Katie-Ann Rice

Hello!

I have lived in a world without Epilepsy and at the age of 20, my whole life changed....

Up until the age of 19 I thought I was a migraine sufferer, but the optician noticed a huge difference and referred me for an MRI. The scan showed something abnormal. 1 week before my 20th Birthday, I had surgery for triple brain tumours and the scarring triggered the onset of Epilepsy. I was however warned by my surgeon beforehand that this was a possibility.

Epilepsy also triggered anxiety and depression. I was depressed because I had a job and dreams of driving a Mini Cooper. I had applied for a Provisional License before all this happened. Unfortunately the disability authorities, (ATOS and PIP) signed me off from my workplace due to the amount of hospital admissions and how the seizures were affecting my work. DVLA had to be informed and they had to take my Provisional License away.

Unfortunately when the Epilepsy was going out of control over the next 10 years, my life was up and down. Can't do certain things and activities unsupervised, hospital admissions again, medication trials and changes were one led to a severe allergic reaction. MRI Scans and EEGS. Luckily my local hairdresser helped with the glue removal afterwards. I had trouble with the first EEG glue encounter.

I'm not having much luck with employment, as Epilepsy seems to be scaring away potential employers. I have the right skillset too, but sadly I get turned away.

On the bright side after multiple failed CBT sessions for a good few years, I found help for the anxiety and depression with hypnotherapy. The mind coach taught me ways in which to manage it and helped me extinguish them. They was major triggers of seizures. I also found gardening to be helpful for relaxation and being calm. About the driving, I have a bus pass which helps me get out and about. I have huge support from my family, partner and friends.

What I have learnt, is that Epilepsy is an inconvenience to me rather than doom and gloom. I can't sit and worry everyday about the next seizure. I am grateful that I am alive today and I look forward to each day. I won't let it define, or control me. It doesn't have me, I have it and I'm stronger than it.

Katie-Ann Rice
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Well done Katie, really pleased with your progress!

Submitted by Derek Chapman
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