When I first found out that my son had epilepsy I felt so helpless. I felt like I didn’t know how to help him or why this was happening, but most importantly I wanted to know how and if we could make the seizures stop. As his mother I just wanted to scoop him up and make it all better, but I felt powerless and at the mercy of the doctors. We went from doctor to doctor until we finally found one we felt comfortable with. Once we were happy with our doctor, we went from medicine to medicine until we finally found the one that stopped his seizures. And when we finally found the medicine that worked for him it caused him to be tired, have mood swings and we had to keep watch on his liver for possible damage. All the while, I sat in the passenger seat letting the doctors tell me what was right for my son. Don’t get me wrong, we were blessed with the doctor that finally found the right medicine to stop his seizures. He was caring, held our hand and listened as we asked countless questions. But I thought that he held all of the answers and I had none.
I remember one appointment where I was telling the doctor that this new medicine was making my son agitated and he was having major mood swings. I was assured that it couldn’t be the medicine because this particular medicine actually was found to sedate children and stabilize mood swings. At the same appointment I asked why my son was having these seizures and I was told it was hereditary, yet we could not find one family member that had ever had even one seizure. That is when I stopped being a passenger in my son’s life. I reclaimed my mother’s instinct and said, “enough is enough”. I knew there had to be some answers out there.
Now did I go a bit to extremes? Yes, but only because my gut was telling me there was another way. So I went back to school for nutrition and in my studies I learned that there was a possibility that since my son was a highly allergic child, certain foods could trigger his seizures. So we cleaned up his diet. I also learned that essential oils could support some children with seizures, so we started using it externally with him. You see, I started working hand and hand with his doctor, rather than just sitting back helplessly. Working together with the support of our doctor, within four years my son was weaned off his medicine and has been seizure free and med free for more than two years!
We were blessed to have such an amazing turn of events. However, it wasn’t until I stopped being consumed by my lack of power and instead empowered myself as a mom that things changed. I needed to say to myself, “ I was put on earth specifically for this child. I know what he needs. I am his mother.” And I needed to believe it! I don’t claim on being an expert of all things, but I do know my children better than anyone else on this planet and my maternal instinct is strongest when conflict or turmoil arise. From now on, I know to rely on the experts to support my decision making as a parent, but at the end of the day I truly believe Momma knows best!
By Juarline Stavrinos