TORONTO September 19th. Digital Champion Stephanie McAulay Stephanie started her running career in 2009 and it quickly became a must-have in her day. It pushed her to believe in herself and understand what she is capable of. Every day, Stephanie is a person with Epilepsy, and this year it has had a more significant impact on her life — so she will be running the Scotiabank Marathon with a team from Epilepsy Halton, Peel, and Hamilton to raise money and awareness for crucial support programs and services to ensure people with epilepsy can live the best life possible. Connect with Stephanie on Twitter @StephMcAulay and on her blog.
My Silent Marathon. By Stephanie McAulay.
My marathon started in 2003, the year I was diagnosed with Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy (JME).
At the time I didn’t know I was starting a marathon, but when I look back over the last 10 years, that is the only way I can explain my life with epilepsy.
This year I am running the STWM full marathon as part of the Charity Challenge with Epilepsy Halton Peel Hamilton.
For me, living with Epilepsy is living with the constant fear that at any moment, I will no longer have control of my body.
The most incredible (and horrible) part of having a seizure is watching my arm move while I process the thoughts racing through my mind, but not being able to create any action to stop what is happening or call for help.
At the start of each seizure, I feel my right arm start to shake. This is the most terrifying feeling in the world because I know that I will soon no longer be able to speak and within moments I will lose consciousness.
I wake up with amnesia and then someone explains what happened and I begin to recount a few of the moments before I blacked out.
It is always awkward, scary, embarrassing and exhausting, so like with everything else in my life, I use my witty humour to make a dark situation brighter.
I am running with EHPH at STWM because I want to change the way society views people with Epilepsy. I want the world to realize that people living with Epilepsy are still PEOPLE!
I’m still me – shaking or not.
This is how living with Epilepsy is like running a marathon:
Seizure free days and successfully managing my Epilepsy are like runs where I’ve maintained an awesome pace and feel like a ROCK STAR!
Bad days, losing my license, and having to go on medication are like runs where I want to pack it in, but know I have enough strength to make it.
Adjusting to a new lifestyle to control my Epilepsy is like properly fueling for a run.
Delayed workouts due to lack of sleep are like the moments when I have to rethink my pace after going out too hard.
Awkward moments waking up in a room full of strangers after having a seizure are like every race photo ever taken.
Epilepsy Halton Peel Hamilton is like my water station, my cheer station. They are there whenver I need them with words of encouragement and the resources to get through any situation.
In the end, everyone is running their own silent marathon. Epilepsy just happens to be mine. I will never give up my strongest run so don’t give up on yours!
What challenges have you conquered in getting to the start line of your marathon this year? Let us know in the comments below.