Well everyone, I am officially a married lady. What that means is that every morning I wake up like the cartoon version of Sandy in the beginning of “Grease”, and every movie line is all about my love story. “When you meet the person your going to spend the rest of your life with you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” “Your everything I never knew I always wanted.” “We’re going to need a bigger boat.” Of course, I’m just joking about the last one, but the others definitely apply. When I first started this blog, I was thirty-one, single, insecure, and I was unsure how my health was going to dictate my future. Now I am thirty-four, married, still a little insecure and I still don’t know how my health will dictate my future, but I have an incredible teammate to help me out.
When you have a disability, sometimes it’s hard to think that people are going to want to take on the stress of emergency room runs, medication malfunctions, and the stress of worrying about you all the time. People with epilepsy understand that you can have a lot of hidden insecurity because sometimes the effects of seizures can be perceived as being absent-minded, forgetful, or stupid. I think that a lot of prayer resulted in bringing me to a man that makes all those things that could easily be negatives, and turns them into positives. For example:
Me: “I can’t drive.” Dan, “ Looks like I am going to be savings a lot on insurance.”
Me, “ I am sorry we had to spend ten hours in the emergency room!”
Dan, “ It was kinda like a field trip. I got to see how a hospital works.”
I never thought I was going to find someone as understanding, but I did!
So, now what am I doing since I’m speed dating, singles events, and online dating? I started a nonprofit organization called Mesa Munchies where we give boxed lunches to the homeless. I want to dedicate myself to do that more consistently. I am doing the ketogenic diet to prevent seizures, and my goal is to go four months seizure free so I can get my license back. We are also in the process of buying a house. Zillow is my new match.com. Things just started getting exciting. Stay tuned!!!
Dear blog, today I am going to talk about some of my personal characteristics that I’ve decided I need to improve. I’ll start with one of the biggest ones. Anyone that has seen me in action will probably notice that I
move slower than you might have thought was humanly possible. It’s to the point that, when I consider my biggest fears in life, being in front of a buffet line ranks right up there next to Jenn Aniston never finding love and visible camel toe. Just think, all people behind me want is a nice slice of ham, and I’m the reason they can’t get it, because I’m standing there thinking that life’s hardest question right now is “How much stuffing do I want?” All I can say is, I must apologize in advance if you ever end up behind me in that buffet line.
On to the next set of items! I know I was terrible at dating, and I am still working on my cooking. Now that I have been attempting to cook healthy, good-tasting meals, and put myself out on the dating market (I was in the frigid section), I think both aspects have a lot of similarities. This is coming from someone that thought the closest she would ever come to an orgasm was a Little Debbie Oatmeal Pie. Actually, I still get all warm and tingly when I eat one of those, and when I say one I actually mean six. Anyway, both cooking and dating take time and energy, and you have to plan in advance for both. Most importantly, the result is either case is often very different from your original expectations.
With dating and cooking, I have noticed that practice always helps and never hurts. You don’t have to be perfect just starting off, but as long as you’re working on it, then you’re in good shape. I am a huge instant pot slow cooker fan right now. I had to get the hang of what buttons to push, how to vent the meat, getting the timing right and I must admit; it was kinda hard for me at first. That’s similar to how dating is. When you get out there, you need to know how to be yourself without revealing too much too soon, learn not to take things too personally, and just know not everyone is going to work out. Nonetheless, you can learn something with every experience. Don’t wait till you’re your perfect weight, in your perfect career, or in your right headspace, because sometimes the right person comes along and becomes a great teammate to help you achieve all those things anyway!
My relationship with Dan reminds me of a northern bean, sausage, and kale soup I was trying to make one time. The picture on the recipe website looked amazing, and I thought Dan was going to be so impressed with how far my cooking skills had come. Well, my first problem came when I bought the wrong beans. Then, I thought it said tomato paste, not tomato slices; so somehow I ended up making chili. I still don’t know how I did that, but we ended up both really enjoying it. It was like that time I went to a Halloween party expecting to find a guy my age dressed as one of the Magic Mike characters that would sweep me off my feet. Instead, I hit it off with a wonderfully quirky guy dressed as Hugh Hefner. Never did I think I would end up with a guy that sends me drawings, especially ones where it depicts me killing him. And you know what? I love every one of them. Dan is my biggest cheerleader, support system, and just an all-around good guy. I’m just really glad now that I ended up with that chili!!!
