I began having seizures when I was 19 while attending school at BYU-Idaho. I graduated with my AA degree and came back to California where I began attending CSU Stanislaus to work on my Bachelor's degree in Liberal Studies then earn my teaching credential. I wanted nothing more than to be a college graduate and to be a teacher. My seizure disorder threatened to take that dream away from me.
In my early 20's, my seizures were getting worse and worse. I'd already had my first VNS device implanted, but my health wasn't improving. I'd lost my driver's license, and my seizures became so bad that my mother would have people from church help keep track of me in case I had a seizure during school and wandered off, which had happened on many occasions! One time, while I was student teaching at a nearby school, I managed to leave the school, cross the busiest street in town, and make it home...all while in the middle of a seizure. To this day I have no memory of this. A church member helped me put the pieces together!
During this time, I remember one conversation my mom and I had with my neurologist. We were not sure what else could be done to stop my seizures. I was told about a few options, but the one I will never forget is when my doctor suggested that I be declared disabled, and unable to work. I would be able to collect disability for the rest of my life, and wouldn't have to worry about working. I would have NOTHING to do with this idea. I'd worked so hard to get where I was, graduation was only about 2 years away. We continued trying different medications, and my health finally became more stable.
My greatest accomplishment (so far) has been graduating from college and earning my teaching credential. I didn't give up, and I kept on fighting for it.