I’ll remember it for as long as I live. It was cold and dark out. We had just finished a couple of hours of wood work at my grandparents house and were headed to pick my dad up from Barry County Christian School. He was the current volunteer custodian and was finishing his nightly cleaning. My brother, Orion, was driving with my other brother, Andrew, sitting next to him in the passenger seat. My sister Melanie and I sat in the back with an empty seat between us.
It was the year of the divorce, so most of the music that got played was sad. I remember looking out at the stars, listening to sad music. Then I remembered I had gum and hadn’t been chewing it. That one bite down, that one simple movement, is when it all happened. I remember feeling my mouth go completely numb, the feeling starting where the gum was and slowly taking over my mouth. The feeling then spread up my legs. I started freaking out, my body was locking up yet was moving uncontrollably and I had no idea what was going on. I was losing all control over my body. I started shaking and twitching. I turned to yell for my sister but my voice was gone. Mentally, I was screaming but the words just wouldn’t come out. I froze in my seat, pointing at her. She said “What” three times, each time getting more annoyed by not getting an answer.
She finally looked up at me and yelled, “Guys, there’s something wrong with Rosalie!”
I don’t remember if I saw it in color or black and white, or random colors and I don’t remember how I got to sitting forward. But I do remember Orion slamming on the brakes in the school’s parking lot and both brothers looking back, frightened and worried. I was having my first witnessed seizure, none of my siblings or I had seen one before and weren’t sure what to do. I had no control over my body and couldn’t talk or move or anything to get myself back to normal. Orion had to carry me to the school when I stopped seizing , Andrew was banging on the school doors, and Melanie kept trying to call my dad.
I spent that night in the ER, getting questioned and checked, unable to leave until they believed I was stable. I went to school the next day, exhausted, and scared. 2 months after that, I had another seizure and was diagnosed with Epilepsy. I had several hallucinations, blackouts, and a few more witnessed seizures despite medication. I had to have many EEGs and EKGs along with an MRI or two ( I stopped keeping track of all of the tests) and a few blood tests. I had to see a neurologist often along with my regular doctor and various others that administered my tests. In 2014 they took me off medications after a final 24 hour EEG and EKG. They said I should be fine and that , according to the results, I will always have hundreds of mini seizures in my head but they shouldn’t formulate enough to have a full physical seizure. I just have to watch my activities, sleep, medications, and be aware of any symptoms I get.
To this day, I still struggle with almost blacking out or having the feeling of an upcoming seizures. When I go awhile without chewing any gum, I get worried to bite down, afraid it may start another seizure - even though it’s been 7 years since that seizure. As far as we know, I am about 4 years seizure free and counting.