Epilepsy Talk

Who is Your Personal Hero? | September 15, 2020

For me, it was my Grandfather, who believed in me completely and thought that I could accomplish anything I set out to do.

At the age of 14, I said I wanted to be a writer.

“Fine,” he said. “You’ll go to the Columbia School of Journalism.”

(Unfortunately he died long before that and nobody else had any faith in me. They all thought I was “damaged goods.”)

My husband is my second hero for being so steadfast and true.

He is supportive through thick and thin. (Even my attempted suicide.)

And he actually made it possible for me to become an epilepsy advocate.

I quit my “day job” as a promotional freelance writer and joined his company as VP of Community Outreach.

And that’s how Epilepsy Talk was born.


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  1. Get ready for a roller coaster!

    As I was growing up, I had a sister who was 15 years older than me along with four brothers. My mom had a serious case of pancreatitis and was bed-ridden for a long time. It was hard not to notice my mom wasn’t there when I needed her but my sister did everything she could for me so I wouldn’t notice it as much. She was kind, generous (paid to send me to a camp I wanted to attend for a long time), loving, everything a kid needed to grow up on the happy side of life.

    Then after she gave birth to her third child, I learned she, too, had pancreatitis and she was having problems. She never made it home. I was talking to her one afternoon, left at 4:00 and heard she died at 4:30. It was like Superwoman finally met her match. So my mom had to take her spot back as #1. Only problem was she died 15 months later.

    I wanted to commit suicide but my mom raised me with the fear of God so I didn’t want to risk where I was going if I did do something stupid. So I finally decided to try the other side by starting life over again but this time with two angels looking over me.

    Almost 25 years later, they played a big part in my surgery. When I knew they had an eye on me, I had no fear at all something bad could happen to me. As a test of your sense of humor, my brother and dad passed away, too, so I pictured these four playing pinochle and no one was ready to give up their seat so I was staying here if they had anything to do with it. All I had to worry about was how weird those nurses thought I was being as happy and full of jokes as I was just before brain surgery.

    As I approach 20 seizure-free years, one thing I will always remember is the original date of my surgery (the neurosurgeon had to move it back three days). It was December 8 – my sister’s, my hero’s birthday.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Ed Lugge — September 15, 2020 @ 12:56 PM

    • Oh Ed, how beautiful. To have the richness of those two people in your life. And in your soul.

      I’m sure they (and your other two guardian angels!) guide you still, just as they guided you through brain surgery safely.

      You truly are blessed. (And congratulations on 20 years seizure-free.)

      Keep the faith.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 15, 2020 @ 1:06 PM

      • Thank you, Phylis. I’ll never forget my mom’s birthday either (like I ever would anyway). My granddaughter was born three years ago on September 8 (same day as my mom).

        Liked by 2 people

        Comment by Ed Lugge — September 16, 2020 @ 9:48 AM

      • Another blessing!!!

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 16, 2020 @ 9:55 AM

  2. My family were nice enough, but I live in Ireland, suffered through our violence,, which caused PTSD and epilepsy, my hero is the British army, esp theParas who saved my life time and time again, even though so many were barely older than me

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Gail Barry — September 16, 2020 @ 6:14 AM

    • No wonder you have PTSD, suffering through all that violence and I imagine hardships, too.

      Thank goodness for the young Paras who saved your life, while putting theirs on the line. They are true heroes.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 16, 2020 @ 9:36 AM

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    About the author

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

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