In looking back, Mike knows he was having episodes far longer than before his grand mal seizure. He experienced loss of time, feeling strange. He simply didn’t know the signs. This is one reason why education about epilepsy is a passion for him today. Another reason is the stigma that remains about Epilepsy as a condition. Fear drives most reactions even today. Many lose their jobs. Friendships are impacted. This creates added stress, which leads to more episodes. Mike experienced all of this. As a personal trainer, his clientele did not want to continue with him. His employer opted to give him a severance instead of providing another role for him. The medication journey is an expensive one. Not only the cost, but the side effects. With his savings evaporating, Mike experienced a loss of confidence and depression. He moved back in with his mother. A former client told Mike about the Epilepsy Association of Central Florida. He visited and the rest is history.
Mike is an independent minded person. While appreciating the support and help the Epilepsy Association provides, he feels compelled to give back. He volunteered shortly after connecting with the Epilepsy Association. When a case manager position opened up, he spoke with former Executive Director Chuck Carmen. With a new job and a feeling of achievement, Mike regained his confidence. This isn’t to say that this was the happy ending. Stay tuned for more about the journey Mike has taken and what is on the horizon.
Source: Diana Webster, Epilepsy Association