Seizures cause you to live in fear

It's Been Three And A Half Years Since My Last Seizure, But I Am Still Terrified To Live Normally

Hi. I'm the girl who has seizures.

103
views

Hi. I'm the girl who has seizures.

That's probably a weird way to start an article, but a lot of the time that is what people see first. They see me as the one who has seizures. For a while, it was like it was my name. Sure, I had other identities, too. This one, however, stood out the most. I couldn't go a day without hearing the words- "Let's not have a seizure, ok." Or "Are you OK?" It truly sucked.

I didn't want to be the girl who was known for her seizures, but I was. I wanted people to see me first. Well, it has been almost three and a half years since my last seizure, and to put it simply- I'm terrified. I had my second seizure three years after my surgery. That's not necessarily what I'm terrified of, though.

I'm terrified of getting behind a wheel only to end up with a car turned over in the middle of the road. I'm terrified of hurting someone else because I got behind the wheel. I'm terrified of waking up in a hospital bed to be asked: "Do you know where you are?" Yes, I do. I'm very familiar with hospitals.

I'm terrified of being at concerts with strobe lights and blaring music. To the average person, that might sound dumb, but for me, it's a reality. I have to be so careful when it comes to flashing or bright lights. It can set a seizure off.

I'm terrified of insane time changes. For instance, I went into a 12-hour time difference, and while that's easy to deal with when it comes to switching your dosages, it's still scary.

I'm terrified of waking up one day to find out I had a seizure while I was sleeping, and now I'm completely confused by everything. That might not make sense, but you can't necessarily tell if you're having a seizure if you're sleeping. That is the scary part. Think about it. It is scary enough having a seizure while you are conscious, now imagine having one you don't even know happened. Scary, right?

Seizures are definitely terrifying, and the thought of having one at any time is even scarier. It's even scarier risking the life of someone else solely because you want to do something you are not supposed to. I want to drive, but due to my seizures - I shouldn't. I think about driving frequently, but it isn't worth the life of someone else.

I'm the girl who has seizures, and I'm terrified to do things because of it. I am constantly on edge about things even if I don't show it. I'm constantly hoping I don't have a seizure if I do this or that. I'm always on edge about previous events with my seizures. I think about them a lot. However, I'm thankful. Its been three and a half years since my last one. That's a big milestone.

I'm the girl who has seizures, but I'm not giving up.

Popular Right Now

11 Symptoms Of Vagus Nerve Dysfunction

Something many people have, but few people know about.
48572
views

Not many people really know what the vagus nerve is so first, let me explain that. The vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve in the body that regulates the gut and also affects the cardiovascular, immune, endocrine and respiratory systems. That means it's a pretty major nerve in the human body. So when that nerve is dysfunctional, you can imagine it can have some pretty ridiculous side effects.

This past autumn, I figured out that my vagus nerve is, somehow, dysfunctional. And it turns out that a lot of people have a dysfunctional vagus nerve. When you struggle with vagus nerve dysfunction, you can be perfectly healthy for a long time, catch a cold or hit a wall, and then your body will take months to recover. I got so sick that I didn't have the energy to even get out of bed for days and probably would have withered away if my mom didn't bring me food.

Living with vagus nerve dysfunction is something that you have to learn to live with because there is no cure. So if you have a friend with a dysfunction vagus nerve, please try and understand them and read through these common symptoms that come with it.

1. Chronic nausea

Unfortunately, this means there isn't a lot that seems appetizing to eat.

2. Weight loss

Due to not wanting to eat from nausea, you can lose significant weight. At my worst, I unintentionally lost 15 lbs. in about three weeks.

3. Weight gain

Most likely due to chronic fatigue, depression, and anxiety.

4. Bradycardia and tachycardia

Otherwise known as decreased heart rate and increased heart rate, respectfully. This can make simple things like walking or standing for long periods of time difficult.

5. IBS

Constant stomach pains and nausea generally means constantly feeling uncomfortable.

6. Depression

Not only just because it's connected to your brain, but always feeling down and sick definitely takes a toll on your mental health.

7. Anxiety

I still sometimes get panic attacks at the thought of leaving the house because I might have a terrible dizzy spell in public again.

8. Chronic inflammation

It just sucks.

9. Chronic fatigue

There's a difference between feeling tired all the time because you're a college student and feeling tired all the time because your body is sick.

10. Heartburn

All I have to say is no thank you.

