By: Mistie Campbell
A little bit about myself, I was born in Texas on , I grew up in Arizona. I am the youngest child of five. I am the only person in my entire family to have a serious medical issue. I had been working full time and part time jobs since I was 13. I met Jacob when I was 20 and we got married when I was 21. Jacob was an EMT.
I always wanted to live the perfect love story. I wanted two kids, a husband and a house. I had wanted children for the first 2 years of our marriage, my husband kept telling me that he wasn’t ready, so I almost gave up that dream. Then, right before my first seizure, my husband came to me saying he was ready for children.
I woke up on Sunday, June 3rd, 2007 to what seemed like 50 paramedics in our bedroom. I didn’t understand what they doing or what they were there for. All I knew is I wanted to be sick and to get out of the room as fast as possible. They were putting oxygen on me and I kept throwing off the oxygen, they were poking me with needles and trying to get me to answer a lot of questions. They finally were able to stick an IV into my left hand.
Shortly after that they said, you had a seizure and we need to take you to the hospital. I turned and looked at my husband and I saw tears had soaked his cheeks. In that moment there were about 10 paramedics that circled around me and they walked step by step with me to a stretcher that awaited me in my kitchen.
They gently rolled me out to the awaiting ambulance. They told me at this point I would be okay and I didn’t need to cry. I was more sad for my husband than myself at that moment. They told me he would be okay and he would follow us to the hospital. I looked around and through the doors. I still can see as clear as day the tears rolling down my husband’s face. Then I looked down at my light pink shirt and in that moment I saw blood. I freaked out, began to ask what happened and the paramedic told the hospital, “We have a 24-year old, white female, first time seizure.” I said, “I had a what?” All they could tell me is I was okay and they would explain at the hospital.
At the hospital they ran every test on my body they could possibly do. My husband called all of our friends and they all came and supported us during that time. I was admitted to the hospital for 3 days for testing and observation.
Throughout the next few months I was having more and more seizures but still managing to work full time. I had stopped going to church with my best friend because I felt as if God was punishing me. Near early October of 2007, I was near the point of being let go from my job at the bank, because of calling in sick due to so many seizures. I asked my manager how I could fix this attendance issue. I was sent out on FMLA.
On October 22, 2007, which was also our wedding anniversary, I had a doctors appointment to give an update on how I was doing. I had been on medicine and they were playing with them up until that day. I told the doctor everything about how many seizures I was having and how I was feeling. The doctor looked me dead in the eye and said, “You have epilepsy!” I had never heard that before that day. I felt like someone had knocked the wind out of me and knocked me to the ground and kicked me a couple times. He wrote a couple of prescriptions and made a joke, “Make sure you don’t go skydiving.” As I walked out of the room I don’t remember saying thank you or goodbye.
We got to our house. I went into our bedroom and I sat on the bed, hoping to be comforted and consoled. Suddenly the tears fell like rain, slow at first and then fast as ever. I was numb and in shock. I, Mistie, had epilepsy! What did that even mean? I looked across the apartment at my husband, he was on his cell phone and joking around with a friend of his. About an hour later, I got up the courage to talk and find out more about this thing, called Epilepsy, after all he is an EMT. I walked to his office door and I knock on the door. He ignored me at first. I knocked a little bit louder. I than heard him say he had to hang up. I pushed the door to his office open, I had tears rolling down my eyes. I asked him what is epilepsy? I wanted answers, I wanted them like yesterday. He told me he couldn’t understand me through my crying and to get out until I stopped crying. I left but not before I slammed the door. He stayed in his office all night. I was in our bedroom closet rocking myself and crying for most of the night.
The next morning I went to go see him in the office and to apologize. He had the door to his office locked. I wanted answers and I wanted to talk. I felt rejected, or like I had some major contagious disease and was ugly. I got mad, real mad, I knocked on the office door. He blew me off. I could hear him turn up the music on the computer. I knocked a little harder and then louder and finally with all of my might I punched a hole in that door. I made a point, I wanted to be heard. The only point I made that day is that I had a temper and I didn’t know how to control it. I wanted him to know I was scared and hurting. He began to withdraw more and more from me in the following months. He began to play games online and stay up late at night or wake up way early and not really want to spend time with me. So I got back into working full time, even though I could feel in every fiber of my body saying you can’t do this you’re not strong enough yet. Because, of that I had a seizure almost every single week if not more often.
I went to another doctor’s appointment and my doctor was happy with how I was doing but she wanted to see where the seizures were coming from. She admitted me to the hospital for a week. During this time Jacob and I didn’t talk much to each other. His friend David came up one night and they joked around about how hot my nurses were and I thought to myself here I am hooked up to all these wires and slowly being taken off of my medicine and you are going to hit on my nurses, really? I felt angry and I ended up having a Grand-mal seizure, Jacob was thankfully in the bathroom with me and since he thought none of the nurses were coming he ended up pulling the call light out of the wall. I again bite my tongue. Due to that I could not eat or talk for about two weeks.
I was out on FMLA until about April 1, 2008. So many changes had happened at work while I was away. My management had changed, there were new hours and a new team. I felt lost, alone, fat and isolated. Once I started these medications I began to drop weight and at an alarming amount. But I didn’t feel those emotions too long. I started to have more friends at work and go out after work and be flirted with by men at work. But, still at home I was the same old Mistie, I was being ignored or unloved. I wanted and longed for answers and for embracing. I felt as if I was going through the motions and I was not wanted or loved anymore. My husband would pick me up from work if he was off that day and then go right back to the computer.
One day at lunch I was on my cellphone talking to an old friend of mine and told her I needed to go before I got into trouble for skipping up and down the aisles at the bank. When I hung up, I looked over and there sat what I thought at the time I thought was an angel. He had a smile that lit up a room and his vocabulary was amazing. He and I laughed a bit and from that moment on we were glued at the hip. His name was Ted, we emailed through out the days and we exchanged phone numbers. However, I never knew, until about 4 months too late, that the whole situation was based on lies. I did the unforgivable, I had an affair on my husband. Ted, was also married and had children.
I continued to cheat and stay away from church. I felt unloved or as if I was being punished for something. My husband found out and became verbally and physically abusive. I finally moved out and requested a divorce in early 2010 after much abuse. Only to get myself into two more abusive relationships. One of which was with Ted after he got a divorce as well.
In 2013 I was sitting on the couch one day and I said I need to do something with what had happened to me and turn it into a positive. That’s when I created Epilepsy-Support-For-All on Facebook. I can now say I am back in church and I serve at church. I am happily married to the man of my dreams. Charles, goes to every appointment with me and prays with me about the page and he supports me. He makes epilepsy feel like no big deal.
Just remember you can and will make it. You have to put one step in front of the other. There is also Epilepsy-Support-For-All and we need to bend together for a cure.
You can like Mistie’s page Epilepsy Support for All on Facebook here.