Monday, June 21, 2010

A Mother, A Wife & (place evil music here) DUN DUN DUN...Epileptic

That's right I said that word that many people do not understand. Epilepsy is the most misunderstood and most hidden brain disorder in the world. Whenever I say I have Epilepsy people automatically think that when I have a seizure I flop around like a fish out of water and swallow my tongue. WRONG!!! I do not do any of those things. I actually suffer from complex partial seizures. That means I do fall to the floor ( or anywhere for that matter) and my consciousness is impaired. For those who are not familiar with Epilepsy, Seizures where you do jerk around on the floor are called Grand Mal seizures & there are many different types of seizures. Having a Seizure disorder is very dangerous since we could have an "episode" as we call it at anytime, anywhere and all of us with Epilepsy have different things that trigger seizures. So given that a seizure can strike at anytime it is hard for us to sometimes go about a simple day. My seizures are triggered by stress, lack of sleep, different light patterns, over physical exertion and some smells making my everyday activities a gamble because I am a Mother.

I was diagnosed on my 16 birthday with Epilepsy. Trust me not the words I want to hear on my birthday. Going through High School is tough enough as a teen but having a disorder that makes fall to the floor at anytime made it that much worst. People at my school would talk about me saying that I was faking the whole thing looking for attention. Trust me lying on the floor while wearing kilt is NOT the attention I would like. Not too mention hitting my head off of various things does not tickle and wanting that feeling to get attention is not my idea of fun. Having Epilepsy was something I was embarrassed of having as a teen. I knew one day I would be faced with the thought of having kids and would be a big mountain to overcome. Given that pregnancy is hard enough on a woman's body, throwing in that I have Epilepsy would make it that much harder and scared the living shit out of me.

Well finally one day I ended up with the sweet surprise of pregnancy. I was going to be a Mommy!!! First excitement set in and then the sound of all my doctors yelling at me filled my head. Once my doctor confirmed I was pregnant, the craziness started. I was booked to see my neurologist & the obstetrician at 15 weeks pregnant. Normally you see your OB at 26 weeks. I had to go for MRIs and EEGs once a month. I was also taken off my medication since the side effects to the baby could be fatal. We were told the chances of our baby having a cleft palette or spina bifida are pretty high given that I have been taking anti seizure medicine for 7 years. Now passing Epilepsy on to my baby was another risk that may happen,but my fingers and toes where crossed that my baby would never have to go through what I have already endured. My pregnancy was not piece of cake. I had countless doctors appointments to make sure the baby was okay and to make sure that I was feeling fine too. Since I was off my medicine, I was trying not to think about the fact that I could have a seizure triggered my body going through this change but my doctors kept reminding me everyday.

At 32 weeks pregnant I was taken to the hospital with severe pains in my stomach. My OB came into the room and checked me over. Well it turns out that I was starting to go into labour due to my body being stressed. The doc immediately started to push meds through my body to stop the fact that this baby was coming. Thankfully she stopped Xavier from coming out too early. She also talked to me about my final birth plan. Actually it was a discussion about what she was going to do to me and I had to go along with it. She decided that being induced at 38 weeks (if I could make it to then) would be best for the safety of the baby and was afraid that I could have a seizure brought on by stress. The doctor told me that she would be giving me an epidural no matter what due to the fact that labour could through me into one of my episodes and would have to a C-Section. I was also ordered to bed rest for the final weeks of my pregnancy.

On November 10th 2009 at 3:45pm I gave birth to my son Xavier. I ended up 38 weeks and had a completely normal delivery despite all the worries the doctors had. He also came out without any medical issues. He was healthy and absolutely handsome. I can not believe I had just given birth to my son, and all my fears of having a seizure during labour where gone. But the threat of having seizures where not gone.
A few weeks after giving birth I had a seizure at 3 or 4 am due to lack of sleep. It took my husband by surprise and was scared for me. Thank Goddess at that moment I was not holding my Son.

I have been medication free for over a year now and have had only 1 seizure since being off of it. The threat is still there every single day but I try not to let it take me over and stop me from enjoying spending time with my Son. I go on living my day raising Him and hoping that he will not have Epilepsy. But for now I do not hide the fact that I have Epilepsy and would like to educate others about it. I am definitely not ashamed of who I am and not afraid to say that I have Epilepsy