Having epilepsy sucks.
Being diagnosed in 7th grade is particularly tough.
But it happened to Gabi Titlebaum. Now a Staples High School junior, she’s endured 4 years of seizures, tests, medications and questions.
She could feel sorry for herself. Instead, she makes people laugh.
Gabi has just started a blog: “Seize the Moment.” Yeah, the pun is intended.
In October she described her 1st “out-of-body, tripping on LSD (not that I would know what that feels like) feeling.” She was shopping for “a stupid bat mitzvah dress” when she felt that “indescribable aura.”
Her aim is to share the many funny stories that happen throughout her journey. She won’t shy away from emotional posts — “it is epilepsy, not puppies and unicorns” — but she wants to show that it’s okay to laugh.
Gabi’s 2nd post was about EEGs. The test involves a foul-smelling glue that she thinks may have given her a lung disease; wires that feel like “a 10-pound rock is lying on your head,” and a strobe light “3 inches away from your face.”
Her last EEG was portable. So Gabi walked around New York “looking like I just got out of brain surgery.” Fortunately, she says, “harsh New York locals were a little bit nicer to me that day.”
Gabi also writes about a Boston neurologist who took “half a lifetime” to diagnose her. He prescribed medicine that turned her into “a zombie.” She could not get out of bed, could barely hold a conversation — and it did not even stop her seizures.
After many months, Gabi went back to him. He looked her in the eye and said, “I’m not so sure about the diagnosis.”
Gabi’s revenge comes via her blog. “So Boston doctor,” she writes, “screw you.”
Clearly, epilepsy is not keeping Gabi down. In addition to writing, she’s volunteered with Best Buddies and Unified Sports — 2 Staples activities that help students with special needs.
“Everyone goes through something,” she says.
True. But not everyone manages to Seize the Moment the way Gabi Titlebaum does.