11. Dizziness/fainting

We try our best to not stand up too fast because that'll make it worse.

While there isn't a cure for vagus nerve dysfunction, there are a lot of things we can do to manage it. Some of us take medications for our mental health and nausea. Yoga is always great for increasing our muscle function. And massive intake of salt and water is vital (we drink a lot of Gatorade). But that doesn't mean that we don't have bad days.

So try your best to be there for your friends with dysfunctional vagus nerves. Instead of always suggesting to go out, maybe just ask if you can bring over a lot of Gatorade and salty snacks and binge Netflix. It will be greatly appreciated.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

It's National Eosinophil Awareness Week And More People Should Be Talking About It

It's time to raise awareness about eosinophil-associated diseases and support those, including myself, who are affected.

383
views

For anyone who is unaware, May 19 to May 25 is considered National Eosinophil Awareness Week as recognized by the American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (Apfed) since 2007. The purpose of this week is to raise awareness and help educate individuals on the various eosinophil-associated diseases. Despite its existence being virtually unknown to many people, this week has become very significant in my life and I think more people should be having conversations about it.

If you had asked me about eosinophil-associated diseases two years ago, I wouldn't have been able to say a single thing besides maybe defining an eosinophil the way I learned to in my AP Biology class senior year of high school. But as of a few months ago, it has officially been one year since I was diagnosed with an eosinophil-associated disease — something I never imagined would happen in my life. While I won't share too much of my own experience because it's honestly quite personal and still a little sensitive to discuss, it's safe to say that eosinophils completely changed my life.

I was fracturing bones like it was my job — I think I had upwards of nine stress fractures in my legs and feet in a year and a half time period. I had to stop playing sports my senior year of high school and couldn't run at all. I was nauseous 24/7. I was rapidly losing weight to the point where I had lost close to 35 pounds and none of my clothes fit me. I couldn't swallow anything, including water. Eating was painful. I had no appetite.

I was sick and in pain ALL the time to the point where I would get emotional or even cry.

I missed school days, tests, exams, social events, and eventually had to quit my job for an entire summer because even getting out of bed was hard for me. Ultimately, even the decision about the college that I chose to attend was partially based on my health and the doctors I would need to visit frequently.

But the most significant thing was that I was experiencing severe depression and anxiety and was honestly just straight-up scared. Think about it: I was experiencing a wide range of life-altering symptoms yet no one could figure out why and even when they did, there was no cure and only limited options for treatment. Unfortunately, this is the reality for many patients and their families. The process of diagnosing an eosinophil-associated disease can take years and require pretty much every medical test you can even think of because these diseases are all classified as rare diseases.

I was experiencing symptoms for a year and the journey to an accurate diagnosis took about a year after that. The journey itself was not easy, as it involved numerous doctors and countless medical tests to eliminate other potential diagnoses like cancers, parasites or even celiac. Since then, I have been involved with treatment for a little over a year. For me, treatment involved several medications and steps, including gaining the weight I had lost.

But the main piece was cutting pretty much everything out of my diet, meaning no gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, seafood, or nuts. Gradually over time this treatment involves reintroducing the foods individually (each for a three-month period) to see what can be tolerated or which foods make my eosinophils act abnormally and then restricting my diet accordingly.

Since starting treatment my life has been gradually changing in a positive manner, which is something I couldn't have imagined when I initially became ill. Yes, I will still be sick for the rest of my life and experience the chronic waxing and waning of this disease, but hopefully years of experience and knowledge will make me better equipped to handle it. One day there may even be a cure. But until then I will continue to raise awareness and participate in National Eosinophil Awareness Week in solidarity with the few who are also sharing in my experience living with an eosinophil-associated disease.

While I wrote this article with the intention of participating in Eosinophil Awareness Week by raising awareness and educating (to some extent), it was about more than that. I wanted to give you a synopsis of my story and the challenges I face to make this week more understandable and more real. This was because I know that eosinophil is not only challenging to say (even I struggle) but also challenging to conceptualize.

If you're interested in learning more or you're still confused, I recommend doing some quick reading on Apfed's website because they are extremely helpful in the way they simplify the complex information.

If you would like to see what you can do during National Eosinophil Awareness Week, you can also click here to visit Apfed's day-by-day guide for the week, which included some fact sheets, information about wearing magenta to support the cause, and other information about individual participation.

Editor's note: The views expressed in this article are not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Related Content

Facebook Comments