'One Word Doesn't Define Me'

Jess McCoy:


"I was a healthy 20yr old when four grand mal seizures interrupted my life.  My doctors diagnosed me, with epilepsy, a seizure disorder.  

Now, these seizures didn’t start when I was 20, but as far back as high school. I was getting a deja vu feeling. I thought I was psychic. My deja vu feeling was a type of seizure. It’s a simple partial seizure.   For the next six years, my seizures would not be controlled by meds.  The grand mals would leave me with chipped teeth, fractured nose, bruises, & a chewed on tongue. My doctors, husband, & myself decided on brain surgery. I had a video EEG & they found my seizures were coming from my right temporal lobe. I was a good candidate to have it removed.

  The day of surgery I kissed my husband goodbye & they took me back to the operating room.  When I woke up, from surgery, I was happy to see my family. But why couldn’t I move my left hand? In fact, my entire left side(dominant side) wasn’t moving. My husband told me, “Jess, you had a stroke during surgery“.  My first thought, “I’m not spending the rest of my life in a wheelchair. “I spent close to a year learning to crawl, walk, feed myself, dress myself, & write. Today I can walk short distances with a walker or assistance from my husband. I’m wheelchair bound for most outings.

  My seizures are still not controlled. In May of 2015, I had my the rest of my right temporal lobe removed- due to complications encountered in the first surgery, I learned that not all of it had previously been removed. Even after that, I still have nocturnal grand mal seizures. During the day, I have gelastic seizures. I’m on two medications & have recently discussed the possibility of an invasive EEG if meds don’t work.

 I am epileptic, but one word doesn’t define me. I am a wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, & friend."


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