Sometimes it has rough moments.
Yesterday was the 3-year anniversary from the time that I had a seizure in a parking lot and smashed up my face and knocked out my teeth. Less than two weeks away from celebrating my 30th birthday I ended up in a hospital with missing teeth, a black eye and a bunch of stitches. I terrified my friend, and some strangers and ruined my perfect smile. Literally the physical characteristic that I got compliments on all the time, including from random strangers and people I know who almost never say nice things. As I’ve since heard, it’s a shame that it was ruined because it was so perfect (as if I did that intentionally). Three years ago.
Three days ago I slipped on the ice and bashed up my knee. It’s not broken, but I spent part of that day at the doctors office and then had to get x-rays as well. Totally unrelated to epilepsy. Just related to ice. Sometimes winter in Canada really sucks. It was a really nice day and most of the ice was melting, so I even took a picture of the ice afterwards in case I needed proof that there was actually ice there (and my friend took a picture of me taking a picture of the ice). Just looking at my knee, even though it’s not broken, I know I’ll have another scar. Three days ago.
So sometimes life sucks.
But most of the time, it doesn’t.
Two days ago was the six-week date following getting my first tattoo. According to healing guides, it is now considered healed and I can go in swimming pools again. Unlike the other two incidents, this alteration of my physical appearance was my choice. And I still love the tattoo, and I love what it means to me. Over the last six weeks I’ve even realized more reasons why this particular image was the catalyst for taking the step from no tattoos to getting one.
I’m registered for three races already this year, the Halifax Maritime Race weekend and the Victoria Race Weekend. I’m currently in the process of weighing out other races, such as the Hypothermic Half, the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, the Banff Marathon, the Loch Ness Marathon, the Melissa’s Race, and who knows what else once they come to my attention. So although sometimes my body does things on it’s own, I have the ability to run and race. I am able to travel for races. My biggest issues in planning are in the circumstances when they overlap and having enough recovery time between races.
For awhile after I smashed up my face, I started smiling with my mouth closed. I was so self-conscious about how different my teeth looked. I realize that my teeth are not exactly the same colour now because of the implants. I realize that they are not the same shape. I was self-conscious, because I knew that it was noticeable. I felt extra terrible because I felt bad for being vain about my appearance.
I also got worried. That seizure wasn’t any worse than others, it just had the biggest impact because of the location at the time. I suddenly became hyper aware of all the things I could smush my face on at any given time. If you’re reading this, look around you. I’d be willing to be there are a lot of things that could do some damage.
The important thing here though, is that 10 days after I smushed my face, I turned 30. I went roller skating for my birthday. My friends joined me and we had an awesome time. I could have completely stopped everything, because everything around us could be dangerous. That applies to non-seizure times too, like that season called winter. Anyone could have slipped on that ice and bashed up their knee like I did last week. The world is imperfect. We, as individuals and as a whole, are imperfect. I will have seizures and I will slip on the ice. That sucks. But I will also travel and race, and I will go roller skating. That comes down to choice (my favourite thing to say).
I could reflect back to three years ago and be DEVASTATED about that injury. I could reflect back to three days ago and be DEVASTATED about that injury. Neither injury stopped me from travelling or running or living. Life doesn’t suck. Life has rough moments, whether you have epilepsy or winter. That doesn’t mean that we have to stop or slow down. Maybe just watch out for sheer ice.