This week on Seizing Life® former Marine Captain Jack Somers shares his long journey to an accurate epilepsy diagnosis. After more than a decade of seizures and a diagnosis of “generalized seizure disorder” from both the Veterans Administration and numerous neurologists, Jack Somers was finally told that he has epilepsy. Jack shares his confusing and sometimes frustrating journey to diagnosis. He talks about the significant impact that seizures have had on his personal life and professional aspirations, explains how getting an epilepsy diagnosis has made a major difference in his life, and offers advice to help others avoid the path that he struggled along for too many years.
In honor of Veterans Day on November 11th, we speak with Jack Somers who served his country as a United States Marine Captain in Afghanistan. While at home between deployments, Jack experienced what he now knows was his first seizure, an absence seizure, after running in a holiday Turkey Trot in 2010. Over the next several months, the frequency and intensity of Jack’s seizures increased, including tonic-clonic seizures that resulted in a medical separation from his unit, and, ultimately, Jack’s retirement from the Marines. Diagnosed with a “generalized seizure disorder” by both VA doctors and multiple neurologists, Jack struggled to understand his condition and get effective treatment while also trying to find his footing in civilian life and pursue professional goals. For 12 years Jack lived with the “seizure disorder” diagnosis, hiding his seizures from family, friends, and employers as best he could and enduring constant adjustments to his medications and dosages by doctors. Jack shares how he recently received his epilepsy diagnosis, explains why it was a great relief to him, and how it informs his approach to treatment and outlook on life. He also reveals a recent development that sheds light on the origins of his epilepsy.
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