12:08 PM

Patient Pens Essay About Epilepsy, Dr. Fernando Acosta

Fernando Acosta Jr., M.D, neurologist and associate medical director of Movement Disorders Clinic, recently received a copy of an essay written by one of his patient's. Trey Battle, Dr. Acosta's patient,  answers the essay prompt below and talks about living with epilepsy and his relationship with Dr. Acosta. 

The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a 
challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? 

I've faced some large obstacles in my life, but my greatest challenge remains one that I have little control over but have learned to overcome. At age three, I had my first seizure and due to repeated seizures was soon after diagnosed with epilepsy. 

In elementary school I was a quiet kid who kept to myself. I think part of the reason I was so introverted is because deep down I never knew when the next seizure was going to come. It's an unspoken fear that while I can't quite explain my exact feelings, I can say is unsettling and just didn't feel right. I remember being in third grade and securing a spot in the Spring Talent Show singing Justin Bieber's "Baby". A commitment to the show meant you performed during the day for fellow students as well as in the evening for parents and community members. All the excitement and courage I had bottled up to show my teachers and friends was quickly replaced with confusion and disappointment as I had suffered another seizure at school that morning. My mom did her best to insist I stay home for the evening performance and rest, but I had a different plan. I sang with all the Bieber fever I had wished for and was extremely proud of myself.

dr. acosta and patient 2 I began seeing my neurologist, Dr. Acosta, when I was three and it was only recently that I realized how important my relationship with him is. Aside from being a Longhorn, Dr. Acosta is like family to me. The kind of family you spend holidays with and not because you want to, but because you must. He was the kind of family that would tell us what we needed to hear, but not always what we wanted to. My dad was a college football player and I always dreamed of playing on Saturdays myself. Due to my seizure disorder, I had been told contact sports were not in the cards for me. This was a tough reality for a 6'1", 200-pound freshman with a dream to play. In Fall 2020, during a visit with Dr. Acosta, he said "Dude! You've gotten so big! I can't believe it, are you playing football?" I cut eyes to my mom who then looked like she wanted to tackle Dr. Acosta right there in the middle of the exam room. This would be yet another time when mom did her best, but my plan was bigger. I am now a tight end for my Texas high school football team and have built memories with my coaches and brothers on the field that I will always hold close. 

As I move forward in the next chapter of my life, I will continue to face the unknowns and reality of my epilepsy, but also remain hopeful that my last seizure may have actually been my last. Even if it's not, I refuse to let it stop me from the things I dream of accomplishing. I hope the next time I visit with Dr. Acosta, I can greet him with our standard hug and an official "BOOMER SOONER!"