Claudia Medina, Chile

Claudia Medina, Chile

Julián, my son, was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2011, when he was 8-years-old. I remember it like it was yesterday: We were doing a math assignment, but he could not concentrate because he was worried about the outcome of a football match. All of the sudden, he became silent, looked at me and then began to speak incoherently: “Mom, I swear I had nothing to do with red balloons,” he said.

I thought it was a joke, but his look completely lost and he was keeping saying things I could not understand. I told him to wash his face, never imagining that the worst would come a few minutes later; he lost control of his bowels and began to convulse. I never was so frightened in my life. I called my mother and decided to move immediately to the emergency room. The diagnosis was abrupt: epilepsy.

Hearing that strange word to me, I panicked. I figured the worst possible scenarios and I thought my child would never lead a normal life. Because of my ignorance, I thought that the situation would be worst and Julián would end up being a child with disabilities.

We decide to begin immediately with his treatment, and even when his seizures were each time under control, Julián started to shows some concentrations problems, decreasing his academic performance. They told us that he had Attention Deficit Disorder ADHD, which is very common in kids with epilepsy.

With an endless effort and following instructions by their doctors, Julián managed to upload their scores and take completely control over their seizures until he was discharged in December 2014. However, although it is far away, the ghost of epilepsy is not something that disappears from one day to another. In contrast, fear that this condition can again affect my son’s life is something that constantly haunts me.

After seeing the path that Julián had been walking through, I don’t fear epilepsy anymore. I understand that is not a sickness, it’s a non-limiting condition to live a normal life.

A Mother’s Perspective on her Child’s Epilepsy

Today I’m proud, because my son has passed a difficult obstacle and has become a brave teenager, a persevering person, and a young man able to face difficulties with optimism. Epilepsy failed to get the better of him, on the contrary, epilepsy let him build self-esteem and discover his own capabilities.

Therefore, I have plenty of confidence that he will accomplish anything proposed in the future.

I just want one thing: Julián’s happiness.