Monday, 27 June 2011

Open Door to a New Life

I've waited a long time for this week to arrive; twenty months to be precise. There was a time when I thought I would never again feel in control and independence was a thing of the past. Sitting in the passenger seat of a car, having to rely on someone to take me to the nearest shop has been harder than I could ever have imagined. But I've been sensible and adhered to the law, having surrendered my driving licence back in October 2009 knowing I would only get it back once I was lawfully and medically fit to drive. I've been feeling fit enough for months now but have obviously done as I was told by the specialist, knowing that if anything happened whilst I was behind the wheel, I'd never be insured. But I'm insured again now and I have my licence back. I take each day as it comes for fear of tempting fate and I will never, ever take my life for granted. I am epileptic. I will always be epileptic, and that is something I've really had to come to terms with these past twenty months.

I was diagnosed with epilepsy in 1999 whilst pregnant with Amy but spent ten years seizure-free. However, it turned out that the medication I was taking wasn't controlling the seizures which is why I became ill again. I won't bore you because I've written about it several times now, but to cut a long story short, I had my medication changed after I was re-diagnosed with photo-sensitive epilepsy this time last year. The diagnosis was one thing but I lost my confidence, became extremely low (possibly bordering on depression) and realised that my independence had been snatched from me in one swoop. I won't deny it's been hard. In some cases, bloody hard. The Farmer has supported me as you would expect but there have been times when I couldn't rely on him because of work. Friends have helped as have family when they've visited. But it's taken a long time for me to even build up my confidence to take the dogs into the fields by myself. I should have been at a conference in London over the weekend and cancelled after kidding myself that I was confident enough to attend. But now I have so much to look forward to; a few holidays planned during the summer, shopping trips etc, it's as though someone has unlocked the door and stepped away so that I can confidently walk through, car keys in my hand and a new lease of life to embrace. I'll never be free of the epilepsy but I will be free of the confidence issues. It might take a little time to get back to normal but I'll do it. Positive thoughts bring positive results. And right now, I feel amazing.

47 comments:

  1. Wow that is amazing progress. Well done you. So excited for you

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  2. I am delighted for you :) I'm learning to drive at the moment myself and it gives such a great sense of freedom. I hope you enjoy having it back and that your condition is manageable.

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  3. So happy for you! Enjoy your renewed freedom. lots of love - Rachel

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  4. so glad to hear you feeling more positive. Any health issues that are life changing take some time to get used to - I know! Delighted you are now able to drive again and have the confidence to do so. Stay positive and happy motoring. Who knows, one day we might be able to drive to a midway point and meet up xxx

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  5. This is fabulous news, Kathryn. Enjoy your new-found freedom: just in time for making the most of the summer xx

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  6. Great news!! Living a rural existence without a car is next to being imprisoned. To have that freedom back is wonderful! Keep going strong. xxx

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  7. congratulations :) especially when you're not in a city, no access to transport is so limiting - glad you have your independence back.

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  8. Such a positive post on a Monday morning - brilliant news well done xx

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  9. And now you can embrace the new life with confidence.... well done, Kath.

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  10. So glad you are mobile and independent again. Now you can have a great summer with Amy and the Farmer. I have a friend who was also given the wrong epilepsy medication and for decades it made her much much worse. She even decided not to have children because of it (and now is too old) so it really made me cross when she was told she had been on the wrong medication all those years. She even featured on a TV programme about it some years ago. Her life could have been so different.

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  11. What brilliant news and what a difference it will make. Enjoy your re-found freedom x

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  12. Congratulations and safe journey!

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  13. That's brilliant news woo hoo xx

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  14. Great news....keep smiling and keep going, we are all behing you with a gentle hand pushing your forward....Hugs x

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  15. Hurrah! It's hard to be a non-driver when you live in the sticks. I bet there'll be no stopping you now :)

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  16. I know this has been a long road with many ditches and large hills to climb.

    You have climbed out on the other side of this and the view is breathtaking!

    Enjoy your freedom and your renewed confidence.

