Epilepsy Talk

What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? | May 25, 2021

All of us have dreams. Some become reality…and some stay in our imaginations forever.

Photography was a dream. And just that. Although I was enthusiastic about it (and pretty good…I even taught 5th graders, which was a blast), I knew I’d never be a Brassai or Ansel Adams.

Then there was the dream of becoming a ballerina. No competition for Margot Fonteyn, because when I twirled and swirled, the result was not pretty…me passed out on the floor. (I had epilepsy, but that didn’t diminish my dream.)

But most of all, writing was my dream and it turned out to be my reality. A dream come true when I discovered that I could really write and survive.

The rest is happy history.

How about you? What have you dreamed — or achieved — beyond your wildest dreams?

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  1. I would be a massively successful opinion show host on NPR.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Alison Zetterquist — May 25, 2021 @ 9:06 AM

    • Alison,,, NPR is my favorite TV & radio station I had been deeply in love with for many years & I would have been very happy to watch your show on TV or listen on the radio.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Gerrie — May 25, 2021 @ 2:40 PM

  2. Have had epilepsy since I was 2, so challenges were normal for me. 2004, my seizures discontinued after surgery and tomorrow I will retire after 32 years service with Department of Defense.
    I spoke to RN at a grand opening of a new Neurology test center. I told her how using my experiences could help.
    After Covid slows down enough for a Neurology Center to allow volunteers, i will help patients and their families. And improve communication/understanding between patient/ family and patient/doctor

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Laura Atchley — May 25, 2021 @ 9:53 AM

  3. Dreams are the best weapon you can have to change reality ♥️♥️♥️


    Comment by Isha — May 25, 2021 @ 10:44 AM

  4. Reblogged this on Disablities & Mental Health Issues.


    Comment by Kenneth — May 25, 2021 @ 11:03 AM

  5. I don’t know if “couldn’t fail” would work for me. I’ve learned far more from my “failures” than from my successes.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by HoDo — May 25, 2021 @ 12:16 PM

  6. I’m sure you have HoDo. You are an inspiration as well as a success.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — May 25, 2021 @ 12:19 PM

  7. I have always loved music. In high school, l sang in the *All Girls Choir.ln my early 20’s, l even taught Ballroom Dancing for a while. Wasn’t much money. One only got to teach someone when given a student by *The Owner of this place. He didn’t let me go very far. Later though, l took a trip to Manhattan and danced at *ROSELAND BALLROOM. Even danced with Tom Postom, there. This was in The 1970’s.

    Later, l got a HOHNER HARMONICA and practiced *Inhaling And Exhaling, until getting down every note in my head! Later, l started using my talent by joining a volunteer group called “CHEER.”Some danced, also. I was in a small singing group called, “The Cheerios” There were 4 of us. This was when I’d play the harmonica.

    *Youth Really made a difference. For several years until Covid-19 almost stopped the world, l had a monthly music jam me and my husband looked forward in going to. Joe would video everyone playing.

    I now have a number of harmonicas. Never made any money from playing them. It’s just fun! In The 1980’s, l won a Blue Ribbon at The State Fair of Virginia for Best Player with my style of harmonica-The Hohner TREMELO. l was also given *2 more *Trophy Harmonlcas fromBob Zentz,who worked for *Hohnef Harmonicas.

    Now, l use them for playing at church. And just yesterday, a friend called me, saying they turned 75 years old. While Joe was talking to Mr. Walker, l got my *Key D harmonica and played “Happy Birthday”

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Effie Erhardt — May 25, 2021 @ 12:25 PM

  8. What a lovely story of inspiration meeting aspiration. Your love and dedication shine through beautifully. I’m so happy you were able to achieve your dream with personal success.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — May 25, 2021 @ 12:30 PM

  9. I was looking for straight A’s: Actuary, Auditor, Accountant. Even though I was never an actuary, I started as an auditor when I was 18 then became an accountant.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Ed Lugge — May 25, 2021 @ 1:45 PM

  10. I would have been still building the wireless network computer company I helped to start up & successfully grow from drawing board into billion dollars company, before Epilepsy entered into my world.
    Now, shifting my priorities I dream of carrying out successful brain surgery to stop my seizures.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Gerrie — May 25, 2021 @ 3:41 PM

  11. Your successes are insurmountable. I believe if YOU (Gerrie) dream it, you CAN do it.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — May 25, 2021 @ 3:54 PM

    • Phylis, Reading the stories of the heroes who went through brain surgery & managed to stop their seizures on this forum, has inspired me to ask my neurologist if brain surgery would be the best option to stop my seizures?
      Looking surprised & shocked at my unexpected question, he can’t say for sure that if brain surgery would stop my seizures until he carried out a lot more tests to recommend brain surgery.
      Therefore, thank you for your support & encouragement I will continue to keep working on it, until my dreams come true.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Gerrie — May 26, 2021 @ 3:16 AM

      • Gerrie, how brave! Wow! What a step. What a challenge.

