I don't usually post on this forum, but I think you may have some insight that may help me. At least, I hope so. I have had epilepsy for over 35 years and have experienced all that goes with having this illness. I had surgery for it abt 4 years ago and am having what I think may be a sort of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It feels like I have been in prison for so many years and now that my seizures are controlled, I may be free to live a normal life. However, going from all that epilepsy with seizures hands a person to a completely different side of life with new challenges, goals, and opportunities is really a shock for me. It reminds me a lot of prisoners being in prison for so long they become institutionalized and therefore unable to function in Society as they would have been able to do had they not been put in a cage. I just lost a very good job (really only the second good job I have had since surgery), and it was the first I have Ever had that did afford me the opportunity to go forward, but I found it very hard to be that strong, capable, productive person I know I could have been had I not been in that Cage for so long. I really do need help and have no where to turn anymore. I hope this rings a bell with someone. I feel like I am too much affected by the intitutionalization-like effects that have occurred. Have any of you experienced this? Thanks, Tattoo
I recently had my 4th re-birthday too! I had surgery in '98 after about 25yrs of Epilepsy. I know just what you mean about coming out into the real world after spending an entire life in prison. It was overwhelming for me at first. at 31 I felt like a 6yo going to Disney World for the first time wanting to soak everything in before it was taken away. after 4 years I'm still adjusting to certain aspects of everyday living that 'healthy' people take for granted; like getting up early each morning, going to work, interacting with people, reading a book, going for walks & remembering everything I did the next day. I have my drivers license finally after many years but I still don't drive for fear; what if something does happen? what if they pull my license again? & also why the hurry,as long as i'm leagal! But it doesn't stop me from getting out & experiencing life. My Mom would be proud of me for saying this, I now take every day one-day-at-a-time!
Thanks for responding both of you. I will have to check into a support group, but this is a small area and that maybe difficult. Also, I think it would be easy to run into people you may see on the street, so I will have to think abt that. I do appreciate your concern though. I have a question. How did you get over the fear that the other shoe was going to drop so that you could enjoy life and grow without being emotionally affected? What I am talking abt is, do you think you could work in a Comprehensive Epilepsy Center since you just had surgery only short time ago and had Epilepsy for so long? I have wanted to do that for a long time now. The Epilepsy surgery Dept is expanding where I moved to. Could you do it and not be emotionally affected? If so, how? I don't want to fall into feeling like I did when I was a real lab rat for the docs. Tattoo