When I was working at Vivint, it was a tedious job, having people call in to change their passwords every day. Almost everyone I talked to needed to change their password. That was my job. It made $17 an hour. I got paid $17 an hour to help people change their passwords. As I was working at that job, I started having issues with breakthroughs or petite seizures during the daytime. For the longest time in my life, I had never had many breakthrough seizures during the daytime. That was the main thing that was happening. I would always have seizures that were just me making weird noises during my sleep or something like that. Then my brain decided it wasn’t happy with the medications. Then my brain decided that the medications weren’t enough. I started screaming out loud at work when I would have a seizure. It really freaked out some of my coworkers, who thought I was doing it on purpose.
Later on, things got bad. I stopped wanting to go to the mundane password-changing job. I no longer felt happy in my life. And I got fired, because I was so unhappy with my job. Mostly because I just didn’t care about life in general.
I decided that I couldn’t have my life completely fall apart with me having seizures during the daytime. I went to the doctor’s office with my fiancee at the time. I wanted to make sure that I could remember what happened in the meeting with my neurologist, and she was really good with memory. But this time, the memory was burned into me emotionally so that I would not forget.
While I was having the meeting with my doctor, he suggested that I have surgery. I wasn’t just becoming intolerant to one medication, but I was becoming intolerant to every medication on the highest dose they could give me. I had been on one medication for 10-20 years and it wasn’t working. Another one of the medications was brand new, and it wasn’t working, either. No matter how much they added, the seizures kept coming back.
When the doctor suggested that I have surgery, I completely and utterly rejected his suggestion. The funny thing is that my dad decided to come visit that weekend.
Earlier in my life, while I was on my mission, I felt inspired to ask Heavenly Father what I should do to overcome epilepsy. It was over a year and a half into the mission in Myrtle Beach… I was meditating about life and what I wanted to have happen in my life – I had had issues with epilepsy on my mission, so I stopped driving a car at all– and I really wanted that epilepsy gone. I knew that my life could not move forward in a good direction without that happening. So I prayed, and God sent back a revelation that my dad was going to give me a blessing–a blessing was going to take away my epilepsy.
So I was happy. I was finished my missionary work and went home, and I thought and assumed that the blessing would happen right away. As soon as I got home, I had a serious conversation with my dad and I told him everything that had happened. I asked him, “Dad, I would like you to give me this blessing right now to take away my epilepsy.” But unfortunately, my dad said no.
I don’t remember my exact words that he said, but the impression I got from my dad was that he was not ready to give a blessing like that. I don’t want to say anything more about that or assume what he was going through when I asked him, but I was very discouraged. VERY discouraged–because I had assumed that this chronic illness was going to be taken away right then, just like when Joseph Smith took away people’s infirmities in the stories from history.
Thirteen years later, my dad came to visit me in my home in Utah, and he put his hands on my head and said, OK, I’m ready to give you that blessing now. And when he had given me the blessing, the major part of it was not about healing me directly. It was about me listening to the counsel of my doctors.
This memory started coming to mind as I rejected the doctor. I told the doctor what I had researched in the 1990’s, how they treated epilepsy back then: they would cut the brain right in half – where one part of the brain that was no longer functioning could no longer communicate with the other — you would have to relearn how to walk, how to talk, how to use your hands, how to do EVERYTHING, and not everyone was able to do that. SO THAT surgery did not appeal to me at all.
But then the doctor said, NO that is barbaric! We don’t do anything like that. And as soon as he started talking to me, the Holy Ghost started burning in my bosom that THIS was what Heavenly Father wanted for me. THIS was the solution.
After that conversation, I got referred to an even better and more experienced neurologist, one who would continually inspire me, and her name was Dr. Taunya Constantino. SIDE NOTE: I would love to have all doctors take a note from her book on how to treat their patients with their bedside manner. Her and Dr C worked together with me to make me feel comfortable abut the whole situation. The things was, I didn’t even need them making me feel better about the situation. I had God’s word that I would be OK going this route. That HE wanted this to happen for me. I had no qualms about it any more. No matter what happened, God had told me to do this, so I decided to go and do.
