At the age of 12 years old I started getting blackouts / fainting, conscious convulsions & petit mal seizures, a year later I was diagnosed with Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy of JANZ. At this time I was seizuring multiple times a day.
Following my diagnosis the neurologist put me on Epilim, the very next day I experienced my first seizure free day and didn’t look back. I was completely controlled for the following 7 years.
In 2010 my husband and I decided it was time to start looking at our options in terms of changing my medication with a view to starting a family at some point in the future. We were made well aware by my neurologist, that taking medication could increase the risk of foetal abnormalities by more than double that of a normal healthy woman. We wanted to be fully prepared for this and prevent it if at all possible.
I was slowly taken off Epilim and put onto a new medication which initially seemed to control my seizures very well. This was short lived. Within 6 months of changing, I had my very first grand mal seizure which came as a big surprise, considering I’d never had one pre diagnosis.
Having experienced years of medication changes, many seizures, no driving, living in fear and trying to live a normal life working full time, I’ve now tried every drug combination available, and have found that Epilim is the only medication that actually has any control over my seizures.
This was a very scary, long, emotional road that definitely tested my strength. The outcome of all this has lead to a combination of medications which lower the risk greatly to a foetus, but not as much as the normal female. So far I’ve gone longer than I ever have in the previous years without a seizure which is giving me a lot of hope. I know what triggers my seizures, which in a way is helpful, as I can try my best to avoid them, but sometimes this just isn’t possible with the everyday hustle and bustle.
Accepting that I have Epilepsy made things a lot easier to move forward and truly believe that it has made me a stronger person for it, appreciating all the small things in life. If I didn’t have this condition, I would take so many things for granted and wouldn’t be the person I am today, courageous and strong.