Thursday, November 13, 2014

Epilepsy Awareness Month Day 13: Enjoying the Simple Things

I don’t know if Robert finds pleasure in simple things because of the cognitive impairment that has increased over the years or if he just figured out the key to happiness before the rest of us.

Robert has had many challenges to overcome in his life due to his uncontrolled seizures and (for the most part) maintains a very positive attitude about his life. 

Many years ago at a family reunion, Robert recounted his many injuries:

Cracked his head open dozens of times (he actually has a permanent bald spot where he usually hits his head and gets his stitches);
Broke his jaw at seventeen;
Broken collarbone;
Almost drowned and because of that was in a coma for a couple of days;
Numerous concussions;
A third degree burn on his arm from having a seizure and landing on a lamp (that was on);

That is a lot of injuries.

According to the Epilepsy Foundation, “Up to 50,000 Americans die each year from seizures and related causes” and “the mortality rate among people with Epilepsy is two to three times higher than the general population.” Further, “Risk of sudden death among those with Epilepsy is twenty-four times greater.”

Injuries are a huge part of that higher mortality rate and, frankly, Robert has been incredibly lucky that he hasn’t died from any of his accidents.  Robert has not let his challenges keep him from enjoying life no matter what his life expectancy might be, though.  In fact, life expectancy is not something Robert has ever worried about.  Our mom worried about it but Robert never has seemed concerned.

Instead, Robert lives his life and loves the simple things:

Watching Jeopardy, Family Feud and Wheel of Fortune;
Solving word search puzzles;
Watching church on Sunday (always while wearing a white shirt);
Chocolate shakes;
Rocky Road ice cream;

The clip today is just of Robert enjoying his ice cream. He likes to count each bite, savor the flavor and declare it “deeeelicious.” You don’t have to watch since there’s really nothing exciting going on but it shows Robert in the moment of enjoying something he truly loves.

Be warned if you do watch it because you will definitely want some ice cream afterwards! J

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