Once I had chosen to get the surgery, I had a couple things I had to have done first. Getting the surgery takes time. They have to get you scheduled and get everything ready. I had to have my memory tested – by a really long test to see how well I retained information. The results? — I have excellent memory when it comes to auditory memory, but when it comes visual memory. I don’t do very well at all.
At that moment in time, I finally understood why I had so much trouble in college trying to pass any of my classes: I had a handicap: The inability to retain visual information.
During college, I had always been asking myself what was wrong with me. I thought for the longest time that I was stupid. I would ask myself, “Why does everyone else have such an easier time in class while I struggle and spend SO much time writing just one paper?” I came to find out that it was anxiety because I could not recall information. I could not write things that I needed to write.
During college, I had had to re-learn math all the way back to multiplication and addition and subtraction.
I had started school back in 2005 but those classes didn’t work out and we had to move.
My whole life was centered around finishing college and showing everyone that I am a very smart person. And I am a smart person. My IQ was tested at 111 but I have an inability to retain information.
I was able to get through 60 credits just with regurgitation of information. I would cram study for tests and then as
This is part of epilepsy and my trial in life.
SO I went forward with the doctors. It took about a year and a half to two years from the decision time before I actually had the surgery. I had to stop working altogether from the time I quit Vivint
Without medicaid, there was no way to apy for the surgery. It was over $350,000 just for the surgery and I don’t know if that even includes the actual implant they put in my head. It was very costly to have me in that hospital.
The first time I went into the hospital for surgery I don’t remember much. My mom was there. My dad was there. I was taking pictures. The beginning of my journey. What had happened was they were going to make the first incision and find where the epicenter of my seizures was.
because I have gran-mal seizures and petite seizures and the doctors couldn’t find where it starts. That is the most important part of surgery, finding out where the surgery starts. And in order to do that they have to put electrodes on the BRAIN itself and they have
They took me off my meds
but there was only one problem- – they did it too fast and I started having mega gran mal seizures. My mom had to be removed from the room because I was having 20 – minute seizures. Normal seizures only last 30 seconds. THey had to tie me down and strap me down just to find out where the seizures were coming from.
That being said, they found where the seizures
THere was so much damage done to my body that they had to put me into an induced coma for two weeks. THey intubated me and my muscles did not move for two weeks.
When I came out, I couldn’t swallow
They were happy that I was awake, and they said I was a crack up because I was on morphine — I don’t remember much besides that everything looked a lot more rose colored.
THe point was that I was finally getting the first surgery done and it had failed.
THey had made two burrows on two sides of my brain. I actually had two eopicenters in my brain.
I had been through two accidents in my life.
THe first was when I was 9 years old. We were playing a game called Bike tag I turned around to see how far away my brother was and that was when the car hit me. I flew over the handlebars.
It gave me epilepsy on the front of my brain where all of yoru personality and abilibty to reason, is made. There are many things that your frontal lobe does that is a big part of who
I had a
Now when I was 21 on my mission and that was the second time that I had damaged mysel. It was the first week into my mission in the fild and I had been going on splits with my district leader and my district leader nwas wriding behind me and I was running ahead of him and I saw a car that was going to turn right out of an apartment complec and I thought she saw me- – – when i was directly in ront of the car, I heard the rev of the engine. And then I felt myself land on the ground. IT hit me so hard that my body curved
The good part was that I was wearing a helmet
the bad part was that a new epicenter was greated on the side of my head.
