I was first diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 14.
I was terrified when I came round in the ambulance, convinced I was going to die.
The first anti-convulsant I was put on was Epilim which seemed to control my seizures, however it ceased to do so, it was swapped to Lamactal in 1999. My seizures weren't controlled with this alone, so Topiramate was added. In 2002 in was agreed that Keppra would also be beneficial to take.
This combination proved effective until 2007, when I dropped Keppra and added Clonazepam which has been proved to be the most effective to date.
Side effects come with taking these medications, and I can get irritable, emotional and constantly tired. My memory is extremely poor.
Epilepsy comes with a real stigma, has got easier over the years but the main set back I have found has been employment. I have been rejected at interviews as soon as my condition is mentioned, been held back in positions and even lost a position because my seizures where not under control.
Seizures not only causes headaches they also cause injuries too! I ended up with such a black eye one year I was called a cyclopes for a week. one time I was in the house alone and I must have done something to my back during a seizure as I was laid up for a week! Bitten my tongue so many times surprised I have one left, and the number of stitches that have been put into my scalp is beyond me.
Now from all the injuries I occurred not one really frightened me until I had a seizure outside Sheffield Hallamshire in 2009 hence me writing this story. I came around in hospital and it was here I learnt I had fractured my skull which had caused a haematoma. I was all for wearing a head gear, adjusting my new flat with aids and even looked into getting a support dog, until I was informed my seizures weren't severe enough which made me think I can’t live in fear for the rest of my life can I?
My concentration was affected and my memory became so poor I was unable to catch up with the photography course I was currently taking, despite kind help from my fellow college peers. So I looked into doing something I always wanted to do, after medical all clearance I flew to Australia just before I turned 30 on a WHV and stayed there for 2 years. I arrived in style I had a seizure on the plane! Missed getting my passport stamped as I was wheeled through custom’s I was more gutted over that to be honest. I had a wonderful time meeting so many people. When I turned 31 I celebrated by jumping out of a plane, I can’t tell you how amazing that felt.
I look back at how I am today and despite everything I consider my self as lucky. 10 years ago when I came around in hospital I never thought for a minute I would be able to live alone, never mind fly across to the other side of the world! At the moment my seizures are ‘dormant’. This gives me the freedom to walk outside to the shop, go to another country to visit my friend. I have a wonderful job with the NHS and in three months time I become a wife. There is the possibility of making my family into a family of three which I am also looking into. When I have a bad day I remind myself I may have epilepsy but epilepsy doesn't have me xx