Hi bloggers! I have had a hard seizure month and was taken to the ER on Wednesday. My boyfriend is so amazing and relaxed about all this I made a list of things you should know before dating a girl with epilepsy. I hope you like it!!!
Things to know while dating someone with epilepsy
- Some of the new house decor she brings over might look like it’s from the set of Narcos or Nurse Jackie….just go with it!
- If she is acting a tiny bit bitchy and she has a VNS always yell MAGNET because if she was being a bitch she can just blame it on the seizures
- You may want to invest in a tempurpedic mattress! I seize all the time in my sleep and at first he was like “I just love having you here.” Later we had to move on to a temperpedic because he couldn’t sleep.
- Don’t be Ryan O’Neill!!! In Love Story he didn’t talk or Communicate. Well Ryan you should’ve said “I am sorry, you have cancer, and I am taking you to the park all the time and just happen to burst out in tears.” My boyfriend would have an excel spreadsheet of all the Dr’s and all the chemotherapies we were doing. No, Ali McGraw was just all of a sudden dead.
- Don’t be afraid to voice your concerns! One time Dan was looking at jewelry and I got super excited and then I read they were medical bracelets. He has a concern I am going to fall which I have in the past, but I haven’t in five years so I don’t feel the need. But for him there is a big fear.
- Be understanding and kind! We are both new at this and no one is going to be perfect and you both feel bad for different reasons so just be patient!
Hello blog! Since my very first blog entry, my life has changed dramatically. I started the blog while I was single, trying to manage a normal life , dealing with medication issues, and trying to find my place. In the past year and a half, a lot has happened! I have met an amazing person. I had VNS surgery which helps me to live` more of a normal life with less medication, and like most people I am still trying to find my place in this world. I started the blog thinking I was going to expose my challenges and insecurities and I would really make people laugh and feel better about themselves. What really ended up happening was I pushed myself and it ended up changing my life.
Coming up with fun blog ideas always gave me new adventures to do and write about. I had some crazy dates which led to funny blogs, but the way I met my boyfriend was from one particular blog idea. I was tired of the whole online dating thing, so for a blog I was going to do the old fashion way and meet someone semi-organically. I had three ways to just get out in the world to meet people. I sat in a bar by myself, I went to feed the homeless, and I was going to go to a christian singles group. The bar thing was lonely and I hated it. I do think I got down to the bar tender’s deep rooted mother issues though. The next Saturday I went to feed the homeless in fake eyelashes, a full face of makeup, and an inappropriate shirt. My boyfriend wasn’t there, but his friend was and I guess by a girl coming to feed the homeless dressed as someone out of the cast of Cabaret she thought I would be up for a good time, so she invited me to a Halloween party that night. I met my boyfriend Dan that night. He pursued me for a little over two months and now we have been together since January 1st.
A wise philosopher once said, “ You know the way you know about a good melon.” It is actually one of the old ladies they interview in When Harry Met Sally, but she was very wise. I have always thought my seizures would scare off a guy or eventually be too much to handle. Then, when my quirky IT boyfriend made an excel spreadsheet of my seizures including where they’re happening, the level at which they happen, the time of day and included room for side notes, I realized that I had definitely had a Melon Moment.
Next month marks the year since my VNS and it has helped so much. I still have some complications, but I am doing so much better than before! I am very very slowly reducing medicine and upping my magnet. I know I took a long break from blogging but I’m sure you’ll be happy to know that I am now coming back to it. Until the next blog!
Hello again! Four months ago, I was just an everyday girl searching for love online. I also used dating apps, and occasionally, a friend would set me up. Wait a minute…does every girl’s voice go out every five minutes for thirty seconds because they just had a VNS device put in to prevent seizures? I must say, it is not easy going on dates and subsequently explaining your weird voice change, no matter how much you try to lighten the mood. Note to anyone dating with VNS: do not make inappropriate jokes to not make it weird, because it just makes it weirder! Example, “Yes, I will depend on a device for the rest of my life, but don’t most women?” Ooops…now you’re the seizure girl that can’t even read social cues.
