My name is Allison Thurz. I am a 14 year old, 8th grade student from Smith Middle School in Glastonbury, CT. At the age 5 years old, I had my first seizure that latest almost 90 minutes. All I remember was lying on the couch in the morning watching television. The next thing I knew I was at Connecticut Children’s Hospital, confused and not sure what had happened to me. Since my first seizure I have had many others, some small and some requiring me to go back to the hospital. The hospital is a very scary place for a young child. I remember trying to speak when I had my last seizure, but no words would come out.
Having a seizure disorder can be an embarrassment as well. I remember in fourth grade having a small seizure in the classroom. When I returned to school the next day I was teased a lot by my classmates. Kids would pretend to have seizures or wouldn’t even talk to me. It is also embarrassing when my parents constantly remind me to take my pills. Even worse, as a teenager my parents placed a baby monitor in my bedroom since most of my seizures had occurred in the middle of the night.
Epilepsy has affected me in a number of ways. In addition to having a seizure disorder, I have been diagnosed with a non-verbal learning disorder. This disorder, based on research, is believed to be caused by damage to the white matter in the brain. I’m now required to seek academic support at school. Having an Epilepsy disorder makes me feel very different from the rest of my peers. Whether it is spending a week in the hospital, being hooked up to wires and not being able to get out of bed or simply worrying if I can go on a certain amusement park ride or not.