Personal Stories: My battle with epilepsy

June 27, 2017

sleepingAs a teenager, I was perfectly healthy. No problems or surgeries or seizures until I turned 19. After that my health went downhill QUICK. I had my first seizure July the 7th of 1998. I don't know if I had a seizure and fell, or fell and then had a seizure. Either way I had a grand-mal seizure and ended up with a concussion. I had 51 more over the course of the years. But from 2005 till 2011 I didn't have any.

Then I had 3 more on December 15 th, 2014 which landed me in Vanderbilt Hospital for 3 days, hooked up to an EEG machine in the EMU unit of the seizure ward. Those 3 were the worst ones I've ever had. Not only did I fall and bust my nose, face, eye and forehead, I lost bowel and bladder control and also threw up. I don't remember anything that happened at all. All I know is that I went in on the 15th and got out the 17th. It knocked my memory back five to ten years. There's a lot I can't remember. I was 33 then. They asked me how old I was and I said 22, and that I only had one kid. I actually have two. Gavin who is 12 and Hayden who is 9.

It's hard to explain how it affects me. It's like I can be walking along and I'll just drop out. My Dr says I have epilepsy with PNES which is due to lack of sleep and stress.

I am returning to Vanderbilt in March for a 3 day to a week EMU study. I will be off of meds to induce seizures while on the EEG machine. After the doctors examine the results of the EEG test, they will consider options for brain surgery.

I also have had 19 kidney stone surgeries, which come from taking the seizure medications. It's either take them and have kidney stones, or not take them and possibly die from a grand-mal. Not only is it depressing but you lose your freedom and privileges to drive. And that makes it really hard to work and be financially stable.

I have found that medical marijuana helps lots of people, but most people are too scared to speak up. That is just my beliefs. But everyone's are different.

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