When someone close to you struggles
Three years ago, the only thing that I knew of seizures is what I saw through various forms of entertainment media. In those cases, a person would shake on the ground with an Alka-seltzer in their mouth. Then I met Lawton.
Lawton and I met at work and quickly became fast friends. Months later, our relationship turned into a romantic one, and three years later, I find myself waiting for him to give me the ring which we’ve talked about.
When he and I were getting to know each other, he told me that he had a seizure disorder, but I was unfamiliar with all that it entailed. It wasn’t long before I found out.
Witnessing my first seizure
The semester was nearly over and I was perched in front of my computer trying to crank out a research paper. Lawton was in the other room playing a racing game on my game console. I can’t remember if he had already had a grand maul seizure since we had been together, but this was the first time I had seen one.
I heard him scream in an eerie way from the other room. It unnerved me. I told him to stop. I figured he was frustrated at the game again. But he didn't’t stop. I quickly jumped up with a sick feeling in my stomach and ran to the living room. My first glimpse was of him convulsing so dramatically that he was slipping off the couch. Hi eyes were rolling to the back of his head and as all the air left his body, so did all the sounds escaping his mouth. He was drooling uncontrollable and his body was slamming into everything it came into contact with. His coloring was beginning to turn purple.
I was terrified. I screamed for my father, and he came running into the living room from the garage. He tried to protect Lawton’s head from the constant smacking it was taking from the corner of the couch. I ran to the telephone and automatically dialed emergency services. When the operator came on the phone, I made a concerted effort to calm myself and my speaking voice (which had become extremely shaky).
By this time, Lawton had stopped convulsing and it sounded like he was in a deep sleep, snoring loudly when in actuality, it was just his body trying to retrieve oxygen into its system again. Minutes later the ambulance arrived, and Lawton, although dazed was being to come to.
He couldn’t remember much and even basic facts like addresses and the current president left him stumped. Hours later, he was back to normal with the exception of severe body aches and a massive migraine. Hours later, I slipped off by myself and cried.
Learning to live with epilepsy
I have learned to live with epilepsy, even though I do not suffer from it. Since that first seizure I witness, I’ve seen several been with him during several more seizures. Although I am more prepared, I never get used to them. I tend to worry about him a lot. When he is late, or I can’t get a hold of him, I wonder if he is okay. I dread his co-workers calling when he’s at work, and saying goodbye at the end of the night bothers me because I can’t be there if he needs me and also I worry about him getting home safe.
Last spring Lawton suffered a grand maul seizure while he was driving. I was in the passenger side of his truck but the space was too small for me to get past him to hit the emergency brake and his vehicle was a stick shift. I pulled the car onto the curb to slow it down enough so I could take out the keys. No one was hit or hurt. We were very blessed.
Life is more stressful when someone you care about it epileptic, but I always remember he is just a person with a disability. It doesn’t affect him all the time, and we still live fairly normal and involved lives.
Lawton is my best friend. His unique personality and loving heart captivates me. Learning to live with epilepsy as a factor is nothing compared to the struggles I would have if I were to learn to live without him. Our lives our fulfilled, even with epilepsy.
The Epilepsy Project/ The Epilepsy Foundation/ American Epilepsy Society/ Epilepsy Association/ Intro/ Main/ Lawton's Story/ Jeni's Story/ Meet Danny/ Famous People/ What it is/ Stats/ Severity/ FAQ/
Copyright © 2004 by Jennifer E. Tucker
Epilepsy at a glance Graphics and links on the right courtesy of the Epilepsy Project.Please visit their website for more information.
What it is- The Epilepsy Foundation offers an introduction
Epilepsy and Seizure Stats- The Epilepsy Foundation offers research
Spectrum of Severity- The Epilepsy Foundation catagorizes conditions
Frequently Asked Questions- The Epilepsy Fondation resonds to frequently asked questions.
Faces of Epilepsy- Famous people with epilepsy