Thursday, 24 November 2016
I have had epilepsy probably all my life, but was not diagnosed until I was around about 8 years old. All my childhood I was extremely blessed in that my parents NEVER let my epilepsy stop me from doing anything except driving (illegal) and diving (dangerous for any diving companion I may have had).
I went to university, got my degree, went to work, and basically did what everyone else my age was doing. So, my epilepsy was NEVER a problem. Imagine my surprise when, at age 22, I became pregnant with my first child and the doctors did not want me to have him. They put immense pressure on both myself and the father telling us this child would be either deformed, disabled or both due to the medication I was on when I conceived. Best case scenario they said, he would have downs syndrome. They had THREE different doctors tell us this story.
I refused to abort this child, it was the right thing to do for me, and for the child. This child is now 23 years old, is NOT disabled, has nearly completed his university degree and is working (as he has been since he was quite young) and paying taxes that possibly help to pay the same doctors who never wanted him born!
Epilepsy is a condition that gets in the way of what you do sometimes, it does not define who you are, or how clever you are, or what you can do (bar things like driving if you have seizures like I do). This is something we need more people to understand so that people with epilepsy are not judged because they have the condition.