Epilepsy is a condition that often gets mistaken for something else. This is what happened to me when I had a brain injury when I was only 7 months old, after I fell from my bed. The fall led to partial paralysis and coma. Thankfully, I recovered from it quickly.
However, I starting losing consciousness for brief seconds after the incident. My mother consulted different doctors and they couldn’t tell what the problem was. This went on for several years.
"My mother consulted different doctors and they couldn’t tell what the problem was."
When I was about 12 years old, I was finally referred to a neurologist who asked to do an EEG, a type of test that tracks the electrical activity of the brain. This test along with a MRI scan confirmed I had epilepsy right away. Further medical procedures also found that I had generalised and focal seizures. I went on to different anti-epileptic drugs for 4 years, until I was referred for neurosurgery.
In 2010, I underwent epilepsy brain surgery. The procedure was called amygdalohippocampectomy, which is a type of surgery where selective parts of amygdala and hippocampus are removed. I haven’t had any seizures since my surgery and but continued with my AEDs for another 2 years post-surgery.
Epilepsy gave a direction to my career and after treatment, I decided to pursue a career as a neuropsychologist. I currently go around the world to learn about epilepsy, its diagnosis and stigma that surrounds the condition.
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