, my fits.

My fits usually happen with in the space of 6am to 11am. When I have a fit I have about less then 10 secs to realise, I try to speak and say "Mum,mum I'm having a fit", but strange enough they never hear me...Why? My eyes lock and I start having convulsions. My fits usual last 3 to 5 mins depending on the cause, the cause could be lack of sleep, depression, stress, alcohol or missing my medication. Missing my medication...happens alot, most of the time I can't be asked. When I have those convulsions my eyes feel like a huge massive twitch and my body goes stiff inside,but on the outside I'm moving like crazy, sometimes foam...depends. Just imagine a Broken CD ringing in your ear, thats what I hear. During the fits I hear and see everything....scary.

My worst fit.

I was in my room, I shared a room with my sister at the time. I was on the bunk bed, don't know what I was doing. All of a sudden I got the reaction, fell off the lower bunk bed, hit my hip on the side table and started shaking, moving slowly under the bed, I tried to scream to my sister walking past the bed room, she saw me and started shouting to my mum. My mum and dad rushed up stairs, all of a sudden I blacked out. When I blacked out I eventually seconds later woke up, and I went blind for like less then 30 sec. Screaming and panicking saying " Mum I'm blind, I can't see, I can't see" I regained my sight. That was a shell shocker.

Through that situation it made me stronger, because I knew what could happen and thanked the God above that I didn't go blind. Since taking Lamotrogine every night, I've had less fits, I could go a months without one at all.

For those of you that aren't religious or believe in jesus, I can say that he's my source of comfort and refuge. Believe it or not we all need someone that can support us and make us strong for another day of unexpected fits or alarms.

Also this is my story, so what I tell you many of you don't want to hear. Here it goes. So I must have been at uni in my room and I was having panic attacks, couldn't sleep, because I was scared that I was gonna have...what I call an alarm fit at 6am. My brain was a mess that night I was having semi alarms, so I gained the courage to go to sleep. I woke up as I thought, seconds before I had the fit I yelled "Jesus,jesus, jesus,jesus" until this day eveytime a fit comes I say that and it goes. No Lie!

It's taken me this long....now in my 20s to write about this, but I feel like it is beneficial for people to hear my story. I'm confident enough to go up to a friend and say I need support, because I think now that I'm an adult people aren't that shocked about it.
My life is a testimony to not let this disease bring you down, but make you stronger. Separate yourself from it! It does not own you! you are alive and loved.

I thank God everyday that I have a loving family that supports my condition, even when I couldn't find the strength.

This is my piece to share, and without all that I have mention, my story won't be complete. No you may right comments, but please respect the fact that this is my story and my beliefs and that I'm not trying to impose anything on you.


Naomi Hunter
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