2015 Colorado Gives Day
My Epilepsy Game
They say that life is a game. You really don’t know whether you are winning or loosing. The game ends in one way or another, but first, it must begin. My name is Bryn Rose Epstein Segall; and this is my story. Born in Denver, Colorado, October 13 1994; my delivery was difficult. Everyone was overjoyed that I was a girl and it was unanimously agreed to name me Bryn. I have a brother who is three years older than me, named Alec. I was told that he didn’t like me that much and became a bit jealous once I entered his life. After a while though, Alec started to like me more and more and we have grown really close. Starting a new chapter in his life, Alec is now a sophomore at CU and now it’s just me at home with my little sister, Paige. I had a pretty normal childhood. Then the summer of 2002 arrived, it was June 8th when everything changed.
On June 8th 2002, my sister and I went swimming in my Grandma’s pool. With sunscreen on and towel in hand, I was ready to go and so excited to be out on such a beautiful day! Everything was going well when all of a sudden I went unconscious under water. My grandma pulled me out of the water and I was shaking non-stop. My grandma called the ambulance and although I kept insisting that I was OK she demanded that an ambulance come and check me out. Soon enough, I was on a stretcher in an ambulance on the way to the hospital with my dad right by my side. I could feel cold hands all over my body, checking pulse, entering an IV, checking response; it was the scariest experience of my life. Once at the hospital, I was brought to the room where I had a CAT scan. During the tests, my mom arrived, panicked, unsettled, wanting me out of that machine immediately. In those short two hours, my whole life changed. I was diagnosed with Epilepsy. I felt like my game was over, but in reality, it had just begun. My aunt would take care of my sister and my brother often to make life easier for my mom. While other kids where out playing sports and trading beanie babies, I spent most of my time with doctors trying to figure out how I can lead a normal life with such an intimidating disability.
My 3rd grade year started a few months later, but I was too sick to go. I was in and out of the school the whole school year due to uncontrollable and frequent seizures. I spent that winter vacation in the hospital because I had to have countless tests done to determine where in my brain I was having seizures. They never found answers.
I have been on every epilepsy pill out there, and nothing has worked, but nothing is a miracle worker and medicine is not the only answer. I have built my self confidence, come up with strategies to deal with epilepsy and spontaneous seizures, and have grown up with so many supportive friends and family members.
Jump to the present, I am now a Junior at Thomas Jefferson High school and my life revolves around gymnastics; although I had to take a leave for a while earlier in my life due to my epilepsy. Soon after my leave I jumped back into what I love to do.
This shows that although you have epilepsy, or any disorder for that matter, you can still pursue anything and everything.
I have struggled with epilepsy for about 10 years now and I have already faced so many challenges in my life. I have not yet won the game but I have not yet lost, and I will never forfeit. Although this game has brought many challenges, the way that I respond to it, like I respond to every other bad thing in my life is, “Bring it on”. I am ready to fight and to continue fighting to own my epilepsy and to lead a normal life. My Epilepsy is not yet medically controlled, but I am optimistic that someday it will be. Although I am not medically controlled, I am learning to be emotionally controlled and to realize that I am not my disorder. My disorder is a part of me. And that is it.
By Bryn Epstein Segall
Edited and Co-written by George Seserman