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Fran Browne

My name is Fran, I’ve had epilepsy since the age of 15, my first episode was when I sat up suddenly in bed after being asleep and I wasn’t fully aware of what was going on.

I stood up and I heard a very loud siren sound and then suddenly my hearing went and my sight went. My brother came in to my room and asked if I was ok, but his voice sounded distorted and was in slow motion! I fell to the floor and started convulsing violently!

I was rushed to hospital and was unconscious for a long time! I woke up and was starting to show a bit of improvement, so I was sent home. That night I fell off the sofa and started convulsing worse than the previous episode!

I had 3 in a row and my oxygen levels dropped dramatically. I was rushed to hospital again and from that night I was in a coma for 4 days!

After this horrendous events I had various tests e.g MRI, 2 EEGs one sleep deprived. They showed no activity during those tests, however if you're not having a seizure at that time it’s more likely than not it wouldn’t show anything!

I was put on Lamictal Lamotragine 100mg twice a day. I was on this for a long time before they wanted to test if my epilepsy had gone, however after 6 months of no medication my seizures started again! This was when I was 18 and since then I have been on medication.

From age of 18 my medication has been increased many times. When I reached the age of 26 I had to up my medication again, as I was pregnant with my daughter and being pregnant reduces the effectiveness of the medication. This was due to 2 episodes of partial seizures when I was 5 months pregnant.

I had to be monitored regularly because of my condition during my pregnancy, as there can be some risks. I was also put on an emergency medication called Clobazam which I’ve had since the age of 15.

My first experience was not at all good! You get very depressed and make you have weird thoughts and you can’t be on it for long periods of time as it can become addictive! This was only taken in emergency situations! Luckily the Lamotragine worked very well that I hardly ever needed to take the Clobazam.

Recently, I’ve had partial seizures, sometimes twice in a row! My triggers are tiredness, stress and pain. My daughter is now 18 months and the main trigger is tiredness, obviously having a little one can be tiring, as they are always on the go!

The recent seizure was in the shower where I went in to a trance and when I came out of it I had dropped the bottle of conditioner! I don’t remember anything after picking up the conditioner to put in my hair.

I don’t know if anyone else has had heighten senses before having an episode? To me everything seemed either too soft or too hard! After I felt sick and I felt my face tingling. Hopefully now after I’ve had my medication increased it won’t happen again. I know anxiety makes it worse but it’s very difficult to not be after things like that have happened to you!

I hope this has helped anyone.

Fran Browne
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