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    Not what I asked for my birthday

    By Paige

    I first started having focal seizures when I was about 10 but at that time I didn’t know they were seizures. There were a handful of occasions during my childhood where my head felt really funny and my left side went numb. It didn’t happen often enough for it to be considered an issue though.

    When I was 20, something seemed to trigger more seizures. Although I was still unaware that’s what they were. They started appearing first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I went to the GP after a few weeks and they started to investigate what it could be. The seizures got out of control quite quickly, they were happening during the day and became part of my daily life.

    A birthday visit to hospital
    It was coming up to my 21st birthday and I had planned a family gathering to happen at my house. A few hours before everybody arrived I kept having seizures and although I wouldn’t lose consciousness, I did fall over whilst having them.

    Just before the guests arrived, my dad thought it would be best to take me to the hospital because I hadn’t had that many in such a short space of time before. The doctors kept me in the hospital for the evening but didn’t get the opportunity to witness many seizures and sent me home.

    Tests and scans
    Over the next few weeks, the seizures increased until they were happening every 10 minutes or so, I was no longer going to work and felt tired all the time. At this point my dad phoned an ambulance and I was kept in hospital for 2 weeks. I had lots of MRI scans, X-Rays and an overnight EEG. The MRI scans were difficult because they wanted me to lay completely still for 20 minutes, but in that time I would have a seizure and need to start the scan again. After all the tests, my neurologist confirmed that I had epilepsy.

    The medicine worked
    This was upsetting news but I was relieved that the medication they gave me stopped the seizures from occurring so often. My seizure have never gone away fully but by adjusting certain parts of my life I can reduce the amount I have. I never let epilepsy stop me doing anything I really want to do though.

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