The Egregious Effect of Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a condition that is too often misunderstood. A person writhing on the floor is not what a seizure looks like. It disregards the pain; the feeling akin to pins and needles after numbness, intensified so that it feels more like jagged knives digging into soft skin forcefully and repeatedly for long periods of time. But you see, the body doesn’t bleed, so it must not hurt.

But it does.

It is among the most obscure things in the world. You cannot see it. You can only feel it. You never stop feeling it. It is in your daymares and your nightmares. It is in the back of your mind during every single conversation, every joke, every laugh, every comment, every moment of every single day. It is omnipresent, looming, watching, waiting for the right—or wrong—moment to strike, because it knows that you have no way of fighting back.

It’s like being on an airplane. You are on a plane and you are the only one in the aircraft. It is wonderful, having no noise, no nuisances around you. You begin to fall asleep.

Then suddenly, it isn’t so wonderful. Just as your body dissolves into an effortless comfort, there comes a loud explosion and you are suddenly falling at break-neck speed toward whatever it is that is millions of meters below you. Your ears are popping like mad, and your screams are dying in the back of your throat, and you are only managing to take very short gasps of breath to keep yourself from suffocating.

And then, seemingly out of thin air, you are handed a parachute. You don’t know who it is that gave it you. You did not see them. They do not matter. All that matters is that you have this parachute, and you have the opportunity—however slim—to live. The plane slows down ever so slightly and you trip over your own feet trying to get to an open door; You put the parachute on, and you jump.

You jump, and you pull the ripcord and you look up, and your heart sinks, because there is a gaping hole in the very thing that was to save you.

You are still barreling down to what you now see are unforgiving tides of raging black ink lit up by a stifled full moon. The cold air harshly assaults your skin and your lungs have already begun to fail you, and you begin to recognize that you have reached the final moments of your life.

But just as you are about to hit the surface, you wake up. Everything fades away. There is no parachute, no water, no crashing airplane.

But you are still falling.

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