One Day at A Time With Epilepsy

Hope is sharing her journey with epilepsy and how she won't let seizures stop her from pursuing her career goals

By Hope Long , Arizona

Person with Epilepsy

After years of fearing what others would think of me, I am sharing my story. I was 18 when I had my first seizure. It was an absence seizure. When I was 19, I suddenly had a tonic-clonic seizure during my last week of high school and ended up in the hospital. I remember waking up in an ambulance with my mom and the paramedics. I was so confused. I asked, “What happened?” The paramedics told me that I had a seizure that lasted more than five minutes. All I could feel was pain all over my body and a horrible headache. 

I had another tonic-clonic seizure a month later and was back in the hospital. I was diagnosed with epilepsy, and ever since that day, I have been researching and learning about epilepsy and seizures. 

One of my most significant challenges has been driving. I am working on my anxiety and ensuring I’m seizure-free for at least three months before I can drive. I also have some gross motor skills issues with my hands. When comparing myself to others, it is hard for me to perform certain tasks. However, I see an occupational therapist to help me with that. I also work on my anxiety since that can often cause my hands to shake.

I’m currently in college, trying to earn my associate degree. I plan to become an EEG technician. I also want to get a bachelor’s degree in health sciences and possibly counseling. I want to help people who have health issues. I will not let epilepsy stop me from pursuing my dreams! 
Being diagnosed with epilepsy made me realize I am stronger than I think. I do not see it as my weakness but as my strength. I want to pursue a career where I can help others who have epilepsy too. I encourage people with epilepsy or seizures to take things one day at a time. You are strong and extremely intelligent. You are a warrior!

Reviewed By: Sara Wyen

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