The Active Route

taxis waiting in front of a train station.
Photo by Tim Samuel on

At the beginning of September, I wrote a post about my experience with epilepsy (What the Seizures Stole). Well, I got the report and the good news is that the tests are all clear. The kicker is that’s also the bad news. There’s nothing to indicate why I had those seizures, nothing new to add to the story. There’s nothing to indicate that I’ll ever have another one.

I talked to my neurologist about whether I haven’t had an episode in 17 years because I don’t have seizures (meaning the first two were an unfortunate confluence of events), or if I haven’t had an episode because the meds are doing what they’re supposed to. The Common Practise (whatever that means) is that if a patient doesn’t have a seizure in a few years, and they don’t present with anything on a test that provides evidence that they are likely to have another seizure, they can try to stop the meds. It’s been way more than a few years for me, and the doc said that what it comes down to is whether I’m willing to (potentially) have a seizure in order to prove one way or the other that I need (or don’t) the medicine.

I left his office with much to consider. While the other medication I take doesn’t interfere with the anti-convulsants, the neurologist said that other medication does not play as well. My liver will become diseased from processing the medication for so many years. So if I want to try stopping, now is an opportune time. I don’t have small children, I can work from home (thanks, COVID), I don’t need to drive to extra-curriculars or playdates.

I have felt, for a long time, that epilepsy was foisted upon me. I was a passive participant in this journey. My decision now lets me take control of what happens next. So, three weeks ago, I stopped taking the epilepsy meds. I decided that a bit of inconvenience now compared with the near eventuality of being unwell seems like a good gamble. And so far, so good.

Today is the first day of Advent. One of the definitions of advent is “The arrival of someone important or something noteworthy”. Someone important, indeed.

It feels like this definition of advent is a passive thing that happens to you. Someone or something shows up, and *fin*. I looked back at the start of my first Advent project 5 years ago, and the reason why I wanted to do it was because it felt like the world was off the rails. Fast forward to this year. 2020 has been on a high speed wobble pretty much since the start of the year. From self-quarantine and social distancing and mandatory work-from-home, it certainly wasn’t anything like the year I (or anyone) had expected. So I can sit here and let advent wash over me, or I can journey into Advent.

This year, I chose the active route to take control of my health. This Advent, I’m also taking the active route. I’m going to take the days from now until Christmas, often the most stressful and difficult of the year, and focus on the hope.

Advent is the preparation time when RC kids get ready for the night of the nativity. We light a candle each week to remind ourselves of that our God gives a light to shine our way.

The journey into Advent starts now. 

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