It was August 2, 2014, my oldest daughter Alli’s sweet 16th birthday. We were on a family vacation in St. George, Utah enjoying Zion National Park, hiking, shopping, and just being together.
One afternoon while there, Brian took Corbin and Macy to play tennis at the condos where we were staying. I remained behind with the other three girls so the baby could nap. After a short while Macy came bursting through the door, hysterical and in tears, and shouted “Corbin’s having a seizure!”
I ran outside pretty darn fast and saw that our car was stopped in the middle of the parking lot and Brian was leaning over the passenger seat. I will never, ever forget what I saw when I ran to the passenger side. I had never seen someone having a grand Mal seizure in my life (except on tv). To see my 12 year old son convulsing, shaking, and awake but not really there was one of the most terrifying moments I had experienced. I called 911 while Brian held Corbin and kept him from injuring himself. After a 2.5 minute seizure and a good look by the paramedics, he fell asleep, hard, and we ended up driving him to the emergency room in St. George.
The next few weeks were a couple of doctor’s appointments and a little worry, but we moved on. School started, and Corbin was excited to be at middle school and walking to and from school by himself everyday.
5 weeks after the first seizure there was another one. And then another a couple weeks after that. It was time to figure this out. MRI’S, EEG’s, a neurologist, bloodwork, and a diagnosis of epilepsy all happened by October.
There have been multiple ambulance rides, like the time he had a seizure on the blacktop at school and “fell like a tree,” leaving us to worry if he had facial fractures. He’s had seizures at a school play, the local high school football game, friends’ homes, amd even church.
Nearly two years later, we are still seeing our neurologist regularly. She is continually altering/increasing/adding medications until we can find the magic formula that will put a stop to the seizures. We continually research benefits of diet changes and natural remedies, and we just keep praying that he will outgrow it, which the doctor gives him a 50/50 chance of doing.
So, Corbin has Epilepsy. But Epilepsy doesn’t have him. He’s had to give up walking to and from school (or anywhere) alone, he can’t be home by himself, he can’t go out for football, and we don’t let him go in the ocean or the pool without us right next to him. At 14, he should be enjoying all of those things. He’s a good kid and deserves the independence that comes with growing up. But Epilepsy doesn’t have him. He has an amazing attitude, and aside from being super mad at epilepsy every time he wakes up from a post-seizure snooze, he doesn’t complain.
His friends have been amazing. They all know his condition and we inform everyone he’s with of what they should do if he has a seizure with them. They love him and watch out for him and we love them for it.
His sisters have been even more amazing. All three of the older girls have been home alone with him while he has had a seizure. I’ve gotten their phone call, knowing that because it’s a phone call and not the usual text that it’s probably bad news. I’ve talked them through it while they cried and remained amazingly tough all at the same time.
He’s getting ready to enter high school this fall. We are taking precautions with his school now to make accommodations for his condition as needed, and that’s okay. It can’t hurt to have everyone on board.
We remain confident and prayerful that Corbin will continue to be a rock star at living with epilepsy until he outgrows it, and that he will, in fact, outgrow it. The prayers, love, support and concern we’ve seen for him over the last two years have melted our hearts. We love our friends and family. Keep praying for our boy, and one day I’ll be posting about how Corbin is officially seizure free!