What is it like to live with epilepsy?

Beth Jacques, 45, first began having seizures at the age of 13. "I would zone in and out at various times, and wasn't even aware of what had happened," said Ms. Jacques. Finally, one day in shorthand class in high school, a day she remembers vividly, she experienced a seizure that temporarily impaired her speech. That episode got her to the hospital. Diagnosed with epilepsy, Ms. Jacques began taking medications that would help to some degree, but never fully stopped the seizures. In her 20s, Ms. Jacques married and had two boys. "Surprisingly, my seizures were less during my pregnancies," she said. She went on to have another child, a girl, who she calls her miracle baby. During periods when she was not pregnant, however, Ms. Jacque's seizures were uncontrollable. At the age of 29, she was referred to neurologist Douglas R. Labar, MD, PhD, at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell. After trying a series of the latest medications, Dr. Labar recommended that she undergo a left temporal lobectomy. For a number of years her seizures were more under control. At the age of 42, she underwent another left temporal lobectomy. "It's amazing," she said. "Now I am off all my medications, and haven't seized in three years."

Today, Ms. Jacques is grateful for all the help she has had along the way, and the advances in medicine. "If I can tell parents of children with epilepsy anything, it is to never lose faith. You've got to believe...never stop believing. I'm here today, and doing great."
Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Medicine

Just because you have epilepsy does not mean you cannot enjoy life to the fullest.  There may be a few bumps in the road but you can learn to face these challenges.  Just remember you are not alone. Check into community support groups in your area or on the internet.  Sharing your experiences with others can be beneficial to well as beneficial to others. Families can also be a great source of support.  Encourage family members to learn as much as they can about epilepsy and share your thoughts and feelings with them.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.