When I had my first seizure in the summer of 1999, little did I realize that it would haunt me for quite a while. I had my first episode while watching a music video at the age of 15. The most important years in school (classes X to XII) were yet to unfold in front of me and my doctors had already put me on a strict regimentation that included 10 hours of sleep and a few powerful drugs that were supposed to get rid of my seizures over a period of time while putting me to sleep even more.
With the support of my family and friends, I made it past school and college with a fair bit of honor and then found myself a respectable job but what followed in the weeks and months after my first seizure were a series of episodes almost every other month. I had them incessantly at school, college and at work.
It was only when I visited my current doctor, Dr. Manjari Tripathi at AIIMS back in 2007 that I realized that I was on the wrong medication for 8 long years. This was the visit that changed my life for good. The treatment given to me was the right one for my kind of disorder and the wait has been well worth it. I’ve never had a seizure or even a symptom in the last 7 years now and don’t think I ever will as I’m at my merriest best due to the right medication and the confidence the treatment has given me.
I’ve been surrounded by a lot of people who sympathized with my disorder and thought that I had achieved something extraordinary to be where I was today. There have been times when I was embarrassed by my seizures too but now when I look back at those days, I can say for sure that it was only a testing phase that can happen to just about everybody. My doctor, family and friends helped me through the rough patch in my life and I’m optimistic that anybody with a disorder of this nature can come out winning if they are perseverant and believe that they’re normal along with the support of close ones.
I’m pretty successful at what I do today in a very short time irrespective of all my initial hurdles as I was surrounded by the right people who made me believe that the day when I would be happy about myself wasn’t far. If I were to talk to a room filled with people who are similar to me, it would only be to believe in themselves, their close ones and their doctor.
The most important lesson and take away for me during this period in life is how perspectives can make a difference. The moment you begin believing in yourself and realize that the disorder is not a showstopper to life but a mere stone in the path is when you start winning in life. I can insist enough the words that I heard back at the time I had my first seizure – “Epilepsy is a disorder, not a disease!” This phrase has managed to see me smiling and fighting then and now. I’m a happy and normal individual who lives a perfectly contended life with a great social circle, thanks to my doctor, family, and friends and last but not the least, my will power! I can never thank these people enough and God for having given me the strength to see myself through this.