The Impact of Epilepsy

Seizures affect the people who are having seizures and their friends and family, simply because they are seizures…but what really is the impact of epilepsy.

Think about it… how did you get to wherever you needed to go today?  Did you drive?  If you have been diagnosed with epilepsy you cannot drive until your seizures have been regulated and you are seizure free for SIX months.  If you have been diagnosed at age 15 that can be devastating news… just when all of your friends are starting to drive… you are sidelined and that makes you <ghasp> different.  Being different isn’t great when you are a teenager.

But what if you are thirty and you get diagnosed?  What happens to your life then?  You can’t drive yourself to work… or the doctor… or church… or to get groceries… or the hospital…

You can’t take your kids/spouse/partner to work/school/the movies/out to dinner.

Like to swim?

Enjoy soaking in a hot bath?

Guess what… it is dangerous, if your seizures aren’t controlled (and you still have to be extra careful if they are… more careful than it you don’t have seizures) going for a swim or taking a bath… I know… Amandya seized in the pool.  Fortunately people who “have her back” were there with her.  Even if your pool has a lifeguard (which ours doesn’t) you can’t be SURE they will see in time… or know what to do.

Do you have to cross busy streets?  Crossing the street  (particularly when you are newly diagnosed and you aren’t sure your seizures are controlled (and sometimes even when they are) can be scary.  It can be just as scary when you are thinking about someone you love crossing the street and wondering what would happen if they seized in the middle of the street… would cars even stop…

Did you serve in the military?  Do you want to?  Not with an epilepsy diagnosis, even if you are controlled.

Want to be a tour guide in Washington DC?  Until recently, that was off limits as an occupation, too.

The impact of an epilepsy diagnosis is far more reaching that just the immediate impact of… I have epilepsy and I have to get some control over my life… the impacts are far wider than many people realize.

That is why getting an understanding (and having more people have an understanding) of what is going on matters.  That’s why it matters that you have a support system that you can rely on… and not just for the immediate and obvious needs… I’m coming to realize more and more what it means to someone to have a cheerleader in the wings being in your face support and advocate.

Epilepsy touches everyone… in some way… even if you don’t know it.

educate yourself.

don’t be afraid to reach out and take someone’s hand and let them know that if they need you you are there.

one in a hundred people on average have epilepsy.

that means at least 5 people in the company where I work have epilepsy.
that means the elementary school in my neighborhood… the one that I pass every morning has at least one to 2 kids in each grade that have epilepsy.
that means my daughter attends school with at least 30 people who have epilepsy
that means my son attends school with at least three hundred people that have epilepsy.



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. findingstrengthtostandagain
    Nov 03, 2010 @ 20:40:42

    Thank you for spreading the knowledge and increasing epilepsy awareness. You made some very good points. I appreciate the time you spent letting people know it is Epilepsy Awareness Month and expressing the trials people with seizures face!


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