Just like having a personal trainer or an executive coach, enlisting an epilepsy health coach who gets it can make increasing your sense of control and decreasing your sense of isolation when living with epilepsy a heck of a lot easier!
Being diagnosed with epilepsy can be daunting. And living with epilepsy through any type of transition can be just as overwhelming. And with so much conflicting health information out there, it can be hard to know what’s right for you and your body. Just like you would hire a personal trainer, physical therapist, this is when you can enlist the help of an epilepsy health coach.
What is an epilepsy health coach?
A health coach is someone who can provide individualized support wherever you’re at on your health journey. They are able to take the time necessary to approach your specific needs, taking into account your body, mind and your specific life circumstance. Health coaching has been shown to be a useful tool in other chronic illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
After living with epilepsy for 30 years, and working with leading physicians and scientists for two decades, I have developed a model specific to epilepsy that considers the stigma, memory issues, medication side effects and other obstacles we face. Here are 5 reasons you might want to work with an epilepsy health coach:
1. Support you can’t get from your neurologist
Most neurologists and primary care physicians know that sleep, nutrition, stress reduction, and exercise are important to people with epilepsy. But when was the last time you sat in your neurologists office discussing wellness practices or innovations? It’s rare that physicians have time to cover more than seizure management and drug side effects and interactions. Very few healthcare providers can offer patients much beyond “eat more vegetables.”
As an epilepsy health coach, I’m prepared to get into the nitty gritty with you. For example we can talk about increasing protein and measuring your sleep to see how that impacts your memory and mood levels. Or we can talk about how to improve your social connected-ness to reduce your sense of isolation with the use of DBT skills if that’s one of your goals. It’s unlikely you will cover these things in your next neurology appointment.
2. Deep knowledge on living with epilepsy
As founder of Living Well With Epilepsy, it’s my job to be actively expanding my knowledge of epilepsy — hunting down research, analyzing medical drug and device news, testing healthy food and green juice recipes, sharing tips, trying classes and attending courses. That means that as a coaching client you get access all this information, including fresh approaches and answers to keep your epilepsy journey interesting, and up-to-date. Can’t drive and want to try a new food box delivery service? Just ask. Looking for ideas on how to handle constipation from all the meds. Yup you got it.
3. Personalized support through a transition
I have recently received an increase in calls, emails and direct messages from people in the epilepsy community. These messages are coming from people who are newly diagnosed with epilepsy and those who are going through some sort of transition such as:
- a move to a new city
- starting a new job
- considering pregnancy
- preparing for college
- transitioning to a new medication
- getting married
When you have someone who has lived with epilepsy as your wellness co-pilot, you’ll find you are no longer alone and isolated. We can work together to develop a customized plan that takes your individual physical, emotional and lifestyle factors into account and helps you work toward your goals. We can work with together through your transition on issues like:
- how to find a new doctor in your new city
- how to advocate for yourself when a new doctor wants to put you on a med that could cause issues with pregnancy
- how to request accommodations at work
- how to establish a new sleep regimen
4. The advice will be safe and sound
Every day questionable health fads hit the market, and some trends are downright dangerous especially to people living with epilepsy. As founder of Living Well With Epilepsy and Executive Director of the American Society for Experimental Neurotherapeutics, I have to answer to you and to leaders in the field including the NIH if my information is garbage. You will not be the first to call me out if my info is not correct. Nothing is worse than being called out by a Nobel laureate. Believe me, I know.
5. Support from a coach who cares
Since I have lived it, I get it, epilepsy stinks. The stigma, isolation, meds, side effects all rolled up into one ball of chronic yuck, that is often underestimated. Epilepsy has an impact on your whole body. It can affect everything from how you sleep and eat to whether or not you are able to have successful relationships. I want you to reach your goals, whatever they are.
Founder and CEO
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.