I am a 6th grade English teacher in my first year right out of college and was diagnosed with epilepsy my junior year of high school. I lived with epilepsy for about a year on Keppra with no issues at all until the summer, right before I was supposed to move into my dorm. I was having uncontrollable seizures and every time we went into the ER, my doctor would not come to visit and just told the on call neuro to up my dosage.
That went on for months and I was unable to work or go to school. I had to drop out of college and quit my job, just waiting at home for the next seizure to hit me for six months. Finally, we went to another doctor who decided to put me on Depakote, which worked for awhile. Then I was feeling like I had a few tonic clonic seizures – not quite a full scale seizures that would put me down and out – but a small tonic clonics where I was able to walk it off. I let my doctor know and he had me wear an EEG for three days.
A week later I called asking if they saw anything. “Oh, ya we forgot to call! Your EEG showed activity we need you to come back in!” I had been driving on freeways, driving with family – I was appalled they didn’t call sooner. I came in and they put me on Vimpat. So far I have been seizure free for nearly 3 years, but if I hadn’t called, who knows?
Now I am 24. My husband and I have talked about starting our family, but Depakote… we tried Keppra already in college, tried topomax right before the wedding (let me tell you, had no problems fitting into my dress because of that stuff), tried lamotrogine twice (the second time put me in the ER), and now I feel stuck… It’s heart breaking to know at such a young age that having a baby might not happen.
God only gives us what we can handle though and this too shall pass. I want anyone and everyone to know that if I can wake up, deal with crazy, hormonal 6th graders everyday, drive 40 minutes to work with the constant worry of killing someone (if not from a seizure then my awful driving), and my stubborn husband every night and keep going without ripping out my hair, anyone can do anything! Especially you strong people with epilepsy! Keep it up!