As an adult, whether you are newly diagnosed with epilepsy or have been living with it for years, having a written seizure action plan might seem like more or a risk than any reward it could provide. But you might be surprised to discover that having a well thought out plan can provide you more control in situations where control is lacking.
Additionally, just having a plan does not necessarily mean you need to share it with everyone you meet or add it to your Instagram or Tinder profile. A while back I shared an article that addressed what a seizure action plan is and why many adults living with epilepsy might not have one. Here are 5 things to know about Seizure Action Plans.
1. A plan can give you control
Living with epilepsy can often make people feel isolated. It also gives us a sense that we have lost control over our own bodies. By taking a little time to think about how you want people to care for you if you have a seizure, and creating a Seizure Action Plan, you are able to take back a little bit of control.
2. A plan can help when life gets stressful
Stress is often a trigger for adults living with epilepsy. And let’s face it, it’s pretty hard to avoid stress in this life. However, sometimes are more stressful than others. I recently found this as I was caring for aging parents, and a sick child and found out I was diagnosed with cancer. This would have been a perfect scenario for a Seizure Action Plan.
3. A plan can make “the talk” easier when you change jobs
The time has gone by where we get a job with a company and stay there for our whole career. According to Indeed, from ages 18 to 24, people change jobs an average of 5.7 times. Between 25 and 34 years old, they change jobs an average of 2.4 times. Since it can be difficult enough to have the epilepsy conversation with your boss. It can help to have a document ready to go that is tried and true.
4. A plan can help you stay safe when you travel
Air travel or any travel for that matter can present a whole set of challenges for people with epilepsy. I would encourage you to be prepared, have a plan and check out Maureen’s articles on traveling with epilepsy. She’s an inspiration to me and I’m sure she will be to you too! Many people with epilepsy experience an increase in seizure activity when they fly, especially when they change timezones. So have a plan, and keep your meds with you.
5. A plan can help you prepare for any physical changes
This is true for men and women. But I know first hand it’s to be especially true for women. Each month our body faces the potential seizure trigger of our period. Then of course there is the massive overhaul of pregnancy. And, without question the long and drawn out change that is menopause. Each of these major hormonal changes can result in an increased risk of seizure activity.
And just for fun here’s a video that gives some more info on seizure action plans:
I hope this information encourages you to consider developing a Seizure Action Plan.
This article was made possible through an educational grant from Neurelis Inc. Neurelis had no influence on the content of the articles or the videos or any aspect of this program.
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Jessica brings a unique perspective to this leading epilepsy blog as she was diagnosed with epilepsy as a teen. She also brings 20+ years experience in marketing.