Alyssa Holmes Shares Part of Her Personal Epilepsy Story

Author: Alyssa Holmes

As we begin the journey of being diagnosed with epilepsy, it is difficult for everyone and different for all. When I say everyone, I mean everyone. That includes all those around us; family, friends, loved ones, children, spouses, and so on.

Allow me to give you some insight on this from parts of my personal story. To start out with I was diagnosed at age 17. This was difficult as a healthy, athletic teenager to accept for many years after that.

Flash forward about five years. I ended up meeting who I did not know at the time, the man who would become my husband.

I still had a difficult time talking about epilepsy and really all could say is I have epilepsy. I would go into another room for quite sometime to take my medication. I was afraid he would be scared of me. Afraid my seizures would scare him off. In all reality he was the reason I actually ended up being able to open up. He was and is always there for me through this journey of living with epilepsy. I can’t believe the things he has had to go through, stuck through thick and thin. He is truly a great man.

There were times I was in the emergency room every other week with vertigo or from having a seizure even once while driving. The driving was the scariest and then I became a bicyclist since I had no other choice on getting to work. That was also a mistake. I had a seizure while riding my bicycle where I fractured my zygomatic bone (cheek bone) and chipped several teeth.

My husband knew I was under far too much stress, he had to be as well. There was no way this was good for him worrying about me or seeing me the way I was after some of those injuries. He was always there, always rushing off from work to get to me. I must add, this was not easy for him because of his job profession. Working in the oil industry, you can’t always just stop what you’re doing like ordinary jobs, but somehow he always managed to find a way.

Finally, we had the opportunity to move out of state away from the stressful jobs. We did so for about 6 months and I was seizure free from my tonic-clonic seizures. Then, we received news that we could not believe….I was pregnant. So new plan once again. My husband had to get back to the profession he knew best in order to provide for our family.

We moved back to his home town instead of my home town this time where there would be far less stress. This allowed me to be a stay at home mom until I was ready to go back to work or decide what I wanted to do. The pregnancy went smoothly other than the baby measured small the entire pregnancy and morning sickness constantly. She was born 3 weeks early, very healthy, but just a small baby. She weighed in just over 4lbs, but now at one you would never know she was a preemie. I must say the only stressful parts of the pregnancy were when we knew she was still measuring small further into the pregnancy and I was doing all I could.

Of course, my husband had to check in constantly with us to see how we were doing once he went back to work. He wanted to make sure I wasn’t getting too stressed I’m sure, but I loved him checking in on us. I loved the fact I knew he was doing okay as well.

Now that Ella is talking more, she knows when Daddy is on the phone and can’t wait to talk to him. She’s a blessing and keeps me busy in a good way. I have not had one tonic-clonic seizure since November of 2018. I still have absence seizures sometimes, but not as often as I use to.

I am so grateful for my husband who has gone through far too much with me. Then, there is Ella Mae, she keeps me going non-stop on my toes, but is what brought us to this town where I could be less stressed. I was able to become a photographer and start work part time. Also, become an ambassador for Purple Day Every Day. Overall 2020 has not been too bad for our family through all the insanity.

Just remember, epilepsy might be difficult, but there is always a light shining though somewhere at some point. There is someone there to help guide you through the grueling times. You just have to try to open your mind and heart to that person.

© Copyright 2021 The Anita Kaufmann Foundation. All rights reserved.