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Please Remember the Power of Choice When Your Child Has Epilepsy

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November is National Epilepsy Month. Each year we learn a little bit more. One thing my family has felt from the beginning is that should we ever choose to view our household or our children’s lives to be anything but miraculous, this condition would become all-consuming. That choice is something that has been demonstrated for us. Let me explain.

This last week, both boys have struggled with colds. Over the weekend they had temperatures of 103 and 105. We decided to have a quiet day on Sunday, taking naps and decorating for the holidays. After his own nap, Gabe came into the sunroom to help Quinn and I with the tree. Not a minute after the first picture was taken, he fell backwards into the couch seizing. Fortunately, it was short and didn’t require any emergency meds.

The author's two boys together playing cards

Now, in my eyes, this is the “ugly” part of epilepsy. It is always hiding in the background, and will try to steal precious moments and memories. This is where choice becomes most important. I could look at that photo and get stuck in anger pretty fast. Let’s face it. While a child was laughing, epilepsy stomped in, mid-giggle, to push him backwards while he was holding Christmas ornaments. Epilepsy made him turn blue and vomit. I mean, come on! Epilepsy can be cruel. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that it gets to each of us at times.

But when I’m able to take a breath and look around, I choose to move forward.

I see Quinn (sick himself) who stays calm, gets wash cloths, medical bags, a thermometer, and my phone. I see my brother who drives to the store to get fever medication to bring over within five minutes. I see our doctor who willingly calls in two antibiotics on his Sunday off.

The author's child by the christmas tree

I choose to see our warrior “sleep it off” and bounce back within an hour to pick up where he left off. I believe that’s his own personal way of telling epilepsy who is on top. Seems to me I should just choose to follow that lead. I choose to respect the memories Gabe is determined to make, even after all he goes through every day. I choose to honor his choice to move on, be grateful, and enjoy life.

Originally published: November 21, 2018
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