A Timeline of My Epilepsy
- 1992: I have my first "hallucination".
- high school: I continue to have these seizures every once in a while.
- Spring 1998: The frequency of my seizures increases until I'm having an average of 3 or 4 per day. In early May I experience psychological imbalance and have to go to Swarthmore's health center because of a severe panic attack.
- Spring 1998: Back in Ashland, I see a neurologist to have the seizures diagnosed as epilepsy. The subsequent results of an EEG test and an MRI show that the epilepsy is caused by a benign brain tumor. I start taking a medication to stop the seizures and do research with my family to find the best neurosurgeon possible.
- July 1998: I go to OHSU in Portland, Oregon and have a successful surgery. Dr. John Delashaw removes the tumor. I stay in the hospital four more days for recovery.
- August 1998: After several weeks of post-operational healing, I feel healthy and stable. I plan on returning to Swarthmore College for the fall semester. Following medical advice, I stop taking my medication. A couple days later I wake up in the middle of the night surrounded by my family and an emergency care crew, after having had an unexpected grande mal seizure. I get taken by ambulance to the hospital to get Carbamazepine pumped into my veins.
- I start taking Tegretol pills once again, and I decide to take the semester off to stay in Ashland for more time for recovery. The following five months are filled with deep healing and personal discoveries. I go through a complete reevaluation of my life. Fundamental changes occur, affecting everything: my relationships, psychological patterns, body, sense of identity, spirituality, emotional awareness, self-expression, priorities, creativity, addictions, values and more.
- I go back to Swarthmore in the spring, where the journey of healing continues. I only have a very occasional seizure (complex-partial), still taking two Tegretols a day.
- September 1999: After not having a seizure in a long time, I decide to only take one Tegretol tablet a day. I end up having a strange period of intensely unusual mental experiences. While it does not feel threatening, I realize I need more stability in order to function in the academic setting, so I return to the original dosage of two pills every day.
- December 1999: I meet with Dr. Delashaw in Portland for an annual checkup.
- December 1999 - February 2000: I do extended research and personal analysis on the whole experience of having the brain tumor and epileptic seizures in order to create this web page (which is an ongoing project).
back to index