I had so much anxiety when I got the dreaded letter that my PCP (primary care physician) was leaving the practice. I went into slight panic mode, because I had been with her for over 7 years. We worked together to build the current health care team I had in place. Now as she headed off to a new opportunity, it was back to the drawing board for me. I was left wondering if I could get lucky twice when it came to choosing a new doctor while living with epilepsy.
Seizure control is something that took awhile for me to achieve. Almost 6 years to be exact. I knew identifying my triggers were important. I knew taking my medication was important as well. What I didn’t realize was that it would take so much more than that. My doctor (who I love), never really talked to me about other outside factors that could possibly still cause breakthrough seizures. Let me tell you how I went from 15+ seizures a month to 1 to 0.
Related: Whitney asks the hard questions about epilepsy clinical trials
In 2013, I was diagnosed for the second time with epilepsy. This time the diagnosis of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy, also known as TLE. Temporal lobe seizures begin in the temporal lobes of your brain, which process emotions and are important for short-term memory. I had no clue how this would affect my life as I knew it. I didn’t know it would come with horrible side effects from medication. I often felt as if it was more worth it to have the seizure than to deal with the drama of medication trials and errors.
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