I had what I consider to be a pretty perfect childhood. I had a mom and dad who loved me dearly. They spoiled their only child rotten. I was at church every Sunday. I knew all sorts of stories from the Bible. I was the good girl who's biggest fault was talking too much (some may argue that to still be true!) I had everything.
One night when I was about 9 years old, I can remember my parents calling me awake. I remember being disoriented and sleepy. I did not understand why they were waking me up and making me talk to them. I did not know that their perfect little girl had had a seizure. The experience wasn't scary for me. I really didn't understand what was going on. We went to the doctor. They ran a couple of tests. He told us that sometimes this happens. Sometimes kids have one unexplained seizure and that's it. After that they simply grow out of it.
Things continued normally for me after that. I did not grasp what had happened. I never thought about it again. Then, about a year later, I was sitting in church one Sunday when something went wrong. I remember sitting beside my mom, looking at my Bible, eating a peppermint. Suddenly my body went numb. I could not control anything. I tried to reach out to my mom, but my hand was drawn to my chest. I tried to cry out, but no words came out. I was a prisoner to my body. I was trapped without any control. I was having a grand mal (or tonic-clonic) seizure.
It is hard to explain to someone what it actually feels like. It is horrifying. I compare it to what I imagine some people in a coma feel like. You are aware of things around you, but it's all sort of fuzzy. You don't necessarily hear people, but you know they are there. Inside you are screaming for someone to make it stop, but your body is not cooperating.
When the seizure was finally over, our church family gathered around me to pray for me. When we left, well intentioned people came and asked if I was feeling better. Their good intentions angered me. What sort of question was that? I never felt "sick" to begin with. If they were referring to whether or not I felt better emotionally, of course I didn't. I was a terrified little girl who although knew the stories of Christ, knew nothing of His peace.
The rest of that day is a blur to me, and for that I am thankful. According to my parents I had seizure, after seizure that day. My perfect life turned to fear. I underwent test after test. I was poked and scanned. I underwent CT scans, MRIs, and EEGs. I was put on medication. Because of the medication I had to go monthly to have my blood drawn.
My parents were told my brain had suffered too much damage from the seizures. I would never be the same. Their perfect little girl would never recover. I would never be able to drive, finish school, have a normal life. I was forever changed.