I remember it vividly. I couldn’t have been more than two and a half, but it is my clearest and first memory.
My mother had just come home bearing gifts — a doll made for me by godmother. It had two heads — one of each end. If you flipped the skirt of the dress of the doll one way, a blue gingham dress and a broad smiling face appeared; if you flipped the dress the other way, a red polka dotted dress appeared and another face smiled up at me. I was fascinated — the doll was as big as me!
I embraced the doll as hard as I could and ran as fast as I my chubby legs would take me. It was a moment of pure joy. A gift made of love by someone I loved dearly. What could be better? And so I ran. And my foot caught on the skirt of my doll and I tripped — rushing headlong onto the steps separating the living room and the private quarters.
I howled in pain. My front teeth had hit the top step and on impact, were pushed way up my gums. It took a while for the pain and the shock to subside. After that, I’m sure life resumed, as is always the case.
I am told — because I have no memory of this, and the recollections of my uncle and my parents which even today embody much pain are all that I have to go on — that my first seizure occurred when I was 3.