Prayer and faith have always been what got my family through
having a daughter with epilepsy, sometimes it is the only thing that keeps us
Kambriah is our second daughter, so when she came along we
thought she would be easy considering we had ‘been there and done that.' She
was born with jaundice and after a few days it cleared up but, she was healthy
otherwise. At age thirteen months, during her first week in daycare, she was
sick and we assumed it was a cold and that she was teething. When I got to the
daycare she was staring at the wall and was void of herself. I was hysterical.
I thought she was blind because she was not seeing us. I had to get her to the
emergency room fast. Kambriah had a temperature of 105 and had suffered an
absence seizure; the length of it was unknown. They sent us home stating it was
because of her fever and she should be okay within a few days. This news was
unsettling to us because we are all healthy and neither of our family members
have seizures, plus we didn't know what a febrile seizure was. Two months later,
Kambriah had her first of many tonic-clonic seizures in her grandfather's arms
in January 2008. After that, it was at
least one a month.
Kambriah has the standard testing EEGs and MRIs, all with
normal results. We were told it was good news, and it was, but the unknown was
what kept us up at night. I begin to ask why: "Why my baby?" People said, "She
is young and she'll grow out of it." At that point I wanted to say, "That's my
baby and if you are not in my shoes then you'll never understand."
I had to educate myself and learn everything that was out
there about seizures, although we still had no diagnosis. I never realized that
it was such a broad disorder. Kambriah's pediatrician, Dr. Ben Wiley, is great
and he will sit and listen and answer all my questions. Dr. Wiley would order
tests and refer us to specialists to help find answers.
The year of 2009 was tragic to us all. Kambriah's
grandfather and uncle died four months apart and it was affecting her more than
others. She began having seizures more frequently and was diagnosed with
epilepsy. During a family vacation at a
water park in May of 2010, the second she touched the water she had a tonic-clonic
seizure. Every month after that, any time she went near water outside she was
seizing. Dr. Paul Knowles decided to put Kambriah on two different medications.
She is young and really doesn't understand everything that
is happening to her: the many tests that are run, the blood work, and even the
seizures themselves. I was told to treat her normally, but that is so hard to
do when she is everything but.
Today, Kambriah has not had a seizure in ten months since
going on a new medication. We have truly been blessed that she is doing as well
as she is. I have learned that some kids are not as fortunate as she is. She
will be starting prekindergarten this year and she is really excited.
Kambriah really loves to sing, dance and act. She has a
natural talent for it. Hopefully with her epilepsy under control, she can use
those talents to touch other lives.
Shasta Vance is currently studying media technology at Chattanooga State Community College and she will graduate in May of 2012. She serves as the Marketing Director of the student activities planning board. She is pictured above with her family: Chancy Reynolds, and daughters Makyah and Kambriah.