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Van’s Story

By: Van Chau

Having epilepsy can be a challenge in so many ways. If you’re reading this particular story right now, you’re probably either a person with epilepsy or a caregiver of a person with epilepsy. Having had epilepsy since I was about 4 years old, I have dealt with obstacles and struggles that many people are not even aware of. I have tried many anti-epileptic medications, from Dilantin to Keppra. As you likely know, there are a lot of them. I’ve even tried the Vagus Nerve Stimulator (VNS). Unfortunately, despite two surgeries, I didn’t get good results. I’ve also needed to have colonoscopies and other medical procedures because of effects from epilepsy.

For a person with my kind of epilepsy, each day can be tough and stressful. Due to my struggles in life, especially when I don’t have a job, I have to remember and push myself to wake up. It’s hard to deal with epilepsy when you’re unemployed. To deal with my own daily health problems, I have read Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer’s inspirational books. They are pastors who each have their own television shows. In addition, I also choose to listen to motivating songs.

The chance of having a seizure anywhere is possible for me. At the end of November 2013, I actually fell on a subway mini bus while I was having a seizure. Because of that unfortunate incident, I was paralyzed and needed another surgery. I heard that the actor Christopher Reeve from the movie “Superman” had a similar incident. He was lucky since he had support and encouragement from his friends and families, but I was all by myself with no support of any kind. Even though it has been a while now, I am still recovering. But I do have 7-8 years of employment.

As a result of my unfortunate incident, I had to be hospitalized for about 4 months. I am doing the physical and occupational therapies that I have been taught at least daily. All I am waiting for right now is complete recovery from my spine treatment and to maybe have a new beginning for myself. I just hope that I will recover as much as possible, regardless of my doctor’s view that I will not be able to walk fully like before. Amen.