I noticed that I was in the middle of a two lane highway and I put the
the next day I was in complete and utter pain. I was in pure pain and could not leave my bed. I was in pure pain from head to toe. I was in pure pain half the that was held together and the seat was so
my companion wasn’t brilliant enough to say, hey we don’t have a bike so dlet’s walk –
That happened the FIRST sunday I was in the mission field.
so after my accident they gave me the TANK< a poorly made bicylce
so the epicenter in the front sets off the side epicenter so it will make me start kicking my le or move my hand and it won’t stop moving. Those are the petites so can you imagine what would happen during a gran mal? My ability to compensate for those has gotetn worse over the years because of those two epicenters. . .
During the surgery they finally figured out that it was the frontal lobe that had caused everything. So they put me in a medically incuced coma so that I could heal. I had to relearn how to swallow so they had a speech therapist teach me how to swallow again. I had a physical therapist teach me how to walk again. It was annoying that my body wouldn’t do what my body didn’t
I had been a CNA before and a Psych tech so I had seen this happen to other people so it didn’t seem to phase me at all. It was almost as if I was just going through one more loophole to get this surgery done. I didn’t feel like this was a big deal. I had faith that this was going to happen the right way so I went right back to the doctor and said, OK, let’s go get the second surgery done. The only thing that was bothering me was that no one understood me when I was under surgery.
Me trying to talk to them about color was really ridiculous.
My whole life I have not been able to control my body. I can’t make it stop, and so this whole not being able to make my body do what I want it to when it comes to walking or swalling was just par for the course. S
So I got to work with some excellent physical therapists and some really great people in the hopsital who really cared. When I was done with that, I had to behome for a month waiting for the second surgery. I was so annoyed.
I went in for the second surgery and it was done. There were no problems. They put in the implant. and I was HOME_ ready to go.
It was just me believeng in God, knowing that he was going to help my body, made it just another small journey.
By the way – If you see someone having a seizure, never put something in their mouth. Turn them to the side and protect their head to keep them from hitting their head. Protect them until the professional get there if you really want to help.
best part about the surgery was that even though my parents live very far away, my parents came and lived with us for 3 months.
My mom was with me at the hospital withe most of the time, she ate there and slept there – – if she slept at all. . .
My dad- – I call him the grump and he doesn;’t like a lot of noise but he took care of my boys and cleaned the house and worked with my boys
My dad took care of the house and the boys while my mom stayed with me
It’s hard to think about how much they went through to do that for me. They have sacrificed again.
at that time they were visiting different children in their RV and it was my turn. . .
My mom and dad dit not let them see me in a bad place. They let them see me when I was awake an dmoving around, when I was coherent. So they didn’t want them to have bad memories.
I don’;t know how often they came in and saw me. I don’t want to know, but they made it beter for them.
my story applies to preteens or young teens – – would you like to have brain damage or would you like to wear a helmet, would you like it to affect the rest of your life? DO you want this in your life? ? ?
I cannot emphasize enough how my memory problems have affected every aspect of my life. relationship included.
They say that a certain percentage of people who have this implant are able to get off the medication completely. The idea is to get off ALL medications that are affecting my mind and see how well GOd can fix and heal my mind. —
my medication is what causes the memory loss
So that is my goal right now to get off any and all medications
Any and all seizures would be
The implant is called a neuro pacemaker. Also known as an R N S.
Scott Christensen is a motivational speaker and spokesperson to young people for wearing your helmet regardless of the sport you are playing. Without the support of so much charity and so many people I would not be able to accomplish the things that I have.
All along the way
I would never have been able to do this without charity from others – – I had to not work
My mom and dad are the true heroes in this story for taking care of me in their old age. I called him grumpy old mr geez. They gave their time and put themselves through emotional things that parents should never have to put themselves through and they did it willingly.
I don’t remember my life with my mom before I was the age of 11. I don’t remember her taking care of me. I don’t remember the hugs. THe love that she shared with me as a young mom. But I will always remember how she has take care of me and showed that love overwhelmingly – to put herself throug that emotionally – something a mother should never have to see just to be there for me. I’ve never seen a woman work so freaking hard tot ake care of her family as she has. I get my driven hard working because she is the exact example.