Author: Maria Martinez, Purple Day® Every Day Ambassador
I’m Maria. I’m fifteen years old and I have epilepsy.
My epilepsy story is something that made me stronger. And for that reason, I’m blogging because I want to make a difference and teach others how to react/respond to seizures and not only that but I want others to know that they’re not alone not at all because there are so many people that also have epilepsy.
I was twelve years old when I was first diagnosed. My first seizure was at my middle school field during lunch. I was just hanging out other my friends when all of a sudden I felt a pain in my head. I just thought to myself “It’s just a headache it will pass” and I just kept on talking to my friends.
A few minutes later everything was quiet and I saw something that tore my heart apart. It was my father burning on fire. I screamed and cried for help and everyone was just standing there asking if I was okay. I just kept crying and crying until it was over. I finally felt a relief that it was over.
After my episode the nurse toke me in most of it was a blur because of how sleepy I was. I woke up with my mom by my side and I just started crying. They thought it was just an asthma attack. After that they brought me home and ever since that episode my seizures were getting worse.
I would have 2-3 seizures a day.
I’ve did test among tests and it showed that I have Epilepsy I was really shocked because I didn’t even know what Epilepsy was when I was first diagnosed.
A few months past and I have been taking my medication and I was doing okay but I still had seizures and not only that but I was developing depression which was a side effect on the medication I was taking – Keppra.
I was getting ready to give up. I hated myself even though I knew it wasn’t my fault.
A few days later my parents brought me to the doctor and changed my meds I was getting so much better. I felt like myself again and my seizures were getting better.
I learned to try and cope with my seizures and understand that I’m not alone.
I also learned that seizures can happen any day – literally any day of the year, anytime which is why I try my best and make every day purple day.
I feel that people should know how to react in a situation like mine and others with epilepsy — I want them to know that they are not alone like I thought I was.
Sometimes when I have a seizure I just laugh it off even if it scares me a but because I feel that if I laugh it off it makes me feel better and believe it or not it does.
Let’s face it – the holidays are approaching in a coronavirus/COVID-19 world. On holidays particularly, I don’t want to worry about having an episode and I have to imagine some of you feel the same.
On big days like a holiday or special school or work day I wake up I tell myself that everything is going to get done today. I keep that mindset so I don’t freak out. I also just keep myself distracted and just play with my younger siblings or talk with the family and embrace the day or experience in the moment and I don’t let the epilepsy worries stand in the way of that. It may be Thanksgiving, but it’s also Purple Day for me because I live with epilepsy every day of the year. Black Friday is also Purple Day for me because again, it may be a day full of awesome sales, but I still have my epilepsy to manage and so long as I am making the right choices in light of that, I’m going to be just fine.
Here’s a funny story to close this blog post out:
Me and my brother Gueddy were playing video games one day and my brother accidentally hit my head and I had a seizure. My brother was so worried and so was my mom because she was also there but when I woke up I just laughed it off because I was okay. Gueddy didn’t mean to hit my head, he didn’t mean to trigger my seizure and I don’t blame him – it was an accident. We were actually playing a scary game – every time he would get scared he would pop up and every time he would pop up he would *BAM* hit my head I woke up again laughing it off, hugging my brother and we smiled at each other laughing then we decided to never play that game EVER again. Small changes, right?