DonetteI spent my 13th birthday at the Hospital for Sick Children to remove a brain tumor. I’ve had just about every seizure there is.
Right now I’m just trying to deal with my epilepsy journey and not let it take over my life.
The only thing that that holds me down is the healing from an injury. It's not the seizure that bothers me, it’s the healing process. Over time I’ve been able to work with my body and learn from the patterns. If I have my seizures now they’ll be in my sleep unless it’s a Grand Mal which I find is a guarantee at the end of the month. Because I live alone I take extra caution during this time. I like the old saying ‘what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.’
It’s important for me to be proactive and be an advocate for myself. I’ve been on every medication there is and my body just doesn’t handle it well.
In order to help some of these side effects, I try to keep up with my hobbies: listening to old school reggae, taking care of my plants, working out at home with some sit ups, pushups or the rumba board. I‘ve always tried to keep fitness at the top of my list.
I love going outdoors especially in my neighbourhood of High Park in the summertime. It's like a new me and I’m on cloud nine. It's almost like somebody put an antidepressant in my drink and it just lifts me up!
If I had to give advice to somebody recently diagnosed with epilepsy reading this, I’d say: “I want you to know that you’re still somebody beyond this diagnosis. Don't let anybody make you feel like you are less of a person. There is still hope out there.”
You learn to live through experiences and funny enough, one day while I was watching Divorce Court the judge said “it's not what life gives you it's what you make of it.” And that’s my motto.
Stories have been condensed and edited