When I was a teen I fell down, walked into walls, bumped into virtually everything in my path, and almost drowned in the shower.
So, you can imagine what a disaster dating was. Of course, in my infinite wisdom, I would never tell my dates that I had epilepsy. My parents wouldn’t even utter the word, so rather than become a pariah, I kept my mouth shut.
For example, I was lusting to go out with Ricky Schwabacker for 2 years. I mean, he was a big-time senior and I was just a lowly sophomore. So finally he asked me out and we went to some kid’s house whose parents weren’t home. Oy.
Everybody sat in a circle and smoked dope. (I didn’t, because drugs were far from “recreational” to me.) Then a very stoned Ricky and his friend sat down to play chess.
Suddenly “BOOM!” My head went crashing through the wood chessboard and I was out cold. They thought I was dead. And they couldn’t figure out whether to call the police or not.
If they called the police, they’d be busted for dope. So, they decided to just sit it out until they figured out a plan.
When I suddenly regained consciousness, everybody was relieved (especially Ricky) and Ricky took me home. Needless to say, that was my last date with Ricky.
Then there was Tommy who took me dancing. Unfortunately it was the disco era. And we walked into a room with a mirrored ball spinning, strobe lights flashing, and rock music booming.
I tried not to look (ha!) and went onto the dance floor, gyrating with everyone else. The difference was, I was having a seizure! When the music stopped and everyone drifted back to their tables, I melted down to the floor. The crowd was no longer propping me up.
So you can see why I wasn’t everybody’s first choice for a date. And why I felt so alone… Nobody knew how to act around me. My own parents didn’t even know what to do with me.
Epilepsy became my “dirty secret.” Like it or not…
But after those many fiascos (and MANY years later), I met a guy at work who became a buddy and we started hanging out. The first time I was in his apartment, I had a flaming seizure. I figured: “Oh no. Here we go again.”
The guy was so sweet and gentle and considerate, I couldn’t believe it. Kind to ME? Little old damaged me?
Instead of running for the hills, he asked if I was having a seizure and what he could do for me. (It turned out that one of his best friends since second grade had epilepsy).
Yes, I had hit the jackpot. A warm, caring guy who accepted me as I was, no problem. (But many seizures!)
I decided: He’s a keeper. We’ve been married for 33 years.