In the last year, I have gone on a lot of different adventures to find my sweet, quirky, shilveress Loyd Dobler. I had gone speed dating, been on app dates, and just about any other kind of dating you can think of. Finally, I decided to go out and find someone the old fashioned way. Like the cute old couples in “When Harry Met Sally.” I want to be the old woman that says, “You know like you know about a good melon.” I was getting out and feeding the homeless in full makeup, including eyelashes, just in case my future husband was out there. My guy was not, but his friend Casey was, and she invited me to a Halloween party happening that same night. She told me she had some single friends I might be interested in, and that one of them was forty-seven. I thought “Oh I would never be interested in him, but let’s see if anyone else is there!”
I walked into my future Lloyd Dobler’s condo in the worst put together sailor costume ever. Everyone thought I was some kind of patriotic nurse. Then I met him, and I liked him right away. He was fun, outgoing, hilarious, and could do impressions of all the journalists from Dateline, so that was an automatic plus. His John Megawitz impression was uncannily good. We had a great time and talked most of the night, but I only thought of him as a friend, just because of the age difference. Then, for the next two months, I got to know him better and better, and my perspective started to change. He came to every event I invited him to, took me out to lunch, texted me funny stuff he drew during the day, and made me laugh. Then all of a sudden, I thought “I really, really like him – he’s much more than just a friend!” By New Year’s we were in a steady relationship.
There is a line in Say Anything where Lloyd Dobler says, “ I love your daughter, I am good at it!” Living with a disability, sometimes it’s hard to believe that anyone is going to be loving and understanding of your medication schedules, always needing to have your VNS magnet on you, or even waiting four you to get your driver’s license. And yet, I realize that I actually found someone who isn’t saying “Well, in spite of the epilepsy, you’re great.” He just celebrates me and thinks I am great just the way I am. I often think about how lucky I am, and I am still so happy that I went to that Halloween party.
By the way, I’ve started a singles group called Swipe Right for people that just want to mix, mingle, and meet! If you’re tired of the online thing and you would like to join a fun group activity once a month, please message me on Facebook or join the Swipe Right FB page!
Hello world, my name is Cassidy, and I have ventured into online dating and app dating. I totally believe it can work and people can fall in love! However, I have had a lot of not so good and some really awkward experiences. After I got asked to be a swinger with some guy and his friends I thought to myself, “ How did people meet in the good old days when there was no online dating or apps.” How do I find Kellerman’s, book my stay, and fall in love with a ruggedly handsome dance instructor? Where is my Johnny Castle? Where is my Ren McCormick? I want to get out of my corner! I want to hear it for the boy! So after watching some 80’s dance movies, and some Steve Harvey episodes I decided to put myself out there. My plan of action was to take a month off tech dating, and one night sit at a bar by myself. One night go hiking with a group of people I didn’t know, and I was going to go to a single christian dating club. I loved doing this experiment. I didn’t do everything on my list, but it kinda morphed into something cool!
Activity number one was a test in being ok with being by yourself, and I think I failed. All I had to do was sit at a bar by myself reading a book. I chose “ He’s just not that into you” because I thought that would be funny. I also chose a shirt that had amazing back cleavage. I thought that would be good if guys would be approaching me from the back. I sat there and watched really cool dates happen, and friends laughing, and I just kept on reading the table of contents of “He’s just not that into you.” Side note: I really like guys that are just not that into me! I got a lot from the opening page. I talked a lot to the bartender and some guys dad, but after four hours I called it a night. I knew 20/20 with David Muir was on, and I can’t think of a better man to go to bed to. I am glad I did it, but I don’t want to do it again!
Activity number two was suppose to be a hiking group. Then, I remembered I hate hiking, so I went to meetup and I did a feed the homeless activity. I went to Cathy’s Kitchen in Orange and none of my meetup group was there so they just had me join another group. I had a great time and I was just about to leave when I started talking to another volunteer named Casey about dating. She is around my age and still single too. We had a great conversation and she ended up inviting me to a Halloween party. The Halloween party was awesome. My makeshift sailor costume was not. Everyone kept asking who the nurse was. I met so many nice people that I really wanted to see again.
Activity number three was suppose to be the christian singles club, but they all looked a lot older than me. I thought to myself: I have guy friends that would make good boyfriends for other people, and if other girls bring their friends we can have a cool singles night. I was really nervous but we had the first singles night two weeks ago and it went great. I believe two couples were formed and some heavy eye contact was exchanged. We are going to continue to have these singles nights, so if you are interested please get a hold of me. My name is Cassidy I make love happen! I have not made it happen for myself yet, but I believe soon!
