How Does Epilepsy Affect My Daily Life?
Last updated: September 2023
Every area of a person's life and daily experiences are impacted by epilepsy. This neurological disease called epilepsy causes unpredictable episodes that could be of any severity. It can have an impact on all parts of a person's life and the lives of our family members. This can include medication effects, mood disorders, memory issues, stress, and medical costs – to name a few.
Epilepsy affects my daily life and my family
My family is the most impacted. My widespread epilepsy causes chaos throughout my entire body. I yell and collapse during my seizures. My illness caused anxiety, panic, and a great deal of worry for my entire family.
Before I have a seizure, I typically experience symptoms or an aura. Whether out on the street or close to my bed, I become immobilized. When I am in a panic and am afraid of having seizures, I typically become confused, rude, and silent. My closest friends and family members must remain at ease for me to relax and emerge from my panic. My mother typically gets me a hot chocolate beverage to keep me warm, and I do feel better when I drink it. They are continually learning how to handle me better when I have an episode. So yes, my epilepsy affects my relationships, too.
Epilepsy medication side effects
Medication also affects my life every single day. My doctors advised me to take carbamazepine 200mg twice a day. I did follow their instructions. But the effect of the medication on me was intolerable because I had to sleep all of the time. About an hour after taking the medication, I felt sleepy and dizzy and had to sleep all afternoon and night. I was missing out on life and time with my family.
My doctor was able to adjust my dosage, from taking it twice a day to once a day before sleeping. It worked! I am able to stay awake all day and afternoon, enjoy the sun, and be more productive. And my epilepsy was still under control on this dosage. But everyone is different, so be sure to talk to your doctor about your specific needs and side effects.
Memory issues affect my daily life
I have a really poor memory and always wondered why. Of course, I figured out the reason why I have poor memory is because of my epilepsy. I was not really a bright student in school, but I put in the effort to learn and gain knowledge. It was HARD. I had to keep repeating my readings so that I could remember what I studied.
Gradually, I was able to cope with memory problems until I did my master's degree. I completed my master's, in spite of my memory issue and another neurological condition I have called dystonia. Juggling both conditions together while earning my degree was not easy but I am grateful that I was able to grow beyond my limitations.
Epilepsy causes stress, and stress can cause seizures
Stress is another experience that affects my daily life. Whenever I have an aura of epilepsy I try to think what is making me stressed on that day. Then I take a break from all the pending work and I rest.
I usually go for a walk in the park or watch the sunset to calm myself down. Deep breathing while listening to melodic songs helps me to remain calm. I have my beautiful cats to play with and playing them helps me to forget the stress I have, too. I sometimes neglect to care for myself when I'm stressed out and instead push my body to finish my work. But the subsequent impact on my body is intolerable.
There is no escape from the medical cost. The price of my medication is really high. I see my family struggle to get the medication I need for my epilepsy. I myself cannot afford to buy the medication, but with the help of my family, I am able to purchase it.
It is quite sad for me as I am thinking about the future cost of my medical expenses. Will I be able to buy my medication on my own without my family's support? Will the price of the medication continue to rise? I hope I will be able to purchase my medication in future without any trouble.
How does epilepsy impact your daily life?
Epilepsy's impacts can be felt every single day, but with appropriate treatment, medication, mindset, and lifestyle changes, I believe those of us with epilepsy can live our lives to the fullest.
Epilepsy reminds me to live in happiness, in joy, in bliss, and in love every day. I somehow learned to be grateful to have epilepsy with me. It's tough but there is a bright side to it too. And I will not deny myself the joy that I have gained along the way.
How does epilepsy impact your daily life? I would to hear in the comments below.
Since being diagnosed with epilepsy, has your memory been impacted?