It Starts With A Headache…

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Migraines, intense migraines you can’t begin to imagine. Maybe try thinking of your absolute worse headache times 10. That’s how these temporal lobe seizures begin. I’ll take you on a walk on the longest 30 seconds ever. 30 seconds that feels like hours.

It starts with a headache in the front right side of my head. Every. single.time. This is the warning sign. Also known as an aura. When it begins I know to brace myself and get to a safe place, never know when or where the seizure will happen. The headache, then the worse smell that only I can smell. Only thing I can compare it to is a dead mouse. No one else smells it. Then at some point I go into a blank stare. I am physically here but my mind is somewhere else for 15 to 30 seconds. Once I am out of the seizure I have no memory of what happened or sometimes that it even happened at all.

The aftermath. My speech is severely affected and the migraine stays for at least another hour or so. Even if I don’t realize I had the seizure I know by my speech. I start to stutter. If I am at home, I can better manage the aftermath but at work it’s a bit more challenging. By me working in an environment where I talk on the phone 95% of the day this has a huge impact. Thankful for a great job that understands and coworkers who are very reassuring and makes sure I’m okay above anything.

It takes a lot for someone to open up about medical conditions. I only ever felt comfortable enough to talk to my mom. To this day she is still the only person I will verbally speak to after having a seizure. I am always known as the “strong one” and it’s embarrassing to even listen to myself barely get two words out. So she would sit and talk to me until my speech returns and hear that I’m okay. You are never too old to want or need that reassurance from your mom or hear “everything will be okay”. I am not afraid or ashamed to say I am a total momma’s girl. So what! :p

These type of seizures happen the same way every time but it does not make it any easier to deal with. Do I want anyone to feel sorry for me? By all means NO. Once it takes its course I’m back to my silly self. My decision to open up is to help others and also educate people who have no clue about “the Life of an Epileptic”. This is me behind the football loving, family crazed, paparazzi obsessed, geek squad, big-hearted Whit most know and love. I am still me.

“I may have epilepsy, but epilepsy does not have me.”

With Love,
Whitney

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