For Isabel Estrada, who has danced since she was ten years old, epilepsy didn't simply mean having seizures; it meant something she loved, something she had intended to do professionally, was put in doubt.
When my husband began having seizures several years ago, one of the things that struck me was the reaction of people around him. Certainly there were almost always people who wanted to help, but there were many more who were horrified by what was happening. Their fear inserted itself into the situation like a physical presence.
I'm an endurance athlete with epilepsy. We exist! I've been an active soul my entire life. When I was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2007, I did my absolute best to keep participating in the endurance sports I love.
It took two years after being diagnosed with epilepsy for me to reach the point where I wanted to talk about it. Two years of struggling to try and understand what the condition was and how it was going to affect my overall health. Two years of discovering the impact it would have on my everyday life. Two years of being afraid that other people's perception of me was going to be different. The difference in my case was that there were many others, beyond friends and family, who already knew I was dealing with a medical condition. They had seen me experience a seizure before anyone had figured out what it was. There were a lot of questions. I just wasn't prepared to answer them yet.
Epilepsy is a common neurological condition. Chances are you know someone who has the condition. In spite of ongoing public awareness and education programs, many myths still exist. It's time to bust some of those myths today!
Can you imagine suddenly waking up in the middle of the street or at your place of work with no idea how you got there? Can you imagine losing your job or people avoiding you because they're scared of you? These are some of the experiences described to me as a volunteer Administration and Support Co-ordinator at Epilepsy Ottawa.
March is Epilepsy Awareness Month, a time when many people with epilepsy share their story to teach people about it and reach out to others with seizures. I'm glad to be telling my story, but this hasn't always been the case. This time last year, I did not want to talk about having epilepsy. I was filled with anger, frustration, and pain.
We have come a long way in understanding epilepsy since the ancient Greeks' interpretation of a seizure as divine intervention. Even still, while many researchers are studying epilepsy, the public largely misunderstands the condition. Here are five things they believe people should know about epilepsy.
It starts with the sensation of a light switch being pulled violently behind my eyes. I lose cognitive control quickly. I can't focus on even a simple task, and I forget what I'm doing while I'm in the middle of doing it. I have epilepsy. As a child no one realized I had been having seizures for many years. Instead, they misread my childhood behaviour as misbehaving.