I take fifteen seizure pills a day. Without those fifteen pills a day, I couldn’t go out in public, I’d be potentially dangerous, and it is highly doubtful I would have any friends. Indeed, without those fifteen pills a day I would in all likelihood have to be institutionalized. Not because I am crazy–I seem to be a lot saner than many people I know–but because I would be so wracked by seizures and all their side effects that the world and all you people would be too much for me to handle, and certainly vice versa. Without seizure drugs I would have to be on very heavy sedation, though that would do nothing to keep me from having spectacular grand mal seizures in my sleep. Without fifteen seizure pills a day I would be the creepy guy in the back of the bus, scaring all the other passengers. Not that it is likely I would ever get near a bus.
Without fifteen seizure pills a day the brain damage from a lifetime of uncontrolled seizures would have been so extensive by now that I would probably appear to be quite mentally retarded. Without fifteen seizure pills a day my memory, what remained of it, would be a refuse heap of random recollections. Without fifteen seizure pills a day I would either not be writing this, or I would be writing things just like this tens of thousands of words long every single day and you would have unfriended me long ago.
The funny thing about being epileptic is if you ever happen to mention any of the effects and symptoms of it everyone tells you that they get that too, indeed everybody gets that. But then they only think that because they have never seen me unmedicated. Without vast amounts of anti-seizure medications coursing through my veins 24/7, none of you but my family would even know I exist.
And that is how I am different from almost all of you.
Epileptics are asked by advocates all the time to talk about their epilepsy. I don’t like to talk about my epilepsy. People weird out. It’s like talking about your syphilis. Epilepsy is not one of the hipper maladies. But a neurologist said I ought to write about it.
So I did.