This is my description of the perfect man in movie characters.
Crazy about me like Lloyd Dobler in Say Anything
Funny like Alvy Singer in Annie Hall
Good like Atticus in To Kill a Mockingbird
Bad like Jack Nicholson in anything
Neurotic like Harry in When Harry met Sally
About a month ago, I went on a mission to find a date for my friend DeeDee’s wedding. I utilized three dating apps and was just altogether more open to dating. I wasn’t going for a Lloyd Dobler, stereo over your head in front of your window, “ I gave her my heart, she gave me a pen” type of thing. I was more looking for a Carry Grant like in Bringing Up Baby. I wanted a lot of witty banter, easy on the eyes, and something I wouldn’t mind watching it again even if it didn’t make complete sense. In the end, I had some amazing experiences and some, “ OK, I should of been drinking for that to happen” experiences. Going over my plethora of dating experiences, I realized that dating is a lot like going to Disneyland. Do you remember wanting to go to Disneyland so badly, you would always be on your best behavior in front of your parents so that they would take you? Well, I must admit that I have told a few guys that I love to be active and workout just to get them interested when in fact, I actually hate working out! I do do it every morning, but I seriously want to punch the perky Turbo Fitness lady in the face every morning! How can anyone get that excited about jumping rope and squats? When you really want to land a date, you tend to only stretch the best side of yourself and be on your best behavior.
When you finally get to Disneyland, how do you behave? Do you slowly walk hand in hand simply enjoying each others company? Does he treat you to a turkey leg and you watch fireworks together while he oh so politely puts his hand on your lower back? I have noticed that the guys I met on the apps all tend to be really big fans of going straight to Space Mountain. They want to get to the best ride right away, and since you’re on an app, they assume you do too. In fact, some girls are completely willing to enjoy space mountain by themselves and then share the pictures of them enjoying the ride with guys they don’t know that well. I just started app dating, so I generally think, “ I just realized I was tall enough for this ride, so maybe we could get some cotton candy, take in a parade, go to the tea cups and I can try my hand at working the wheel.” Disneyland and dating are both a lot of fun, but are also a lot of work.
I am really glad I did this experiment because I was more open to meeting different people. I wasn’t thinking too seriously like about what challenges our children may face because it was just for a wedding date. As I had a time restraint before the wedding day and wanted to set up dates, I needed to show interest at a rather fast pace. The old me had no sense of time and would wait a week, and be surprised when they weren’t interested anymore. With three apps I got three dates, all of which turned out to be rather nice, interesting guys, and I really enjoyed myself. If you are going on apps to find a relationship, you should write that you are not looking for a hook-up. I did not bother to write that, so I think I was a bit of a disappointment for some guys when it did not end as such. You should always meet at a safe location and never, ever get in their car. Since I was so much more open to dating people, I also met a guy on a plane on my way to the bachelorette party in Vegas. He was super nice and we exchanged numbers. In the end, I had three people I thought would be fun wedding dates. Then I had to break the unfortunate news that “it is a dry wedding, it’s in Rancho Cucamonga, and you are not going to be sitting with me most of the time.” The response on all fronts was, “Maybe you and I can just hang out again when we can actually see each other in a more casual environment.” I totally understood it, but naturally, I was a little bummed out.
The wedding day came and, I was thinking I was actually glad I didn’t have a date because I was so busy and would not have had time to introduce a date to anyone. Then, during the reception, the nicest, most easy on the eyes (and I feel he might have had some Loyd Dobler potential) type of guy walked up to me, and we had a great conversation. I had never been so happy not to have a date than in that moment.
How do you prepare for speed dating? How do you prepare to get punched in the face by a monkey? You can’t! There is no way of preparing for this amazing, entertaining, and really enlightening experience. Speed dating is like walking into Costco and taking thirteen random people and going on a six minute date with them. You have the perverted butcher that thinks it’s really funny every time someone says, “ I want your sausage.” Then there’s the kind of cute stock boy that you walk super slow in the aisle for just so he will notice you. The sample guy that might have an eye issue, but that gouda is worth it so you just look down and grab it. The monotoned checker that makes comments about everything you buy, which is kind of embarrassing, because there is a lot of Fiber 1 items in your basket. By the way, did you know they have fiber gummies? How amazing is that?
