The process of getting a diagnosis back then was a lot like an episode of House. Initially, doctors didn’t know what was wrong with me—likely an ‘anomaly in my growth’, they said, more vitamins might do the trick.
They didn’t. My seizures became more frequent, leaving me too scared to sleep—which was a predicament in itself because the sleep deprivation increased the frequency of my seizures.
“It could be a brain tumor.” Words any 9-year-old wants to hear. Just the thought of it made my brain hurt, and to top it off, the MRI machine gave me claustrophobia.
After that I had my first of many EEGs (short for ‘electroencephalography’, the measurement of electrical activity produced by the brain), which finally resulted in the epilepsy diagnosis.
I really despised those EEGs—all the gel they put on my head and the rubber cap they strapped tightly around my face. I felt like I was being strangled. Oh, and then there’s the EEG where they sleep-deprive you and expose you to strobe lights to see if it induces a seizure (which it does in some cases).
Pills were my treatment. I needed to take three tablets a day religiously to finally make the seizures stop. In the beginning, there were days when I broke down crying because I couldn’t remember whether I had taken them—too few would bring back the seizures and taking too many could have had severe side effects.