I was ecstatic with my new found freedom. I reveled in it, experiencing things I’d never done before.

After some time, I decided to join one of those online dating sites. I was really only doing it for fun, living life “on the edge” because it was probably the craziest thing I’d done in my life up to that point.

Steve was in a whole new place of his own. In 2006, he experienced his very first seizure. He had been carrying groceries in from the car and started seizing on the way inside. The say ‘don’t cry over spilt milk’. Well I’m not sure anyone cried, but surely the quest for answers started. Within months Steve had several more seizures and was suddenly on medications he’d barely heard of before.

His doctor tried every antiepileptic medication that has been made. Only one of them seemed to have a slight reductive quality for him. But every one of them, and with every change, came terrible and life-altering side effects.

Western medicine is completely based on managing symptoms. Today’s doctors are trained to layer pills on top of pills to manage side effects. It wasn’t different with Steve’s medical care. He was on so many medications at one point that he was doing liver enzyme tests every month!

The next step was a bit more extreme than pharmaceutical medication. The medical staff started pushing for the placement of VNS – a pacemaker-type device that can sometimes reduce seizure frequency or duration. It does not take the place of medication.

Before this procedure had a chance to take place, things went horribly wrong. He had a seizure while walking out to his car at his apartment complex. After regaining consciousness, he tried returning to his apartment. If you’ve ever known someone with epilepsy, you may know that confusion, lethargy, and incoherence are all par for the course. Well, it was this incoherence that stopped him from going to his apartment that evening.

He went to the door he thought was his, it was locked. Getting frustrated by the locked door he thought was his, and desperately needing to enter, he decided to fix the lock. Police found him drilling at the lock of the clubhouse building of the complex. Shortly thereafter Steve had another seizure and law enforcement took him to the hospital. But it didn’t stop them from taking him to jail.

As the criminal justice system is so skilled at churning out convictions, they bullied another victim into taking a plea. Attempted breaking and entering with intent – how he was intending to do anything is beyond me, but that’s not the point. The point, of course, is that Oakland County keep their stellar conviction rate!

Steve spent 8 months in jail, and found himself divorced in the meantime.

About a year after getting back on the outs, Steve found himself scrolling through pictures of cute ladies on an online dating site, when he found one that was particularly striking! I thought he was super cute too and we spent a couple weeks emailing. He told me about his epilepsy and that he chose not to drive because of them.

He was very clear in telling me that he was not going to have a girlfriend, he didn’t feel his life was at the place which a girlfriend would be a good idea. I was fine with that too, I had, after all, just divorced even more recently than he had.

Within weeks I was his girlfriend. About a month after that we were unofficially living together though we lived 80 miles away from each other. A month after that, I found a new job at a nice preschool near Steve, and I left Jackson County for good!