“Hello, my name is Stephanie and my story begins January 31st, 2016. I was in church just thanking God for saving my life from a head on collision I had that week. When church was over I felt like I was having the sensation of a panic attack like I normally do which is when my breathing gets heavy, I go numb on one side of my body, my vision gets blurry and my thoughts race. I blacked out and went into a full grand mal seizure with foam coming out the mouth.
When I came to people were standing around me along with EMS and I was in a fog. I didn’t know who anyone was and unsure what had happened. Took me a moment to remember my own parents. Everyone saw this happen. When I was on the way to the hospital I had another small seizure in the ambulance as well. With having no prior history of epilepsy of any sort my parents didn’t know what was going on and thought I was having delayed brain hemorrhage from the accident. Doctors ran MRI’s did blood work and suggested I have an EEG set up and done so I did.
Then come to find out when the results came back from the EEG I sat in my doctor’s office he tells me “Mrs. Pike you have Epilepsy”. I just sat motionlessly and was unable to really process what he said. I kept thinking is this for real I’m 31 I can’t have this. Suddenly a wave of panic rushed over me and I just kept thinking how am I gonna live a normal life and what if I have more seizures. The doctor I had at the time said I could either change my lifestyle or take medication either or, so I changed my lifestyle. I Cut out caffeine from my diet, avoided stressful situations, flashing lights that sort of thing. I honestly just couldn’t wrap my mind around it and told my parents I wanted a second doctors opinion and another test was done and so did they so I switched doctors.
Turns out when I did and had the other test results were the same, but this doctor advised me to be on medication right away because of the spikes in my brain patterns. I was not as shocked the 2nd time around from the results. It’s impacted my life a lot but it’s made me stronger too. I have generalized or focal epilepsy. The first medication I was put on was first was Keppra and it threw me for a loop. Keppra made me angry, moody, curbed my appetite and I didn’t like it so I switched to lamotrigine, and that medication made me feel like I was out of my body and I didn’t like the side effect either. It totally freaked me out. Finally, my doctor put me on Zonisamide 100 MG twice a day and so far it works perfectly. I have no bad side effects from it, and my scans so far are great.
I will say I do think I’m a more emotional person than I used to be and feel like I have had to change some things in my life to work around my epilepsy which at first was hard to do but I’ve managed. The worst part of my epilepsy story is what my child saw when he witnessed me have my seizure. Just my imagination of his face and what he thought or felt just brings tears to my eyes, but also gives me strength as well to fight it. It’s 2017 and I’m still going strong.”
I would like to take this moment to thank Stephanie for taking the time and sharing her story to the world. It’s not always easy to share personal details of your condition but she was driven to write her story in order to help others. Alike myself and Stephanie, you are not alone in your diagnosis. Each and every one of us are stronger than we think. Thank you again, Stephanie, for sharing your story.