The start of the epilepsy

MILEPOST 1—A DETOUR FROM THE “NORMAL LIFE”

Gentlemen, Line Up Your Cars, Start Your Engines, Green Flag, Gun Your Engines, Go Go Go!

Genesis of the epilepsy, the beginning of the Electric Highway and the ups and downs of epilepsy and depression:

“I’ve seen this many times before. When adolescence ends, your seizures will stop,” my first neurologist, Noble Jameson, said. My seizures will stop when adolescence ends; that was seven or eight years; seven years seemed a lifetime, eight years seemed an eternity. So began the mounting frustration and exasperation. That statement has echoed in my mind during a 40-year prolonged adolescence. The brain is like a car’s engine—it controls what we do and where we go and some of us have faulty electrical systems. In adolescence, testosterone shifted my brain into overdrive and flicked the seizure switch that controlled the firing of my spark plugs to the off position—it has remained there for nearly four decades. At the end of my sixth-grade-year during the hot summer of 1974 my engine overheated and I had two tonic-clonic—known at the time as grand mal—seizures. At the time I experienced ictal (seizural) amnesia. So began a 40-year-journey on Epilepsy’s Electric Highway.

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