Am I an epileptic, or a person with epilepsy?

Once, while online, I was speaking to a woman who also had epilepsy and I referred to myself as an epileptic. I stated “I’m an epileptic, I have been my whole life.”

“WHAT?!” she cried (if you can call it crying in a digital world)

“I’m an epileptic.”

“No! You’re a person with epilepsy. A. Person. With. Epilepsy.”

I’m not going to say how long this went back and forth. To be honest, it doesn’t make me look like that good of a person, and it’s all a bit ridiculous. However, it does bring up the question, are you an epileptic, or a person with epilepsy? If I’m honest, I think a “person with epilepsy” sounds like someone that has leprosy. Someone who is miserable and isolated. Someone who should be put a part from a normal person. An epileptic is just another adjective. It’s just one more thing that makes me a whole. Like if I had diabetes, I’d be called a diabetic. These are all in the same realm. I wish I didn’t have epilepsy, but I’m proud to be an Epileptic. Being an Epileptic means I’m an advocate, I’m a supporter, I’m strong, I’m educated (because lord knows it takes a lot to know even the slightest bit about epilepsy), I’m supported by those like me, and undersupported by those researching. Being an epileptic says so much more than being a person with epilepsy.

I am proud to be an epileptic. I’m an epileptic, a traveler, a volunteer, a student, a friend, a relative, lover, a fighter, a reader, a writer, a knitter, a biker. I am so many things. To call myself a person with epilepsy seems to make it so much more. It’s like the handbag I’m always carrying around. It’s my luggage. I’d rather lose my luggage at the airport and go to the beach.

What do you think?

As always, please donate to our cause. My best friend is running a marathon to make arguments about these sorts of things null & void. To properly treat Epilepsy would be a dream come true for me and many others. Help make that dream come true and skip your latte. Give to our fund.

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  • Meg
  • Reid B. Kimball

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