....Brittany has attended two camps with the Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado and has enjoyed them so much. For the first time in a long time, she feels “normal and safe"....READ MORE...
As a parent of a child with epilepsy I would like to share our story and the impact it has had on our life. Brittany was diagnosed with epilepsy almost 5 years ago. It was her freshman year in high school. She was excited about meeting new friends, volleyball, boys, getting her drivers license and doing well in school. She had gained so much confidence in Middle School. She did well in volleyball and was an excellent student. Little did we know what obstacle was waiting for us. As you may well know, along with the excitement of going to high school it is especially important to fit in with your peers. Unfortunately, Brittany’s freshman year was all about epilepsy. She was having seizures in class, at basketball games and at the mall. With each seizure, epilepsy robbed her of her self confidence. She did not try out for volleyball, her grades started spiraling; the side effects of her medications caused her to gain 30 lbs. along with severe stomach aches. Brittany was convinced that everyone around her thought she was some kind of “weirdo?. Some of her teachers felt uncomfortable and fearful. As a result, Brittany began to isolate herself. Parents are supposed to protect and take care of their kids; I felt completely helpless. On top of Brittany’s epilepsy diagnosis, I was going through an unexpected divorce. After 15 years of marriage, my daughters and I were scared and confused and hurt. I kept asking God why this was happening to us.
Five years have past. What have we learned? We’ve learned a lot about epilepsy. We’ve learned a lot about medications. We’ve learned a lot about leaning on family and God to help us get through the hard times. We’ve learned how to dial 911. We’ve learned a lot about courage. We’ve learned not to worry about the future. We’ve learned to be strong.
The journey has been a struggle, trying to figure out the correct combinations of medications and doses. The process has been arduous and frustrating not to mention the side effects of the medications. Brittany has attended two camps with the Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado and has enjoyed them so much. For the first time in a long time, she feels “normal? and safe. Recently at camp, she made a new friend, someone who understands exactly how she feels, someone with the same struggles. In addition to attending camp, she was asked to participate along with 5 other teenagers at the Denver epilepsy forum in Denver. They were asked many questions about being a teenager with epilepsy. Over 100 people attended this conference including doctors, social workers and other parents who had children with epilepsy. One parent asked Brittany how she felt after having a seizure. This parent was asking this, because their child’s epilepsy was so disabling that he/she was no longer able to communicate with his/her parent. Driving home that night from Denver to Colorado Springs, as Brittany fell asleep on the why home, I finally understood why. She was able to tell those parents how she felt before and after a seizure and finally they had a little insight of what there child might feel like during a seizure.
As I was driving home that night I felt a sense of peace come over me. I knew that we were not alone. The Epilepsy Foundation has become our family. They will help us fight the fight. We will not give up. We will not let epilepsy rob us of our dreams. I’m so thankful for The Epilepsy Foundation and the support they have given my family. They have helped us understand this disorder and have put us in touch with other families and professionals. There is on quote I would like to share with you that I always tell Brittany. “This is a part of you, but this doesn’t make who you are?