A few years back, a family member brought home a Nintendo Switch during our holiday gathering. This s u mmer, as my boyfriend and I cowered indoors while a terrible pandemic raged across Texas and the US, we picked up the switch again. We started playing Starlink: Battle for Atlas, a game that crosses over with another favorite saga; Star Fox. We were so thrilled to see you, Star Fox! I found the world of Starlink to be as equally beautiful and, quite literally, equally flashy as that of Zelda. I love these games. Initially, when I sat down to write this article, I thought I intended to boldly describe the inaccessible virtual world around us and propose ways to make it better. It disappeared back to the dormant neurological hole it came from, and I moved on with my life — my new, normal life. But now I am pretty sure that normal is really the outlier. I still remember the day I found out I had epilepsy. I was 5 or 6 years old, and I recall almost perfectly the out-of-character calmness that my mother practiced in that exam room with me as the doctor explained the condition, the prognosis, and the treatment options. She waited patiently as long as she could possibly stand it, which was a long time for her. And then she excused herself to the hallway where she took several measured steps away from where I stood. The door to the exam room closed behind her. Then she burst into guttural sobs. I could recognize the sound of her tears as well then as I can today. That is a distinct type of crying and unique also to each mother. My mother returned, and her calmness and patience resumed as if she had merely flipped a light switch. Her tears were gone. I wanted to comfort her. I distinctly remember that I did not cry or have any fearful reaction at all. After all, I had already had seizures at this point. Now, they just had a name. Maybe if I had been older, I would have understood that it was the stigma she feared, not the seizures. Perhaps, I would have been the one to cry, and she would have comforted me. Still, I see her moment of patience as the most brilliant example of why mothers do not get nearly enough credit in this world. But she was a human who needed a moment to cry out in fear. You could argue that the world still makes little room for us today. Yes, there was a time not so distant when the caretakers of people with epilepsy placed us and I use that word intentionally in asylums along with so many categories of other people. But epilepsy is not contagious. Authorities argued that segregating people with epilepsy would improve their care. For a long time, there were no confident medical interventions to subdue seizures.
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