So far I have only mentioned this in one other post, but in case you haven’t read it, I have epilepsy. I was diagnosed with it when I was 18. I missed a month of my senior year of high school because I was in two different hospitals having multiple tests run on me to see what was going on. I had some doctors claim I was faking, some claimed I was just on drugs, while only a few actually believed something was wrong. Once the results of the E.E.G.s came back showing spikes in my brain waves, the doctors confirmed I had epilepsy.
There are many ways in which even now at the age of 22, epilepsy has made my life difficult. For instance, I can’t drive because I haven’t gone the minimum required amount of time to be seizure free. In some states it’s only three months, while in others it is three whole years! That is an easy enough obstacle to get around though because I can either have my husband or a friend drive me somewhere, and if need be I can call a cab.
There are several ways in which I struggle with my disability now that I am a mother. For one, sleep deprivation is a trigger for my seizures so the midnight feedings really took their toll. Even though I would take my medications regularly, there was still the chance I would have a break through seizure if I lost too much sleep or was under too much stress. Both of which happened all the time in the first month and a half of Andrew’s life. I ended up having several seizures during that time.
For those of you that don’t know much about seizures, they take a huge toll on the body. The time it takes to recover from one can be anywhere between a few minutes to more than an hour. Having to still take care of a newborn despite just having a seizure is tougher than the seizure itself in my opinion. My body is already drained of all energy I had. Most of the time I can barely walk after a seizure, and doing anything that requires thinking too much is impossible.
It has been a huge adjustment for me now that I am a mom. For a while after Andrew was born, I wasn’t sure I could do it just because of all the seizures I was having. Here I am though, almost 4 months after his birth, and I’m still pushing through the difficulties. Some days are more challenging than others, but no matter what I have still been able to care for Andrew.
Being a mom with epilepsy has taught me that no matter what life throws my way, I will be able to get through it. Before Andrew was born I let my disability control my life. I used it as an excuse to not get things done, or to not do them properly, but not anymore. Having Andrew means that his well being is completely dependent on my actions. If I were to let my disability to continue to control my life, then all I’m doing is hurting my son. So I have started to change myself for him. I stay on top of things like housework, and I have even found a job that allows me to work from home so my husband and I have extra money to buy Andrew what he needs.
Do you have a disability? Has how it affects your life changed since you have had kids? Do you have a story of how you overcame a challenge caused by your disability for the sake of your child? Please share it in the comments. You never know who might need to read an encouraging story today!