November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month: Ready to spread awareness?

purple ribbon

We’re a third of the way into the month so this post comes a little late, but late is better than never. November is National Epilepsy Awareness month, and this is our chance to share our story and educate others about seizures.

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In the winter of 2009, I awoke to confusion as paremedics held an oxygen mask to my mouth. My vision was blurred, and I could barely make out the faces of the people standing around me. Unable to see clearly and hearing unfamiliar voices, I panicked. I attempted to push and pull away, but my body would not obey. If I had the strength, I would have given those paramedics a good fight, but the seizure had left me completely fatigued. Instead, I demanded explanations and screamed why. And that is how my epilepsy journey began.

Almost a decade later, I’ve faced epilepsy in several forms. I faced weekly complex partial seizures that took the energy out of me and made me lose sense of time. I had brain surgery to try and remove the seizure focus. For three years, I was seizure free and regained the independence I’d lost. In 2016, the convulsive seizures began. After several attempts, I got my seizures under control. Today, I’ve finally gone eight months seizure free once again! This journey has been a long one, and it’s far from over, but I’m okay. I’ve survived and become so much stronger along the way. And this is thanks to all those people living with epilepsy who have shared their story with me. My hat goes off to them!

Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disorder. If a person has two or more unprovoked seizures that have occurred without having a known or reversible medical condition, they are diagnosed with epilepsy.

Epilepsy is a spectrum of seizure disorders that varies from person-to-person. Brain injuries and other medical conditions can be a cause for epilepsy, but most people never learn the underlying cause for their seizures.

Even if you don’t have or know anyone who has seizures, it’s important to get educated. Will you help me educate others?

It’s National Epilepsy Awareness Month. Let’s LEARN! 

 

 

Unite and Wear Purple

Go Purple Epilepsy Logo

For the past couple of months, I’ve been preparing myself for the National Walk for Epilepsy in DC. As I made my daily walk the other day, I realized the amount of progress I’ve made since surgery.

Fifteen months ago, brain surgery had left my body weak. It was impossible to make it from my bedroom to the living room alone. After a couple of months, although with difficulty,  I was finally able to walk from my doorstep to the mailbox. Today, I can walk, jog or run for as long as my not so athletic self can handle.

I’m proud of my accomplishments, but I can’t say it was easy getting there. Along my path to recovery, there have been many hurdles. I’ve felt like giving up more times than I can count, but I didn’t.

If there is anything epilepsy has taught me it’s this:

When you think you’ve taken one step forward just to take two steps back, don’t fret because it isn’t over. Life is a sea filled with mild and dangerous tides. Sometimes we need to be pulled back to come back so much stronger. The rough patch will pass, as long as we keep treading on. When all is over, we’ll realize the hurdles are nothing more than a nuisance because we are capable of walking through it all.

Today is Purple Day – Epilepsy Awareness Day!

It is a day I look forward to each year because it is a symbol that epilepsy doesn’t have to be a lonesome battle. When we come together on Purple Day, we take a step forward in finding an end to epilepsy.

So let’s talk about our seizing struggles and what we’ve done to hold strong. Educating others about epilepsy is important. We want others to be there for us just as much as they want to be there for us too. By raising awareness about this neurological disorder, we can do that.

This fight cannot be won alone, but I know we can all win. Let’s paint the world purple and spread awareness about epilepsy all around the world! 

Here are some links to help get you started.

Purple Day: http://www.purpleday.org/aboutepilepsy
Epilepsy Foundation: http://www.epilepsy.com
National Walk for Epilepsy: http://walkforepilepsy.org

 

Searching for Shades of Purple

It’s hard not to fall back on this color this month. March 26 is Purple Day: Epilepsy Awareness Day! It’s a day meant to educate people about this neurological disorder and support those who live with it everyday.

Purple is a beautiful color. It falls between red and blue on a color spectrum. It’s right in the middle of the warmest and coolest colors.

Epilepsy is a brain disorder that involves spontaneous, recurring seizures. A seizure occurs when electrical activity in the brain is disturbed and excited parts of the brain are not able to perform their normal tasks. During a seizure, there can be alterations in sensations, movements, awareness or behavior. There are several types of seizures so no two cases can be considered identical.

There is no cure for epilepsy, but there are treatments that can help eliminate or reduce the occurrence of seizures. Several types of medications can be taken to keep seizures under control. Different types of surgical procedures can be performed to remove the seizure focus or brain lesion, such as tumors and scars, which may be the cause for the seizures. There are also therapies like the Ketogenic diet and Vagus nerve stimulations that can be used help get rid of seizures. The specifics of treatments will be given at a later time. This month is a journey toward purple after all.

I’ve come to learn that there is a delicate balance between the right combination of medications used and precise dosages needed to keep my seizures under control. Medications have failed to succeed for me so I sought out brain surgery. I’m nearing the end of my seizure disorder and at the beginning of my post-operative recovery.

I’ve been caught up in each extreme of a color spectrum. I’ve felt the blues just to turn around and see red. Purple is right in the middle between the brightest and darkest days I’ve faced. In that stable intermediate, I’ve found composure. It may take time to get to your right shade of purple, but together I believe we can get there. One day, we will all end up right in between the good and bad. I wear purple not just because I’m a person living with epilepsy. I wear purple because I am part of something worth fighting for. Purple Day is for you and I! It’s a reminder for us to fight a little harder for the battle we will both win!

Will you wear purple with me on March 26?