Recently, after my blog post barking seals, an acquaintance shared her poignant thoughts in an email to me describing her life changing experience having lived with a sister who has epilepsy:
People always tell me that everything will be better someday, or say that they will pray for my sister, expecting it to make me feel better. It doesn't. I used to find comfort in others kind words, but now they feel like empty gestures that people say because they don't truly know how to react or what to say. I don't live near barking seals but every time I hear a loud noise—door slam, book drop on the floor, someone walking with slightly heavy steps on the floor above me—my heart goes into overdrive and the adrenaline pumps through my veins. I no longer live with my sister and parents, and my brain knows that when she is not around, the loud noises are not signs of her falling down the stairs during a seizure. But my body has not made that distinction yet, and still goes into panic mode. It's something that only people with loved ones who have seizures would understand. Even my fiancee, who has been with me every step of the way since my sister's first seizure, doesn't get it. I ask him to walk more gently, don't slam doors ... and he just thinks I am crazy.
Give to cure epilepsy: http://www.calvinscure.com
|photo by Michael Kolster