I was diagnosed with idiopathic generalized epilepsy in May 2013. I was never involved in the community until I wrote a personal essay for Cosmopolitan magazine about what it's like to be a twentysomething woman living with the condition. It received an incredibly positive response, and I was able to interact with other young women who've shared the same qualms and fears. That was the first time I really felt part of a "community". I was welcomed with open arms, which was really heartwarming!
I decided to write an article about epilepsy because it's rarely spoken or written about. I wanted to share my experience for two reasons: I thought others in the same position would be able to relate and feel less isolated; and I wanted to shed light on the condition, since very few people know about its physical and emotional effects.
I consider myself to be extremely fortunate because I don't suffer from daily seizures. I have a good grip on my health because I follow the doctor's orders. I take my medication on a timely basis, limit my alcohol consumption and get my 8 hours of sleep. Every epileptic is different, so some may have to follow stricter guidelines. I'd say my number one tip is to be super conscious of how you're feeling and take necessary precautions to avoid potentially dangerous situations. For instance, when I'm exhausted, I don't drive. I'll stay home and rest. Another important tip: never take a bath when you're home alone. Wait until someone is around to check in on you. Better safe than sorry!
Read Camille's Cosmopolitan story here.