        I hope the answers come back in your favor and you are able, at last, to achieve that long held dream.


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — May 26, 2021 @ 9:13 AM

  12. Even at age 61 I would BOWL & have STRIKE OUT XXXXXXXXX XXX Epilepsy AWARENESS EVENTS in all cities & towns everywhere there are bowling alleys in all 50 states. Why someone has not asked the EFA & CURE along with the AAN to help get something like that started if nothing but having NO COMPASSION OR CARING for the almost 70 MILLION or more living with seizure conditions. SCHOOL PRINCIPALS could get something like this done, & teachers & students could all bowl in it with the family members & business owners bowl to raise awareness & the MONEY to help change a kids or an adults life forever, but this isn’t just the right thing to get done, for those who never know what it is like to have a seizure HAPPEN TO THEM. I remember back in the day when the LABOR DAY JERRY LEWIS TELETHON was on TV & bowling alleys where I bowled had MD fund raisers for 1 MONTH SEPTEMBER to raise MONEY FOR MUSCULAR DISTROPHY and thousands on dollars were raised in that 30 day bowling event in September. Of course today there are more reasons as to WHY Epilepsy can not have any awareness fund raising events where BOWLING can be part of the awareness & money raising that not can be done but SHOULD GET DONE. EFA & CURE don’t get it, nor do schools & the business communities in this country.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by James D — May 25, 2021 @ 10:05 PM

    • James, You got a brilliant idea for millions of people to get involved in raising awareness about Epilepsy & raising funds to aid many victims of Epilepsy to find medical help to cure their neurological disorders that continues to strike them to have seizures.
      Sadly, epilepsy had been condemned to be very dramatic mystery & neglected orphan, devoid & deprived of social awareness & public attention & support to carry out the fundraising campaign you are interested to carry out.
      Pushing your idea though the establishments that could sponsor the bowling campaign could certainly make major difference in the struggle against Epilepsy.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Gerrie — May 26, 2021 @ 2:38 AM

      • But it 1st should happen with the schools at the lowest grade to high schools. trying to get the principals 1st to understand anything about seizures, would be getting the devil to be saved by Jesus. Never going to happen even if the principals know it could help many suffering with seizures. These schools & most teachers most of the time make it harder for any child or teen with seizures to be equal to any other student without seizures. I was there & lived it in the 60’s & 70’s. It’s worse today in all schools, than how it was then.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by James D — May 26, 2021 @ 12:08 PM

  13. When I was in Junior High, I got to the nurse’s office just in time to collapse. She continued her chat on the telephone, then showed me to the couch and called my mother.

    James, I couldn’t agree more. Awareness begins on the most primary level with the children and their teachers, principals and then must expand to EMTs, police, firefighters and the public at large. (How many people have found themselves shackled to a hospital bed like Gerrie, courtesy of our public service?)

    Epilepsy and Education…Coming Out Of The Shadows https://epilepsytalk.com/2018/12/06/epilepsy-and-educationcoming-out-of-the-shadows/


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — May 26, 2021 @ 12:31 PM

  14. I dreamed of becoming a professional newspaper reporter since I was a teenager. While I never got to be a Washington or foreign correspondent (except for two internships in DC), I have been able to fulfill that dream on the community level for two decades. With Uber, I have been able to cover the inner city, its suburbs and now farm regions I never would have dreamed of. And papers turn to me for advice on disability rights and social justice issues.

    Now that is a dream come true!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Mary Ellen Gambon — May 26, 2021 @ 1:47 PM

  15. Let’s not forget your advocacy and all the positive results your articles have ushered in. You not only write your articles, you live them.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — May 26, 2021 @ 7:13 PM

  16. Thanks so much, Phylis! You are the fuel for my fire!

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Mary Ellen Gambon — May 26, 2021 @ 8:03 PM

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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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