Why It's OK to Be Nonchalant About My Epilepsy


I came out as an epileptic to my boyfriend on our first date. I had to leave early to take my medication. I forgot to bring some. Rats. I told him I was having fun, but had no choice but to go. Medication always comes first. I could tell he thought it was a little strange to be so forthcoming when I only knew him for a couple hours. (We met online).

Later, he told me he was skeptical about dating a woman with epilepsy. The worst possible scenarios went through his head. The only person he knew with epilepsy was his dog and he had watched him bounce around on the floor and whimper in pain for a year until he died.

But I made a good first impression and he decided to hang in there. He called the next day. We had a second date, then another. It’s been five years and we are still going strong.

He went from skeptical about epilepsy to nonchalant.

Every night, he watches me pop seven Lamictal pills. He calls them Larry and accuses me of loving Larry more than him. Maybe, but it’s a love-hate relationship.

He recently informed me that if I laid out all the pills I have consumed in a straight line, it would equal an eighth of a mile. (He did the math).

I shook in my sleep once. He woke me up and told me to cut it out because he was trying to sleep.

One time I took my dose of Larry twice one night. It was terrible. I saw triple. I had to crawl to the bathroom and bumped my head on the toilet. He brought me water and made me throw up to get it out of my stomach. He said “Give me a holler if you need anything.”

You may think this nonchalance is uncaring. But it is not. Dramatic reactions are not helpful for me. The more he normalizes it, whether it is taking pills or actually having a seizure, the more normal I feel.

He always tells me later that he had his thumb on 911, in case I really needed it.


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