This is part of a month-long series that my teen daughter and I are writing about her life and learning to live with epilepsy. To start at the beginning, click here.
Yesterday, my friend, Kris, wrote a very moving post about her daughter, Mary. You can read her post here. I would like to add a very personal thank you to both Kris and Mary for being so willing to share their story. The amount of courage that takes is incredible and I'm so grateful that they trusted me enough to share their story here. Mary, you are awesome!!!
Today's post is written by Mary. Mary is a junior in high school and she plays high school and travel softball. Mary chose to write about the challenges of being an athlete with epilepsy.
Many people have the tendency to get stressed or depressed when they first get diagnosed with epilepsy. I would know, because I was diagnosed in the 6th grade. It was a challenging time, especially with sports. Playing sports and being epileptic makes you very cautious. You have to take medicine everyday, go to bed at certain times, strict diets, and other things that weigh into the process.
Being a pitcher for softball and having epilepsy is very scary. Most pitchers freak out if they have a line drive hit back at them. I freak out because if I get hit in the head, there’s a strong risk for a seizure. Softball is a fast paced game. You’re always moving; no matter what position you are playing. Its quite challenging at times, if you have one small absence seizure it can completely mess you up. If you have a grand mal seizure a few days before, your legs feel like weights and it’s hard to concentrate.
One of my worst memories with playing softball and having epilepsy was school ball. I had a grand mal seizure 2 days before a week of games. The doctors told me I had to sit out an entire week. It was very upsetting, because I cannot do what I love. It was also depressing, because all you can do is sit there or can’t even go to games. The absolute worst part, is when your teammates worry about every little thing you do. It means a lot to know they care, but they also monitor your every movement.
The only stress reliever for me is playing softball. If I’m going through a hard time, I hit off a tee, do wrist flips, go for a jog, or even lift dumbbells just to make me stronger than I was before, and to get my mind off of things. I heard this motto once, and it means a lot. I can relate to it in many ways, “I have epilepsy, but epilepsy doesn’t have me.” Epilepsy will never stop me from doing what I love.
*If you'd like to read all of our 31 Days posts about living with epilepsy, click on the button on the sidebar or start here. And if you're wondering what the heck is going on and who Beth is, click here. :)