Hi name is Jessica and I have Epilepsy..
Here is my story…
I was diagnosed in 2009 with Epilepsy, a year after I had a seizure. I knew of Epilepsy as one of my family members has it, besides that I had absolutely no idea what it was or what it meant to have it.
After so many long and tiring tests through my local hospital. I was finally diagnosed with Petite Mal seizures, I was just about to start High School at this time. I didn’t want to go, I was scared, what if I had a seizure there in front of everyone (of course things like that probably wouldn’t happen) I didn’t want to tell anyone about it, I felt ashamed. When you tell someone you have Epilepsy the general picture they would think of is – Falling, Loosing consciousness, Jerking movements and Foaming from the mouth. Not all Seizures are like that at all, in fact its a common mistake that everyone makes. I didn’t want anyone to think that I was different so I didn’t tell anyone. Then everything started to go down hill from there. The Doctors were changing my medication what seemed like every other day. The side effects were different for each of them. They made me very sick, depressed, anxious and I have also have long-term side affects, such speech impediment. There was also a bad reaction to one of the medications that I had, it sent me into nerve convulsions down the whole right side of my face. This lasted 24 hours it was very painful, frustrating and tiring not being able to talk because your face is having a physical break down.
I begun to get bullied at school, other children would think that I was staring at them. When I was actually having a Seizure.. I should probably explain what an Absence seizure is.. When someone has an Absence seizure you typically wont even notice but if you do notice it will look like that person is in a day-dream, with a blank look on their face. Absences only last a couple of seconds but in that couple of seconds so much is happening to that person. They will completely forget what it was they were doing or talking about, essentially losing time. It involves a brief sudden lapse of consciousness when there is an abnormal electricity signal that interrupts the brains normal function. That’s what can cause you to have seizure. After having a seizure it takes a while to come right, feel normal again – “whats normal again?” for me it takes anywhere between 2-6 days to get back to how I was beforehand. Sleep is my best friend in these situations.
At school it would come across as I wasn’t paying attention in class or to conversations with friends. I lost a lot of friends growing up with Epilepsy. It all became too much for me and I ended up leaving school. I went to a Health School for sick children in the city for about six months while my Doctor continued to change my medication. I felt out of place there as there were children, young children that were suffering with the worst illnesses you could imagine. I felt, I wished that I would toughen up and just accept that what I had been diagnosed with was nowhere near as bad as others or what these children were going through..
During the year 2009 my Father brought me a puppy. I know it sounds silly but that puppy, she saved me. She saved me from myself, through my darkest days she was there for me when no one else would be. She is my best friend and still is eight years on. I believe she came at the right time, she’s my angel.
I began to do Correspondence – I got sent my school work at home, I had a schedule that I would follow each day. There was teacher who came to visit me every couple of weeks. Correspondence has taught me how to be motiva
ted and organised in my adulthood. In saying that it could just been my O.C.D.
I was in denial about the Epilepsy. I wanted to learn how to drive like my friends, I didn’t want to have to take medication for the rest of my life, I mean who does? I watched on as everyone grew into wonderful people with hopes and dreams and I felt like I still had nothing going for me.
In the year 2013 I meet the love of my life. Besides my family he was the first person I told about my Epilepsy. He is so supportive, loving and caring. He knows me better than I know myself. He loves me for who I am and he is aware of all of my triggers that could cause a seizure. For example – Strove lights, Bright lights, Stress, not sleeping or eating. I strive to be the best I can be for him and for our future.
Today I feel better than I ever have, I no longer take any of my medication (With my Doctors permission) I cant wait to see where my journey takes me, hopefully you’ll stick around to find out as well.