As part of the awareness raising efforts for International Epilepsy Day, we were sent this piece by Linda Smith, about her journey with epilepsy so far..
I was diagnosed with epilepsy at the beginning of Covid. It all happened very quickly because of the way things were back then.
I had been working as an evening housekeeper in a retirement home, and I came home one night and started my own housework by hoovering. This was my dog Charlie’s favourite game!
He was behaving strangely though, and he kept pushing at me, as if to tell me to sit down. I finally heeded his advice and went to bed. I woke up with two paramedics standing over me.
Seemingly, he had been going in and out of the bedroom checking on me, and when I started having a seizure, he alerted my family. By the time the ambulance arrived, they could tell the paramedics exactly what had happened.
Perhaps one of the blessings of Covid was that I had all my tests done, had gotten my results, and was sent home with my diagnosis – all very quickly.
I knew nothing about epilepsy and because it’s an invisible condition, it was hard for people to believe I had it. Thankfully, my epilepsy is mostly under control now – I still do have episodes but for that first-year post diagnosis I felt very down and like a burden to my loved ones. I have no doubt that it’s something that many other people who are newly diagnosed may feel as well.
That’s why awareness days like Epilepsy Day are so important – to let everyone living with this condition and their families know they are not alone and to let the wider public know about epilepsy, about the different types of seizures and how to help someone who is having a seizure.
This is my story so far, but I’d encourage people living with epilepsy to take it day by day and use their voice to raise awareness. We’re not alone!