2010 National Walk for Epilepsy

Posted on 14. Feb, 2010 by in Epilepsy, Mom - Parenting - Family

Once upon a time, I was an average, healthy 26 year-old woman. I had a part-time job at my husband’s office and I enjoyed going shopping by myself or going places with friends.  I had a brand-new convertible Beetle that I loved to drive.

That all changed when I began having unexplained seizures in 2005.

On an out-of-state vacation with my husband, I went to sleep with plans of visiting my grandmother the next morning. Instead, I woke up confused and afraid in a hospital bed. I had my first seizure in the hotel that evening.

My husband had no idea what was going on, so he called 911 and the paramedics took me to the nearest hospital. I went into convulsions yet again once I was there. The doctors hypothesized that the seizures were due to the fact that I had been sick, taking various over-the-counter cold medications, and traveling with little sleep. They prescribed Trileptal and recommended that I get back to Florida as soon as possible and see a neurologist once I was home.

Since that initial incident, I’ve had several more seizures and partial seizures. I’ve even had panic attacks in elevators because that feeling of “going down and landing” in an elevator reminds me of the feeling I have just before a seizure begins. Fortunately, I don’t remember what goes on during the actual grand-mal seizures, but I get that “elevator feeling” right before having partial seizures. Those give me extreme confusion with an inability to speak clearly, and leave me very tired.

With every incident, my doctors increased my dosage of medication because it was not controlling things well enough. My daily dose of Trileptal is now three times what it was back in 2005, but I am one of the fortunate ones. My seizures are under control with the Trileptal, but it’s a very expensive prescription and my body does not tolerate the generic version of the drug. This month’s supply cost me just under $300.

I was originally told that I should not have children due to my “condition,” but I switched to a new neurosurgeon that told me otherwise. I have a beautiful, healthy one-year old and I have been seizure-free for two years.

Living with epilepsy has definitely been a life-changing experience. Prescriptions and visits to specialists are very expensive. The seizures have stopped for now, but I have not driven a car in a few years because I’m still afraid of what could happen. I hope to start driving again soon. The raised eyebrows I see when I tell people that I do not drive make me feel a little funny.

I was proud to participate in the 2009 National Walk for Epilepsy with my husband, my daughter, and my parents. It was an eye-opening experience to see so many others brave the cold, wet weather to raise money for epilepsy research!

I’m so excited to be returning to Washington in 2010!

The money we raise will go to fight stigma, raise awareness and find a cure for epilepsy. I need your support, so please do anything you can, join my team, register as an individual or make a donation to the Epilepsy Foundation on my behalf.

Thank you so much for all of your support!

3 Responses to “2010 National Walk for Epilepsy”

  1. melanie fernandez 14 February 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    you can count on me. just need to wait for payday. xoxoxoxo.

  2. Melissa 14 February 2010 at 1:31 pm #

    Thanks Mel. I normally hate it when people go around asking for money, but this is the one charity that I feel comfy supporting, for obvious reasons.

  3. bryan farley 25 April 2010 at 1:06 pm #

    Great to find you. Let me know if I have any photos of you on my site. I will also link to your page in a future article.

    I assume my site will show… if not, it is http://www.morethankids.com. you can find my national walk photos at http://www.morethankids.com/epilepsy/


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