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.