Achieving the Impossible With Epilepsy
My name is Calista, and I have epilepsy. I was diagnosed at eight months old after two months of constant seizures and hospital visits. I had secondary-generalized seizures, starting as partial seizures and progressing to tonic-clonic ones.
I do not remember much, but my parents told me I was catatonic and non-responsive for a long time. I've had it for as long as I can remember and had various struggles. Throughout school, I remember educators ostracized me because they didn't understand epilepsy or know what it was. At one point, they wanted to put me in the class for the intellectually disabled, although I was not.
Going from school to school to school, I got used to being the new kid around. I struggled with school until I was 10 years old. They could not find a seizure medication that worked for me, and all the various effects of different medications influenced my schoolwork.
Despite the struggles, I went to college and graduated with a bachelor's and master's degree in science. I earned 4.0 in all my school courses for four years. I completed two years in one my first year of college, graduated with my undergrad two years later, and then my masters the following year. Since then, I got a job where I've dreamed of working since I was little.
I would not change my experiences for anything. I have surpassed expectations and done things I never thought were possible. I have been passionate about raising awareness ever since middle school. I am thankful to my neurologist and my family for supporting me and always fighting for me. Without them, I wouldn't be where I am today.
Reviewed By: Sara Wyen