August 29, 2017
Nate stopped by the house to join me for a discussion on battling epilepsy since he was a child. What steps did he and his family take to get him the help he desperately needed? Take a listen to Nate's story and please read the full blog entry. We hope our podcasts will help others in the future.
HI, my name is Nathan Nicolai. I am now 24 years old and was diagnosed with epilepsy when I was in 8th grade. I had a series of 2 grandmal seizures in one day and then had another a few days later. That’s when I was diagnosed with Nocturnal Epilepsy after multiple tests because they were happening in my sleep. After those 3 though, I hadn’t had another for maybe close to a year. Through high school they would be sporadic. I would go 6 months here and there but then have another but at this point they’d still only be in my sleep and I also wasn’t old enough to drive and necessarily need to be independent. They weren’t impacting my social life because I wasn’t just falling out randomly and I was still my normal self. It stayed like this until I graduated high school. I then went to college in New London, CT. I had already tried a few different medications but would try a new one every now and then because I really didn’t like the side effects whether being sort of “spacey” and out of it or short tempered and not fun to be around because I wasn’t smiling much and if you know me I’m generally happy most of the time and I also wouldn’t have much of an appetite.
Growing up, seeing people drink alcohol is a normal thing and a part of life that almost everyone takes part in or has in the past. Me, even from an early age would observe and watch how it made people act and I never liked being around it because I though it made people stupid. As a kid, we would be told to “just say no” and were taught that things like Cannabis are bad because they are illegal. I think that’s what made me interested in it even more (mostly because it was an illegal drug no one died from and they made funny movies about it). I was interested in the effects and why people used it long before I ever considered trying it. I would listen to artists like Bob Marley and a lot of reggae and Jamaican music because I liked their vibes and what they were all about. I thought the Rasta culture was interesting and would see “the leaf” as a symbol of the culture almost. I even wore a Rasta belt with a leaf on it before I used cannabis and as a 14-15-year-old kid, if a person would see it I would get a look but didn’t realize why. I though it just said I loved Bob Marley or reggae.
Freshman year of school I tried cannabis for the first time. My buddy and I bought a “20 bag” or a “dub” one day after school and we rolled the whole thing up because in shows and movies, id see people rolling up fat joints and blunts so I figured me and a buddy would need a decent amount to each feel it. THAT WAS NOT THE CASE. I thought I was in a dream.