Life can change in an instant…or two of ’em

Life can change in an instant…or two of ’em


Life can change in an instant…or two of ’em
I came home a bit ago, bounced over to ActiveRain and stumbled across Kathleen Daniels’ Up Close and Personal- Dig Deep January 2013 Contest. I knew I had something to contribute here- but I’m thinking I might have to bend the rules a bit to incorporate how my life was changed in two instances versus the prescribed one.

One bad part of living my life as an open book means that a ton of folks are already in on the story that accompanies the above photo- which takes away a bit of the surprise factor as I describe Life Stop Instance #1. It remains huge for me, though- and an event I plan on using while on my church mission trip to Brazil in September.

SI #1 happened on a “normal” Friday evening in our nation’s capital- July 25th, 1997. Simply put, one minute I was waving to my buddy Justin in the parking lot at work- and the next minute I was waking up in an ambulance. A few minutes in between were missing, of course- but the accident report says just about everything. Just about everything.

I’d made it about an exit down the highway (I-66E, near Nutley Street for those familiar with the area) and had a seizure behind the wheel. Followed the path above, according to witnesses- and ended up over the wall there. Unconscious while heading toward the wall, I never tensed up or braced for any impact. Those that have had wrecks will know that that helped me a great deal.

He helped me a great deal in having all lanes stop as I went across, too– and to have a wreck like this in D.C.’s Friday evening rush hour without anyone else tagging me is a miracle in itself.

SI #1 was both a beginning and an end. It was the beginning of my life with epilepsy- and the end of my fairly short yet fairly eventful drinking career. I never considered myself an alcoholic or anything- I simply liked drinking an awful lot. Both my mother and sister thanked God for this wreck in a way- as we learned that the Dilantin I have to take to ward off seizures doesn’t play well with The Silver Bullet.

SI #1 has truly been a blessing. I’ve learned more about epilepsy that I ever cared to know- yet I’ve undoubtedly used the event to raise awareness of epilepsy and of how the Lord looked out for me that July day. We march on, taking my medicine as I should, getting checked periodically to chart my health and monitor the Dilantin’s effects on bone density, etc. I am truly fortunate.

Life Stop Instance #2? The day a few years later when I was diagnosed with narcolepsy as well. My epilepsy is under control- and it’s been so long since I had a seizure that I rarely give it much thought, quite frankly. The narcolepsy, though? Scares me to death every now and then. You have a long day- and your tired self dozes off behind the wheel? Crunch your car a bit, maybe snag a ticket. I fall asleep behind the wheel and my license is gone forever.

Narcolepsy has changed my life more than I ever imagined anything could. I’ve bounced from Ritalin to Provigil to Provigil and Adderall (an amphetamine) in my efforts to simply stay awake during the day and function like “normal folks”. The latter combination is what I still take- but I’ve also had to add another drug called Sodium Oxybate to the mix. It’s a powerful, powerful drug that knocks you out in about 15 seconds or so and theoretically makes you sleep at night so you won’t need to during the day. The jury’s still out on that one.

It’s a certainty, though, that narcolepsy played a significant part in my losing the love of my life. One’s self-esteem takes a beating when they’re talking with you and you fall asleep in mid-sentence…makes one feel boring, leaves one feeling unappreciated and wondering why the heck you can’t just stay awake for her one dang time.

You already know how SI #1 turned out- so what about SI #2? Don’t know yet…Guess I’ll just keep raising awareness and praising the Lord until it finally does.

Life can change in an instant…or two of ’em


About Dennis Burgess

Dennis B. Burgess Realtor in Orlando, FL ORRA Vice-chairman of Strategic Planning/Secretary ORRA/FR Boards of Directors Empire Network Realty 6000 S. Rio Grande Ave., #104 Orlando, FL 32803 Cell: 205-445-4755 Office: 407-440-3798 Twitter: @orlrentals Turning vacant into occupied, and "houses" into "homes"
Gallery | This entry was posted in Jesus Christ, Politics/Opinion, Strength and Resilience, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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