Emily Ann’s Moment
Emily Ann’s Moment
I am a senior in high school who is planning to attend a performing arts school in the coming fall. I am a former competitive gymnast as well as dancer. I actually live in the United States in California.
I was diagnosed with epilepsy at four. It has since improved but still is a daily struggle. I used to have hundreds a day, and now only 3-4 a day. Yet, it has not made life easy. When I was in 6th grade, I remember being laughed at by my peers and once that started happening I feel a sense of humiliation every time I have a seizure.
Unfortunately, having absence seizures, I am not able to drive and it is quite hard to rely on your parents, or just anybody in general, to take me places. Again, that too is embarrassing. Having epilepsy has caused me to get severe anxiety as well. Not only that, but it has affected my ability to play sports. I did competitive gymnastics for seven years and seizures made practicing hard.
It’s scary to think you could have a seizure doing a skill on a very tiny beam. I remember once I had a seizure during a floor routine at a competition. Thankfully, I was just dancing and not doing a skill, plus, it wasn’t that obvious because I had memorised the routine so well, I kept going because of muscle memory. Still, it was scary.
Also, the medicine I take causes severe side effects. They include; dizziness, tiredness, and nausea. This too makes practicing hard. I remember the days where I felt so awful, I’d throw up a couple times. But I didn’t let it stop me from doing something I loved.
My epilepsy also impacts my job. I could only work a full year before quitting because it was too difficult. Once I graduate, I am going to performing arts school and it’s scary because, somehow, I have to find my own transportation there. Though, no matter how hard my seizures try to stop me, I won’t let them.
Have you experienced something similar? Tell us your story below.