My name is Rebecca, I’m an Occupational Therapist who lives in South Carolina and I was diagnosed with Epilepsy when I was an infant, so I don’t remember my life without seizures being a part of it. I’m 27 now and still have vivid memories of how my parents went above and beyond to help me be seizure free. I’m lucky that I have an aura- which means I can feel a seizure coming and usually able to lay down somewhere safe. As a kid I would say “my throat feels funny” and my parents knew a seizure was coming, afterwards I would feel drained.
Years of medications and tests filled my childhood, and eventually my doctors said I had “outgrown” my seizures, from the ages of roughly 10-17 I was seizure free and didn’t think too much about them. When I was 17 my seizures returned with vengeance, and I have been dealing with them for the past 10 years.
I used to be embarrassed to tell people about my Epilepsy and explain a seizure to them. When I seize I am incontinent, which basically means I pee my pants- not the best fun fact to tell college friends. My seizures resulted in a concussion that forced me to leave my college soccer team, seizures meant I would lose my license for at least 6 months or longer, and I dealt with discrimination from professors. I was called a liability and burden at one point which made me feel terrible about myself.
Now I’m 27 and almost 2.5 years seizure free. My Epilepsy is medication resistant, but a healthy diet, good sleep schedule, and learning to manage my stress have helped tremendously. I’ve also grown more comfortable telling friends and coworkers that I have Epilepsy, and don’t feel shame talking about it. It’s so important to me to spread education about seizures so that I know I’ll be safe if I have one, and that education may save someone else’s life too.