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I just turned 19. As I look back on my birthdays before the diagnosis of epilepsy and after, they differ a lot. For example, I do not blow candles out. If I were to have a seizure and fall forward into the candle, that would be detrimental. That does not mean everyone with epilepsy cannot blow out candles. It just means that mine are not controlled enough to do that right now. Birthday “parties” look different. Part of this is because I’m older, but part of it is my seizures. I don’t roller skate anymore. Again, this doesn’t mean everyone with epilepsy cannot roller skate. It is just a personal decision. I no longer stay up until midnight, as lack of sleep can cause my seizures. But doing these things can come with side effects. I sometimes feel left out. This is why Milo&Me is so important to me because many other girls have the same triggers and do not stay up late or do things that could injure themselves. It may seem like I’m letting epilepsy control my life; however, I still do things I am advised not to do, such as swimming, being alone, taking baths, and listening to loud music. I do extra stuff on my birthday to keep myself safe because I have people over, and it would be sad if the festivities had to stop because I had a seizure that I could have prevented. While they would understand it is my birthday, an important day for me. These are all personal thoughts and decisions; while epilepsy does not control my life, it does affect many of my choices.

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