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To the Creators of 'Stranger Things,' From a Netflix Fan With Seizures

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I’m a lover of most of the TV shows you’ve made, Netflix. I’m a huge fan of “Between” and I totally wanted to watch your show that you put out this summer called “Stranger Things.” My family watched it, my friends watched it, everyone told me great things about it. It sounded so amazing… but there’s something I really need to tell you.

I have seizures that can be easily triggered by flashing lights, and your show “Stranger Things” had so many flashing lights I was unable to watch your show. But what’s worst is that I felt left out. Like I wasn’t in on something. I miss out on weird things as someone who is living with a progressive terminal rare disease and I would love to watch “Stranger Things.”

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But I can’t risk a seizure for a TV show. In my world, the person I’m watching TV with will almost always say something to me when flashing lights come on a show so I can cover my eyes or turn away.

Netflix, it’s not just you who doesn’t even know they are overlooking people like me who want to watch your shows. It is so many other people. It’s in TV shows, music videos, movies and random events. It’s so hard to know that I cannot do something like others because I could have a seizure. And if that seizure happened to send me into status epilepticus which I’ve been in about nine times, three of those put me in a medical -induced coma on life support. And for one I was intubated after my airway collapsed in on itself.

What I want is simple… a warning. I want to be able to look at something and see, “There is about to be flashing lights,” or “This show could trigger seizures or migraines.” And most of all I want you to somehow say, “I’m sorry for the inconvenience.”

And a warning to you, Netflix, is that seizures triggered by flashing lights isn’t that rare. There are others like me. We don’t get to watch the show. We feel left out by the over-looked world we have to live in.

I’m not mad at you. I love you, Netflix. I’m always up for Netflix! You do so much good and made hospital stays wonderfully easier and make me able to watch shows over and over again. But please don’t overlook the triggers of seizures or migraines or anything else. It’s hard enough.

I’m going to go watch “Gilmore Girls” on Netflix.

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Originally published: November 10, 2016
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