Hello My name is Heather I am 17 and have been living with epilepsy for almost 4 years now. Today I am sharing a shortened down version of my story.
The 5th of September 2011 was the date it all started. I vaguely remember that morning at all I just remember waking up to a bunch of strangers in my face. The first thought was “oh no I’ve been hit by a car” now this seems really stupid thinking back on it. This is because after a few moments I had realised I was actually in my bathroom, naked with paramedics and my parents all around me. We had a dodgy shower for a few weeks and to start with we thought I had been electrocuted. Little did we know.
I remember being in the hospital and all these different doctors coming in asking me questions I really didn’t know the answers to poking and prodding me about. I was just so scared I had no idea what was happening to me and I had never felt so drained in all my life. I was all cut and bruised from where I had fell and in so much pain.
After a lot of tests and EEG and MRI and a few more seizures and A&E trips they finally got onto the subject of Epilepsy. As soon as that word came out of the doctors mouth. I thought my life was over I wouldn’t be able to watch TV I wouldn’t be able to go out or anything. I was so wrong. I didn’t even know that there were so many different types of epilepsy and the one they thought I had was called Idiopathic Epilepsy (which means the cause of seizures is not confirmed) but could be a number of things like stress, lack of sleep etc.
The previous 4 years have been no walk in the park that’s for sure after being away from school for a while I eventually went back and planned to get on with things as normal. But in teenage life nothing is ever that simple. I had quite a lot of questions that I really didn't want to answer and some teasing and jokes about me made.I had so many “friends” come in and out of my life because they would get bored of me not being able to do the things they were as I had to be careful. I could feel myself going into a dark and lonely place. It was also really hard for me because I also found it quite difficult to understand my subjects in school as well something which never happened to me before. So when it was coming up to my GCSE’s I was getting so stressed which caused some seizures which caused time off which caused a lot of catching up to do and more stress it was an endless circle. I managed to get the grades I had hoped for and the college course I wanted.
4 years on and I'm managing well with an incredible and supportive family, boyfriend and friends. Epilepsy has taken me through hell and back giving me all sorts of illnesses such as ovarian cysts (gross but quite common in women with epilepsy) and a crappy immune system. I definitely wouldn't be where I am today without my wonderful and supportive family every single one of them has adapted their life around me and my epilepsy and always been there when I needed them. Even if I'm upstairs and make a bang they instantly worry and shout to see if I'm OK which can be annoying but it means so much to me. I don’t think I would be here today without them.