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Lynda’s triumph Over Epilepsy
Publish Date : 1/10/2006 6:11:16 AM Source : Lynda Lee
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LYNDA’S TRIUMPH OVER EPILEPSY
I have a very dear friend, her name is Lynda. When I first met Lynda she told me about her surgery to cure her Epilepsy. Over a period of time I came to understand all that Lynda has been through with this disorder. I asked Lynda to write her story, of her triumph over Epilepsy. I feel that her story might help, to empower other’s in a similar position.
The following is Lynda’s story.
I am Lynda, In 1944 at 2 ½ years of age, I was struck on the left side of my head by a milk delivery truck. I was taken to Vancouver General Hospital, I was given 24 hours to live. Against all odds I survived, but while recovering I was not allowed any visitors, not even my mother.
When I left the hospital, I had to learn to do everything all over again. The right side of my brain took over, to compensate for what was destroyed on the left side of the brain.
My family never talked about the accident and the effects it had on my life. Back then, the way families handled tragedy was to put it in the closet. Because of this, I felt that my needs were not met. This left me feeling stifled and denied..
When I reached school age I felt different from everyone else .It was at that time in my life that I started having Epileptic seizure’s. Some times my body warned me that a seizure was coming, I could hide and no one would witness me having a seizure. When there were changes in the school routine, like Christmas and Easter exams, the seizure’s could come hourly.
From the time my seizures started and all the years that I was in school my family never sought medical treatment for my seizure’s. They pretended that the seizures never existed, and that I was imagining my physical and emotional problems. I learned not to talk about the seizure’s, and the problems they created in my life.
In 1960, I had a full medical check up. I knew I was different from other people. It was at this time I started taking medication. I traveled and tried to live normally, but I knew I was different because every where I traveled I carried a thick medical folder.
I can still remember some of the incidents that happened to me, over the years.
One day I opened the oven to take out some muffins, I forgot to wear oven mitts. I got 3rd. Degree burns on my hands. Another time, I was looking down at my husband, he was standing on some rocks, 5 feet below me. I blacked out and I fell, lucky for me, my husband caught me.
I even blacked out doing simple chores, one time I was doing laundry and I blacked out,
I hurt my lips because I fell face first onto the top of the washing machine.
I even fell down the stairs when I was sitting on the floor putting on my shoes.
Most of my seizures took place while I was asleep. During the day I quite often got warning signs that I was going to have a seizure, when this happened I would lay down so I wouldn’t hurt myself. The one big seizure I can remember, happened when I was working part time at a drug store. When that seizure was over I found myself on the side walk,I had wet pants, and I was surrounded by concerned, and confused people. That was my first and last try at working.
Slowly as years passed I lost confidence, and self esteem, I was very stressed . My insecurity gave me a little monkey on my shoulder, the monkey directed my life, telling me what I could and couldn’t do. There was no hope in my life, just fear.
In my early forties I stopped driving my car, because the warning signs that told me I was about to have a seizure stopped coming. I was afraid I would hurt some one. I knew any emotional upset could trigger a black out.
In the 1980’s my family and I moved to Vancouver Island. It was at this time that I started to see a Naturopath, he helped me to stay alive, and care for my body with the use of herbal products, and a healthy diet. Dealing with Epilepsy in my life added a lot of extra stress. Fortunately for me I had been doing Yoga for a number of years, and this helped deal with the stress.
When I was in my fifties and living in Kamloops, I had a blackout on the main street. I was taken to the hospital in the ambulance and referred to a neurologist. He was the first person to tell me about the possibilities of having surgery to cure my Epilepsy. He was trying to convince me to take the tests, and see if I was a candidate for the surgery. He felt that I had a chance to see life as a normal person. I spent years weighing the pro’s and cons of the surgery. It was very difficult to imagine my life any different, I had lived in a fog for so many years.
In June 2002, I got up in the morning to make coffee, while I was standing at the sink I blacked out. When I came to, I crawled to the living room, blacked out again, awoke and blacked out for the third time. I was taken to hospital in the ambulance. I felt like I had experienced a heart attack. I had bruised my chest when I fell, and all my ribs ached.
I was then convinced to see the neurologist, in Vancouver, where the surgery
called a Craniotomy could be done. Before the surgery could be done I had to pass a barrage of tests, I passed them without a problem. I was also given a complete explanation of the surgery. I was warned about possible side effects that I could experience from the surgery. Some of the side effects that could happen when I underwent the surgery were, blindness, paralysis, and or a stroke. There was no guarantee that the surgery would be successful . Although I was older, I was given the approval for the surgery, they said my good physical condition, played a part in their decision.
At the age of 61 years old I had brain surgery. From the time I came out of surgery, there were many things I needed to adjust to, I had to learn many simple things all over again, and I needed to learn new skills.( some of these things are the simple things that most people take for granted). I needed to adjust to new way of life.
I had to learn the difference between night and day, now I sleep when it is dark.
I was to start exercising as soon as possible after the surgery. I was to walk for 20 minutes every day even in the rain or snow. The exercise helped get the body working again.
I taught myself to manage stress differently, my Yoga is part of the stress management.
I took vitamins and minerals, to help me recover and to clean my body from the side effects, of all the drugs I took to prevent the seizure’s.
I seldom remember the difficult times. I walk a lot now, because it is one of my stress releases. I have lost 20 pound. My jean size has dropped from size 12 to size 8. My upper legs were 40 inches around, and now they are 24 inches.
I can drive a car, and lead a normal life. If I get upset or angry I can speak my mind with feelings. I’m very confident for the first time in my life.
I feel I couldn’t have made this wonderful recovery with out the help of, my chiropractor, counselor, herbal supplements, Neurosurgeon, the staff of the brain department of Vancouver General Hospital, and my husband John who supplied the support and security I needed.
These challenges have made me a strong, confident person. My new life is challenging and full of new experiences. I am grateful for this new way of life.
I feel that without the surgery I might not be alive today. Today I am living for the moment. Loving my life is my reward.
This story is being submitted by Jane Kriese
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