We have all heard that saying, “ You can’t judge a book by it’s cover.” This is a great saying, but do we practice it? I learned on Monday night that I should. I had some really nice conversations and fun experiences with some guys I probably would never had talked to, had I not endeavoured to try speed dating.
I walked into Darya restaurant at the appointed time, and noticed that there were a lot of single people there already. At first, it was kind of like a junior high dance. To one side was a group of girls pretending to be on their phones, and to another side, a group of guys pretending to be on their phones. I was lucky enough to meet two really nice girls who were there for the first time as well. We exchanged our feelings about the event, and also our phone numbers. Then, the head lady called us to our assigned tables and the games began!
I must say, at the beginning, it was a little awkward. You are at a table for six minutes with a complete stranger, and you have to figure out something to talk about. I found out that one thing I had in common with a lot of the guys in the room was that we were late bloomers, and still had a lot to learn. I learned that a black pleather dress and a push up bra will get a lot of attention. One guy sat down, looked me up and down and said, “ That is a f***ing amazing dress.” It is an amazing dress, but I had also lathered myself with body tanner, put tons of black eyeliner on my eyes, and stuffed myself into that dress so as to be treated like Julia Roberts at the end of Pretty Woman, (and not at the beginning.)
I don’t know if I have talked about it, but I am a hot house flower. I don’t do a lot of outdoor sports or activities. Last time I went for a hike I thought my friend had a conspiracy to kill me. I saw a guy and I thought that’s my guy. I bet you he hatyes hikes and loves eating sherbert while watching movies. Oh I was right! He loves Quentin Tarantino movies and slurpees just like me. We totally bonded about how much we wanted a pigs in a blanket, and how everyone talks about the softball leagues their in and we just go along with it pretending to be into it. Do you know how exhausting it is pretending I like to be active? I don’t! The only reason I fit into that body hugging dress was some of my seizure meds make me lose my appetite, and my mom thinks body shaming me is a hobby like knitting or modge podge.
I give speed dating a 10 out of 10. I had a really great time, and I suggest if you are single you do it. I would totally go again, and bring my friends. I also met some great girls, and we are going out again so it was very beneficial. I think this would be awesome for someone that doesn’t date a lot because it gets you into it really fast. You just have to know, it’s a numbers game and you can’t get your feelings hurt. I hope you all get out and start dating!!!
Have you mastered dating? I totally haven’t! I have a couple of dreams in my life. The first is to be the girl in the black dress in the Michael Jackson video, “ The Way you Make Me Feel.” The second is to be an amazing, strong, and confident dater. I was recently talking to my new friend Vincent, who is on a dating app. Vincent, like myself, is a bit of a late bloomer. As I was talking to him, a stroke of genius hit me: we could go on a practice date together and then tell each other what to work on. I must admit, I kind of got this idea from Steve Harvey. These girls would go on these horrible first dates, watch themselves, and then fix it for the next guy. Instead of having Steve Harvey and a camera crew, I had Vincent as my source of utter honesty. We promised each other we would be completely honest, yet still remain friends. The result: I feel like everyone should do this with a trusted friend, because it’s a lot of fun!
Vincent picked me up and we went to The Anaheim Packing District. FYI, this is a great date place, because there are a ton of food options in a really cool environment. I came prepared with first date questions to break the ice, and to get to know him better. Vincent is unlike anyone I have ever met, but in a good way. I am pretty convinced he is the last von Trapp child after Gretel, and I think he hears the theme tune to The Andy Griffith Show when he walks. He is a great person and he will make a great husband someday.
We started with grilled cheese and questions about pet peeves. Vincent’s were totally normal. He simply didn’t like doing things out of obligation. This question happened to be where my freak flag flies. I think I should stay away from this question. My pet peeves are mostly grounded in children’s apparel, which I know sounds completely insane. I hate any kind of light-up children’s shoes. It is as if a little four year old were running around taunting me, and they could give me a seizure. The McDonalds play-place is like my version of hell! The other children’s clothing I dislike are the onesies that say, “I love My Mommy or Daddy.” Well, guess what! They’re only weeks old, and that’s not old enough to know whether they love their parents or not! It’s putting words in their mouth. Or on their shirt. Same thing. Why doesn’t Carters make onesies that say, “ My Attachment Parent Gave Me Anxiety,” “ My Mommy Thinks Measles are a Buzzword,” or “ I can tell she going to make me go to a lot of therapy.” Yes, I know these are all things I should not admit to on a first date. It may very well scare my date away. Fortunately, Vincent was a really good sport, totally went with it and just laughed with me.
