Medication. Doctors diagnose your problem, write a prescription, tell you take the meds a few times a day and send you on your merry little way. No matter if it’s the common cold, flu, a cut or in my case, epilepsy. There is NO cure for epilepsy so medication is used to help control the seizures. While the Topamax and Keppra help keep my seizure count low, there are other things that can cause me to have “breakthroughs”. There are a number of things that I should avoid also known as triggers. They may seem like normal everyday things to everyone else but could send an epileptic into a seizure.
For each person the triggers can be different. From a lot of research I find a lot of us have a few in common. I’ll share my seizure “triggers” and how I came to figure these out.
Artificial sweeteners (Splenda, equal, etc)
Acetaminophen/Diphenhydramine (no over the counter meds)– super hard to battle colds — this came from my doc (check with your doc for info)
Those are just a few. With the food triggers it was basically trial and error. I would notice the time of day I would have the seizure and exactly what I had and narrowed it down. Now I am even more conscience of what I eat and if I can’t read the ingredients or make it myself, I’ll ask or just won’t have it at all. I would much rather decline than to deal with a health risk.
There are times I completely forget to take my meds. I use RxmindMe app on my phone and have an alarm. I have friends to annoy me like crazy “Did you take your meds?!” And sometimes with all of that I would fall asleep and STILL forget. I’m only human. It happens. I went from taking no meds to 8 pills a day. Took a little getting used to. But the forgetting has gotten better and I do not miss them as often as I used to. Go me!
Stress and Hormones. Okay, I’ll just be honest this is the HARDEST to control. I stress when I have a seizure, I stress when I’m not having one. I mean in todays world we stress about pretty much everything. I really try to keep a calm vibe as much as possible but I think I stress about that too. As a female, hormones just like to do what they want to our body is all I can say but it does not define my life.
With any health issue or even if you don’t have any, it is SO important to know your body. Pay attention to every detail, every change you notice. Document it. And if you notice something and it worries you, be sure to tell your doctor. By me keeping a journal of everything helps my neurologist better treat me since he’s not with me 24/7. Leave nothing to chance, YOU can save your own life.