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  17. That is great news, you don't realise how many things you take for granted, like jumping into the car to get somewhere.

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  18. Wow, what great news, you always write your blog so confidently and positive, I never knew you had these problems. Must have been so hard for you, you must feel like a new person, and are having quite a year with your book, amy's school and now this. Congrats x

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  19. What a great post, I am so very pleased for you, it must be an amazing feeling to be given back your freedom and confidence.

    Enjoy every single minute of it :) x

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  20. Good for you. Have a wonderful time with your independence.

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  21. I'm so happy for you getting your independence back m'dear. x

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  22. Big warm hugs and congrats. Sounds like you are now in a very postive place! So happy for you:)

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  23. Being able to drive gives you great since of freedom. I am happy to hear the good news. I hope for more process on your condition.

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  24. That's brilliant news - well done you

    And as you say, keep taking every day as it comes and being kind to yourself

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  25. Wonderful news! I am so happy for you. Enjoy it - you definitely earned it! <3

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  26. How nice for you to be able to get back to where you were and go forward. I'm sure where you live has added to the isolation--so far from mass transit--and coupled with the epilepsy to further remove you from society. Have fun getting back into the swing of things. You deserve this.

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  27. Good luck... it sounds like you are taking a very positive and proactive approach. I admire you!

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  28. Oh that is lovely news! I am so glad for you. xxx

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  29. Oh well done you! I can't imagine how hard it must have been.

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  30. One step at a time, but you are well on that road. Well done you. :)

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  31. That's great news! I am sure you'll have loads more confidence in no time!

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  32. I'm very please to hear that you are so "Upbeat" - conference next year I reckon :-) Love your new header BTW - well done Amy, great photo. Jo

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  33. Congratulations on your liberation, Kathryn. I'm so happy to hear the news. Hope your condition will continue to be manageable, and well-managed.

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  34. What great news CJ, you must be so excited. It can't have been easy all this time especialy in the country, so a big well done and enjoy! Nat

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  35. Congratulations on your independance!
    Like taking a deep breath again.

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  36. That's great news! Emma :)

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  37. Yayeeeee! I am so happy for you. XXX

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  38. Just became a follower - discovered you from an LAHE email. Your story is ever so encouraging. I do not have epilepsy, but do struggle with stacking chronic illnesses that do not allow me to drive far distances alone, shop larger stores alone, go on outings with friends without my hubby, etc. as I run the risk of getting lost among other goofy things. Panic attacks are common, many tears flow, chronic pain and fever never cease...but I'm loving life because I still have life. I understand the lack of confidence and having to rebuild that. It has been over 20 years now for me - but I can say we've (my husband and I) learned to adjust to the things I can and cannot do, and I have my confidence back to a level that is better than it ever has been. When I read inspiring stories such as yours and the comments that follow, it gives me such joy to know that through hard times comes experience that is so beneficial to others by helping them through life. So glad to have LAHE or we would not have met. YAY you! Here's wishing you a wonderful day of confidence with many more to come!!! ;-) ~Janet~ JLB Creatives

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  39. ahhhh!!!!! Congratulations!! Freedom! I'm so happy for you sweetheart!
    Where we going for coffee???Hahaaaa
    (((HUG)))

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  40. So happy for you! :o) This is amazing.

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  41. Crystal...... I am so pleased!
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

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  42. Great news! Enjoy your newly refound freedom!

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  43. Thank you for all these lovely comment. Sorry I haven't replied sooner; I've been out driving everywhere, lol.

    CJ xx

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  44. Fab news that you have the ability to drive again. .

    xx

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  45. So pleased that you're able to drive again. Mr A is in a similar situation but he's been told he'll never be able to drive again and that's hit him really badly... especially as it means he has to rely on me and my driving skills to get him around. Enjoy your refound freedom. The confidence will return. Just don't be too hard on yourself.

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  46. So happy you're feeling amazing these days. You look amazing! Never allow yourself to think your not; regardless.

    Enjoy the freedom!!

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