The continuation of the Chronic Illness Challenge. The positive and negative aspects of how epilepsy has affected my life.
Day 2: How have these illnesses affected your life?
The positive side
Having to deal with the health care system in the United States has made me a better person. You learn not to leave refilling your prescription for the last minute. When things don’t go your way, I let myself get angry for a bit then calm down and patiently think of another solution. I think I am a more patient person because of my illness. I can also empathize with students who also have chronic conditions.
The negative side
- People sometimes treat you differently after you tell them you have epilepsy. I have noticed that the person sometimes tends to feel a little better if you tell them what to do if you are about to have a seizure (I have a warning). There are other people who don’t have epilepsy who are constantly giving you suggestions on better ways to cope with the illness. Even when you tell them that you have been living with the illness for decades. While these persons have good intentions, most of the individuals I am talking about are not doctors and it is a little irritating.
- Something that my current President doesn’t understand is that having a chronic condition is incredibly expensive if you can’t afford good health insurance. All of the following are expensive: seeing my neurologist for 15 minutes, getting a blood test, EEG, MRI, any other tests that I forgot, and filling my medicine.
- I have learned fast while having epilepsy that your medicine’s side effects can sometimes be worse than the condition itself. That sounds strange to some, but I took some terrible medicines that made me feel zombie like. I really wish people would focus more on finding a cure for the condition.
- Forming relationships has never been easy for me. Since I was diagnosed with epilepsy it has been harder. My communication skills are not that great and I have a bad tendency of not opening up to people. There are people that tell you their entire life story 10 minutes after you meet them. I am the opposite of those people.