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I'm not doing good.


     My name is John Stephens. When I was in the Marine Corps. I was deployed to Iraq in 2004, where a mortar landed behind me causing a TBI (Truamatic Brain Injury). Not until 2009 did I start receiving treatment from all the affects of war. About 2 yrs ago I began having auras that everyone at first thought were panic attacks due to my PTSD. The seizures which were complex-partials at first, then turned into violent grand-mals with multiple trips to the ER via ambulance, biting my tongue, chewing, not coherent. I don't remember anything after that feeling that a seizure is coming on. My wife who is my caregiver and is amazing, records the episodes on her phone for the DR's to see. I can't watch them or even hear about my seizures in fear that it will bring another one on. I also deal with constant nausea. I constantly live in fear that I will wake up in the ER again. In fact in writing this I feel uneasy opening up about all this. However This is what I feel. An aura that begins with extreme fear, that I will die or that the whole world is ending. Everything that is familiar becomes unfamiliar. I then get extremely tired and fall asleep. That's when all the fun begins. After that, when I finally come out of these episodes I feel as though I've been gone for a month and don't remember anything. I usually end up in the ER/hospital. I Constantly feel like a burden to everyone. My 5 children ages 15,13,9,and twin 3 yr olds. All have seen and dealt with my seizures. I can't live like this anymore and feel all alone. It has really helped reading others stories of the same experiences. I live in Southern California and haven't found much help out here except from my DR's at the VA. The last seizure I had, I felt like I was on the brink of insanity. Something only someone who has seizures can understand in my opinion. Then I shut down and don't want to talk. I need help! I need support! I can't put this all on my family anymore. This has become my new normal.

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