This personal story was submitted by Rachel who is living with epilepsy and now feels she is not alone thanks in part to your stories. I hope you enjoy getting to know Rachel’s story and benefit from her experience as much as I have.
I started having several grand mal seizures daily when I was 9 years old, after a suspected fluoride poisoning at the dentist office. I have had seizures ever since.
According to the World Health Organization, “Acute high-level exposure to fluoride causes immediate effects of abdominal pain, excessive saliva, nausea and vomiting. Seizures and muscle spasms may also occur. Acute high-level exposure to fluoride is rare and usually due to accidental contamination.”
Depending on the effectiveness of my current medication I will have anywhere from 1 seizure a year to as often as 3 seizures a month. I have battled with the side effects that the anti-convulsant medications have caused me over the years. I have tried 5 types of medicine so far and my doctor is discussing adding another one to my daily routine. He also wants me to look into getting the brain implant to control my neuron impulses.
Not alone anymore
I am 24 years old now and I am getting married next June. Epilepsy has been very hard for me because for some reason, I always thought of myself as broken, or weird, even alone. Then I learned that 1 in 26 people statistically will develop epilepsy in their life times.
I no longer feel alone. I feel as though what I struggle with is… in a way…. normal. My brain doesn’t always function correctly and it causes seizures, but I am not alone, and I am not helpless. I feel empowered and I hope that anyone else that has epilepsy feels that way too. We are not alone.
Never broken, never weird, and certainly not alone! Congratulations on your marriage, Rachael. May all your wishes and dreams come true for you. With love and blessings, Kim Gosselin
Rachel, yours is a story that rings true to me. One of the biggest challenges we with epilepsy have is to stop keeping our condition in the shadows between seizures. We want to hide not only because of society’s stigmas, but our own feelings of being “the other.” We’re not weird or broken. We’re individuals, just like everyone else. And, the simple 1 in 26 fact can change how we feel about ourselves and how others view us. (It’s amazing how people react when they hear it.) We have the information we need to express boldly what that we have epilepsy and can explain what it means to those who don’t know. Kudos to you for no longer feeling alone, and sincere congratulations on your marriage!