Memory loss if very common for people with Epilepsy. This can be for many reasons such as the type of seizures they have, side effects of medications, the effects of epilepsy on concentration, age, sleep habits, or the effects of epilepsy surgery. My memory loss saddens me because there are so many wonderful events in my life that I can no longer enjoy; places I’ve traveled, people I’ve met (and their names!), books I’ve read, etc. People will say, “remember when we went to that restaurant?”, and unless it was recently, it’s very possible that I won’t remember.
Sadly, there is no cure for this, however the best I can do is create memory aids which help with my memory problems. Some of the things that I use are these:
- Sticky notes
- Calendars on my computer which send me reminder emails
- Associations (trying to remember peoples names by saying “Tall” if his name is “Paul”
- To-do lists
- Diaries (which include seizure diaries)
I feel like I’ve lost a huge part of my life and can only hope that those memories aren’t gone forever.
I may not have been perfect before these seizures took their toll on me, but I had a great life. I had no problems with finishing my college degree, getting a job, driving, and keeping up with the many friendships I’ve had over the years. As soon as the seizures invited themselves in, it all fell apart. I was no longer reliable to show up at work, so I quit. Simple things in life have become such struggles (is it safe to take a walk today?). Mundane tasks such as cooking or taking a shower on potential seizure days have become true obstacles. To RSVP to a party invitation takes a lot of thought and consideration. The more I back out of social events, the less my friends invite me. Surprisingly, losing my drivers license in 2005 was an easy sacrifice; losing myself was an abandonment. Continue reading How Epilepsy Has Set Me Back
As a teenager I began experiencing absence seizures. These were rare and had very little effect on my life. My friends knew nothing about them and I grew up happy and healthy. After college the absence seizures began to increase, as did my medication. When I met my husband a year or so after college, I informed him of these seizures but never considered it an actual warning, just information regarding my health. Little did I know, a few years later, approximately 15 years ago, I began having Tonic Clonic (Grand Mal) seizures and my life, as well as my husbands, changed forever. Continue reading My Story
The stigma associated with epilepsy can be especially hard to overcome. For the most part, people are simply not knowledgeable about epilepsy and look at the disease in a negative way. This can be hurtful for anyone suffering from epilepsy. The best way to overcome this is by informing your friends and family about the issues involved with seizures. As a child, without seizures, I looked at epileptics as weird people and I was not compassionate towards their medical issues. Sharing your situation, with a child or adult, should be informative but humorous as well. Let them know what your daily life is like, seizure or no seizure.
Over 50 million people live with Epilepsy worldwide. It is the fourth most common neurological disorder in the United States after migraine, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease. About one percent of Americans have some form of epilepsy, and nearly four percent (1 in 26) will develop epilepsy at some point in their lives. The number of Americans who have epilepsy is greater than the number who have multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and cerebral palsy combined. 10% of Americans will have at least one seizure at some point in their lives.