Later on that evening, Vincent and me were conversing about things we have and haven’t done. As it turns out, we are pretty innocent, quirky people! The game kind of goes like this…have you ever smoked a cigarette? No! Can you quote all the words to Casablanca? Yes! Vincent also asked me if I read the Bible, to which I answered yes. I asked him if he does anything artistic, and it turns out he sometimes makes wire sculptures! Hi answer was “why, yes I have been perfecting them since High School!” Last but not least, through this get to know you game I found out Vincent has not danced even ONE day in his life! He was telling me this and I was just picturing a young Ren McCormick dancing his little heart out in a white tank, because dancing was banned in the city of Beaumont. I can’t imagine ever hearing the song “Where have all the good men gone” and not wanted to get up like a tight jeaned Ren McCormick and dance. I must admit, I did feel a little bad for making him feel weird for not liking something I liked so much. It’s just that I was so flabbergasted! Nonetheless, I realized I do need to be more understanding of people’s differences. After all, I am a dyslexic epileptic with a spinal cord condition, so I don’t know why I wouldn’t be understanding. In that regard, I do feel like I learned a valuable lesson from the practice date.
I feel as though those of us that have such a disease are inclined to feel quite vulnerable, and so sometimes it is easy to get stuck on a certain point and not want to budge because it might require making yourself vulnerable on another level. Despite this, it may very well be worth it to take the risk. I was lucky because I had a really nice guy agree to something kind of weird like a practice date. I certainly hope you have a friend you can do a practice date with. If you do, please write in and tell me about it!
When you have epilepsy sometimes getting through the day is hard enough, and dating is the last thing on your mind. I DO think it is a very important part of emotional maturity and social development so Just Do It. You don’t have to just go on Tinder right away. I encourage you to get involved in your local church connection group if that’s what you like, or meetup.com has tons of stuff for people with similar interest to get together once a month. Then, if you’re ready you can find a website or app. I think it is just important to be around people that aren’t your parents or your doctors to see what you like. You don’t even want to know how many advances I have made to neurologist and physical therapists because I was going to too many doctors appointments and not enough dates! I think one doctor moved to Podiatry because of me.
You have to get out and see what you like, and what works for you. I am not going to lie I was a late bloomer, so my dating journey only started about six years ago. Now, six years ago I was very attracted to older men, and gay men. If you could give me a mix between Neil Patrick Harris and Dateline’s Keith Morrison I would of been in seventh heaven. Do you see the issue there? It took me too long to realize that wasn’t going to work out for me. I also think feedback is good. When you are with your family some things they think are really entertaining are not something to take on a date. I can reenact the whole beauty parlor scene of 1989’s Steel Magnolias. I can tell you even if you do a great Shelby, Do Not do this on a date! Also, as cute as you think your cat is, Do Not talk about it or show pictures. My cat could win pageants, but I have learned not to say that. You just kind of live and you learn, and it can be hard and also a lot of fun.
How do you talk about epilepsy while dating? I know what my biggest problem was when I first started dating I wasn’t comfortable with it myself. I remember going on a date with a guy, and I told him I wasn’t driving because I had a seizure, but it was totally no big deal. That is crazy! The truth is in some ways it is a Big deal. It also became a big deal when I had a simple- partial seizure on a date. My date had no idea my shoulder jerk was a seizure and he thought I was like, “ Oh I am a small cold girl that needs your strong arms around me.” When really I was talking to Jesus saying, “Please get him to leave really fast so I can take a pill to calm this down.” The truth is my disability has dictated a lot of what I can and can’t do in my life. I think what I wasn’t realizing was the epilepsy wasn’t who I was it was just what I had, and I could be so much more than letting a disability define me. Now, I just talk about it freely and honestly. I think you will learn the appropriate time to bring it up as you go.