What Are Your Dreams?

Are seizures stopping you from accomplishing goals that were once important?  Do you have dreams that epilepsy has taken away?  Having seizures does make accomplishing your dreams more difficult.  Seizures also often take away the ability to accomplish goals in a normal way.  When Charley and I encountered stumbling blocks that took away accomplishing our goals in a way most people could we found ways (not always comfortable ones) to skirt around the walls epilepsy was always trying to build around us.

I hope seeing pictures of what one man who had a horrible case of epilepsy accomplished will inspire others to push past their seizures and seek their dreams.

After Charley and I were married for about 17 years it was apparent we were not going to strike gold and be able to buy the house of our dreams. That fit fine into Charley’s desires.  He was a master carpenter and had always wanted to build a two-story house. I went along with the plan because I knew how important accomplishing that goal was to my husband.  Charley had been mistreated on several jobs and fired from others due to his epilepsy.  I wanted to help him prove his skills.

My brother is very gifted so he drew the plans for us and made sure the house came to life correctly by checking our work every day.  He and my sister-in-law, Cheryl continually pitched in helping us from surprising us one weekend by laying our sewer line to helping us paint the finished product.

When we began building our house Charley had been having every kind of seizure for several years. He had tonic-clonic seizures and sporadic psychotic events but we laid down our  hammers when we had to, took breaks, and pushed past those trying times for the sake of building and owning a decent home.

When our project started we moved to an acre of land that we had inherited from my  mother.  We lived in a 6′ wide and 10′ long camper that had no bathroom for about 3 months.  We drove a mile to a lake that had restrooms when we needed to, well you know, go.  We placed a children’s swimming pool in a greenhouse that had belonged to my mother and used a garden hose to fill that pool with fresh water every morning.  After working all day in the heat we took a bath together in that swimming pool.  There were occasions we had mice running around the pool and once a small snake slithered by and nearly gave me a heart attack but we were clean at the end of the day.

We next moved a portable building onto the property we had built several years prior. This building had a bathroom complete with a shower and when David helped us get the plumbing hooked up we were in heaven.

We dug the ditches for the slab of our house, put the plumbing pipes in place and shoveled sand in and had the slab poured on Labor Day weekend of 1998.  Two years later with David and Cheryl’s help and only having hired laborers to help us pour the slab and put the tile down we proudly watched as  the carpet was being laid in our beautiful home.

Charley and I could not believe we had accomplished such a feat. We joked and asked each other when do you think the landlord of this place is going to find out we are living here and kick us out?  Even after spending two years building it seemed unfathomable that our dream had come true.  My husband, who suffered with a horrible case of epilepsy built a beautiful two-story house and accomplished his dream.

If you have epilepsy and feel seizures are going to forever steal your dreams I hope you realize that seizures only have part-time ownership of your brain. Seizures do not own your dreams and cannot keep you from accomplishing them unless you allow them to.  You may have to work in ways never imagined to complete what is most important to you but that is not impossible to do.

Building our house was second in line to Charley’s most important dream of claiming  full ownership of his brain and eliminating seizures.  When we began pursuing brain surgery I went along with that plan too, knowing we had another dream to fulfill.  That dream came true for Charley and I both only because he never let epilepsy own his goals.

Whatever your dreams or goals are do not give them over to seizures. You may have to change some things around or always do them the hard way but you can accomplish living in the house you want if you work hard enough.  And after that, you might just end up eliminating seizures. You absolutely cannot know what life will bring if you quit living.

About Lola Jines-Burritt