Reasons for Giving Thanks in the Midst of Epilepsy

On this Thanksgiving Holiday, as the Education Coordinator for My Epilepsy Story (MES), I want to reflect on the many things that I am truly thankful for this holiday season . As well as, share my feelings as a husband of a woman living with epilepsy. mcfadden-8First of all, I am Thankful for my faith in God and for all of the blessings He has bestowed upon my family and myself. He makes a seemingly intolerable world, tolerable. I am thankful for my wonderfully creative and beautiful children, Samuel, Hannah-Kate and David. They are my joy and hope for making the world a better place.


mcfadden-41I am thankful for my beautiful wife! She is my inspiration, my best friend and my rock. I am thankful for her love for me, her beauty, passion and courage in everything she does and how she refuses to let epilepsy define who she is and how she lives. I do not have Epilepsy but Epilepsy has greatly impacted my life. From the time I get up in the morning to the time I fall asleep, epilepsy affects my thinking, my emotions and my sense of well-being. So far, by my description, you would think that I have epilepsy but I don’t. My wife has epilepsy. She is everything to me, my world, my heart and my love. When you love someone, you are always thinking about their well-being. When the someone you love has epilepsy, you’re thought process changes dramatically. You don’t take little things for granted. When I wake up in the morning, every morning, I thank God that she is alive. I always greet her with “Good morning Beautiful!” I am thankful for another precious day on earth with her. When I leave for work I think about if she remembered to take her medicine in the morning and when I don’t hear from her in long stretches of time (usually more than 2 hours) I worry, wondering if she has had a seizure and is unable to communicate with me. I feel guilty about my yearnings for unhealthy food and how my bad habits of poor dietary choices may affect her health. Or when we are really into watching movies and we stay up too late, I worry about how the lack sleep may affect her. These are all small, selfish indulgences on my part but they can impact her adversely and be difference between life and death. So, I try to put things into perspective. I place my faith in God that He will keep her safe and not take her from me. I have been forced to live in the moment but that is not such a bad thing. I don’t take things for granted, I see the beauty and courage in everything she does and how she refuses to let epilepsy define who she is and how she lives. She inspires me to do the same! I treasure the precious moments we share together and the joys of watching our babies learn and grow. I am thankful for the laughter and good times we share as well as our ability to become stronger together in the tough times. I am thankful for the health of my family and the many ways my wife discovers to improve it. I am thankful for the simple things in life, the autumn leaves changing colors, our walks in nature, our eating popcorn while watching black & white movies, our romantic getaways together, our date nights, spending time with our three beautiful children and playing with our two amusingly delightful dogs, Boudreaux and Magnolia. So, in the spirit of this Thanksgiving Holiday I would like to leave you with a quote.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never have enough”~Oprah Winfreymcfadden-43

I wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving Holiday from My Epilepsy Story and our family!

~James McFadden





Photos courtesy of Brandon Chesbro