Monday, November 4, 2013
I Am A Face Of Epilepsy
Usually blogging is something I love to do. I can share and inspire and most of all write. However, I knew what day I wanted this post written and I knew what I had to do in order to write it.
Up until now I have always been honest with you, as my readers, but I have not always told you everything. In fact, many people who read this blog are friends or know me in "real life" (I guess you would say) have no idea about this either. It is something we do not talk about. We keep it quiet and hidden.
There are a zillion reasons why we keep it hidden, but the most important one is so that we do not give it a face. I nor my husband will rarely tell people, that I have epilepsy. We keep quiet about it because we refuse to give in to it and give it a face. I would love to hide behind smiles all day, I would love to hide behind kid excuses when it may really be my excuse and I would love to hide when I am hoping to find a close parking spot so that I do not have to walk all that way back and forth and get tired and have a seizure. Then, I hit reality, and I realize what I have and how hard it is to explain and how little people really know about it.
I realize as an epileptic how many people have it and how prevalent it is in our society. However, the average person does not. Did you know that 1 in 26 people in the United States will develop epilepsy at some point in their lifetime? (see end of post for resources) Over two million Americans have epilepsy and there are 150,000 annual new cases each year in the United States alone. 1 in 10 people have had a seizure in their lifetime and 65 million people have epilepsy worldwide. I am that 1. I am one of the 65 million faces of epilepsy.
I am here showing my face because not only is November National Epilepsy Awareness month, but also because as I struggle through my battles with it I can only imagine how the other people with epilepsy struggle with it and I think the most frustrating thing is that there are no answers.
Epilepsy is a medical condition that produces seizures affecting a variety of mental and physical functions. It's also called a seizure disorder. When a person has two or more unprovoked seizures, they are considered to have epilepsy. I consider myself one of the lucky people with epilepsy. I have about one seizure a week. I usually have a little warning to get to a safe place. My seizures are mild, and usually after about a day I feel back to normal again.
A seizure happens when a brief strong surge of electrical activity affects part or all of the brain. 1 in 10 adults will have a seizure sometime during their life. I have had seizures now for over seven years. It took a very long time for a diagnosis and even at the end of all the numerous tests, hospitals and medicines. We ended up where we started. Basically, I have seizures. We do not know why they started. We do not know what brings them on. (Although we have ideas that help) We do not know how to fix them. We manage them.
I decided to put my face out there for epilepsy because of awareness. It is a disease that affects 65 million people in the world and yet this same disease people barely know anything about. Most of us with epilepsy have to decide if it is easier to live with the seizures or all the side effects of the medicines. We get to get tested and prodded and then, when it's over there are still no answers.
More people need to be aware of epilepsy. More people need to know how common it is. There are a lot of children, young adults, adults and seniors with epilepsy and it comes in many different forms. More people need to know how to reach out to someone if they have epilepsy and perhaps be understanding and see what you can do to help them on bad days. More people need to donate to epilepsy research to help us find a cure or better treatment. Seizures are the symptoms of abnormal brain function. With the exception of the very young children and the elderly, the cause of abnormal brain function is usually not identifiable. Although some causes of seizures are known 70% of seizures have unknown causes. The only way to cure epilepsy is through research and new discoveries.
Throughout this month I am going to be featuring epilepsy awareness posts. If you have epilepsy or know someone who does please feel free to send me an email of your story and I would love to post it on the blog this month. The more information and stories we have the more we can bring awareness to this disease.
There are three ways you can help with Epilepsy Awareness. The First is to read my blog this month especially the Epilepsy Awareness posts. The Second, is to share the epilepsy posts. There are buttons right at the bottom of every post, hit them and it shares it on your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and you just made more people aware of epilepsy. The third way is to donate! Yes, you can be sure your money is going to a good cause and it is through my website and the epilepsyfoundation.org Please help us fund more research to cure this disease that has affected so many people including myself. The 65 million people worldwide who suffer from epilepsy are showing you their faces this month in a plea to help us find a cure for this disease. I am one of the 65 million worldwide faces with epilepsy.
****All the information in this post was from the Epilepsy Foundation Website*****
Please feel free to find out more about epilepsy on your own or if you want to find some resources in your area you can visit their website at www.epilepsyfoundation.org
The template of this blog has changed for the month of November in honor of National Epilepsy Awareness month. Please donate to this cause by clicking on my ribbon on the side bar.