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“Just epilepsy….”


Someone today told me that he didn’t understand why I was so worried about Linda. “After all, isn’t it just epilepsy?”

I came close to telling him about a thousand close calls, too many injuries, too many hurts, and so many nights of utter desperation.

I told him some. There was no “just epilepsy.” Then I told him about Don.

Don had been mine and Linda’s friend. He died many years ago.

Seizures had come late to Don’s life. He had been a truck driver I think but the seizures changed all that. They were bad for him, really bad.

Linda liked him because he had been where she was. Like her he had photo sensitive seizures. Flashing lights triggered seizures. Thunder and lightning triggered seizures. Linda too. I remember one night in a Walmart just hugging her and trying to cover her eyes as a storm raged outside.

We moved. We heard periodically from Don over the phone.

We got a call early one morning. Don had died the previous night. His wife worked third shift and that night there had been a hellacious storm. It had thundered and lightened all night. His wife found him dead on the floor when she got home. As near as they could figure out he went into seizures and the seizures wouldn’t stop. He already had some heart issues I think. Finally his heart just gave out.

Don was as good a person as I have known and I hadn’t really thought about him for years. Today I remembered the morning we got the call.

Linda had a bad seizure last night she told me today but she didn’t get hurt. She was blessed.

I am afraid every day of my life. This is the fifth year of our separation. Tomorrow is Valentines and it will be a great day.

But at the end of the night she will be there and I will be here and once again I will be afraid.