Once I studied overseas in Paris, I used to be identified with epilepsy. Between physician visits and seizures, I nonetheless slot in time to discover Europe.

  • A couple of days after arriving in Paris for my semester overseas, I had my first seizure.
  • I used to be identified with epilepsy and advised I wanted to sleep so much and keep away from most actions.
  • Regardless of many physician visits and seizures, I discovered the desire to journey and discover Paris.

In January 2009, I used to be in my junior yr of faculty. I left the sunshine of Southern California, packed a suitcase filled with winter garments, and headed off to Paris.

I used to be a pupil at Scripps Faculty in Claremont, California, twin majoring in English and French, and one of many necessities of the French main was to review overseas in a French-speaking nation. I used to be excited for the chance to not solely go to Paris but additionally stay like a neighborhood.

However a number of days after arriving, I used to be identified with epilepsy, and it ruined most of my semester overseas. 

I had my first seizure only a few days after arriving in Paris

My finest pal was additionally finding out overseas in Paris, so we determined to stay collectively in an condominium. It was our first weekend within the metropolis, and we have been discussing how we wished to spend it. That is the very last thing I keep in mind.

I wakened on a sofa with paramedics hovering over me. I did not know the place I used to be. “You had a seizure,” my pal mentioned as I slowly got here to. I appeared down and noticed I used to be nonetheless carrying my pajamas, however they have been now stained with blood. I had fallen on my face and there was a gash on my chin.

The paramedics helped me rise up and gestured towards a picket chair. I sat again down, they usually lifted the chair. They carried me into the hallway after which into the elevator, which was massive sufficient for under me to suit. I watched the sunshine of the elevator button flicker as I handed every ground till I arrived within the foyer, the place the paramedics have been ready to assist me onto a gurney and into an ambulance. My pal was with me.

She had known as the director of our study-abroad program, who met us on the hospital, and the three of us waited. Hours handed till I used to be lastly despatched house, having by no means even seen a health care provider. There’s not rather more I keep in mind of that evening; my mind was nonetheless in a fog. However the director was in a position to schedule a go to for me with a neurologist later that week. 

Fortunately, she went to the appointment with me. The physician did not communicate English, so I am grateful she may translate. Though I knew my justifiable share of French, it was a unique state of affairs coping with medical phrases in one other language.

The physician identified me with epilepsy. 

I needed to make massive adjustments to my life whereas in Paris due to my epilepsy 

The physician listed issues I ought to now not do with out supervision: swim, bathe, and drive — to call a number of. He prescribed me a number of medicines, and daily and evening, I might blindly swallow them, not even realizing what they have been.

The physician mentioned that being overly drained may set off extra seizures, so whereas the town danced by the evening, I might draw the bed room blinds to dam out the sunshine, envelop myself in that now acquainted darkness, and attempt to sleep off the dizzy spells and complications, which have been unintended effects of the tablets.

However the seizures continued, and every week, the director and I might hop on a metropolis bus and make the hourlong journey to the outskirts of Paris to see the physician. He would simply modify my dosage and ship us on our method. I am certain he meant effectively — the healthcare system is outstanding in France — however I used to be an American with American insurance coverage, so there was solely a lot he may do for me.

I attempted to nonetheless get pleasure from my study-abroad expertise the perfect I may

I pushed myself to expertise Paris and Europe. I had picnics in Jardin du Luxembourg, explored Le Marais with my pictures class, attended artwork reveals, and walked alongside La Seine with a crepe in hand. I visited different international locations comparable to Scotland, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. 

I made a decision to see and do as a lot as potential — not regardless of my analysis however to spite it. Returning house in the midst of the semester was not one thing I used to be prepared to do. Even when I spent my time drained and dizzy, no less than I used to be drained and dizzy in Paris.

Virtually 15 years later, I am completely happy I did not hand over on Paris

Once I returned house, I noticed a neurologist who specialised in epilepsy, and the seizures ultimately stopped.

I am nonetheless on remedy, and I will be taking these tablets for the remainder of my life to make sure I haven’t got a breakthrough episode.

My dysfunction will all the time be part of me — similar to my recollections of Paris can be.