Epilepsy Talk

Ode to Epilepsy

June 1, 2020
8 Comments

It strikes my head a hundred times…

It strikes my soul as many…

It strikes each thought I have…


Epilepsy and Brain Surgery — The Basics

May 27, 2020
20 Comments

Since there so many different types of brain surgeries — and questions — I decided to learn about them and share my findings with you.

Surgery is most commonly done when tests show that your seizures originate in a small, well-defined area of your brain that doesn’t interfere with vital functions like speech, language or hearing.

In these types of surgeries, your doctor removes the area of the brain that’s causing the seizures.

If your seizures originate in a part of your brain that can’t be removed, your doctor may recommend a different sort of surgery in which surgeons make a series of cuts in your brain.

These cuts are designed to prevent seizures from spreading to other parts of the brain.

Although many people continue to need some medication to help prevent seizures after successful surgery, you may be able to take fewer drugs and reduce your dosages.

The type of surgery used depends on the type of seizures and the area of the brain where the seizures start. The surgical options include:


Keppra — What People Are Saying

May 21, 2020
35 Comments

To say the word “Keppra,” is to invite instant controversy.  For some people it works, for some it doesn’t and for others, it’s a living nightmare.

Yet two different studies found that clinically significant behavioral consequences of Keppra were eight percent, no higher, and maybe even lower, than those reported for other new antiepileptic drugs.

John Gates, M.D., lead investigator of the adult study, neurologist at Minnesota Epilepsy Group and clinical professor of neurology at the University of Minnesota said: “The efficacy of Keppra in treating seizures, coupled with our findings of its low side-effect profile, makes it an option that should be considered, especially for those who have struggled with other treatments.”

Interestingly, both studies evaluated patients with epilepsy who were proven to be drug resistant to other medications.

When Keppra was approved as an add-on medicine for partial seizures, including partial seizures with secondary generalization, at the time, it was suggested that Keppra might have a universally positive effect on all seizure types.

That’s all fine and good for researchers who aren’t struggling with epilepsy every day.  But here’s a random sampling of what real people – like you and me – have to say…


What Part of Your Epilepsy Do You Hate Most?

May 16, 2020
168 Comments

Compared to others, I know I’m very lucky, but the concussions really stink.

And the anxiety never goes away.


Seizures…Memory…Depression. YES, They Are Linked!

May 13, 2020
26 Comments

At least one third of people with epilepsy also have depression.

Epilepsy can have different effects on memory functions and depression for various reasons.

Because the portion of the brain where memory and emotions are stored — the limbic system — can be disturbed by epileptic seizures.

In fact, memory problems are one of the most reported problems that coincide with epilepsy.


Epilepsy — A Dirty Little Secret?

May 3, 2020
70 Comments

Why would you say: “I have epilepsy.”

To be included — or excluded?

To be accepted — or rejected?


Epilepsy and Romance — Getting Personal

April 29, 2020
77 Comments

Romance is so many different things to different people.

But to me, intimacy requires acceptance, faith and loyalty.

The question is; how do you get there?

Especially when you have epilepsy?


Epilepsy Hall of Fame

April 7, 2020
16 Comments

Since the dawn of time, epilepsy has affected millions of people — from beggars to kings.

It’s one of the oldest conditions and also one of the most misunderstood, although legions of accomplished people have shared the stigma…


What was your first seizure like?

April 4, 2020
38 Comments

I can remember being in the shower, washing my very long hair. It was one of those old-fashioned showers with a heavy plate-glass door and a stainless steel  handle that you had to turn to get in and get out. There were 4 water jets…three coming from the side wall…and a shower head in the ceiling.


Some Stress and Anxiety Solutions…

March 21, 2020
44 Comments

Sometimes my hands shake so much, I look like I’m leading a symphony. (Without a baton.) Legs too, I have to sit down.

Maybe you panic before a test, the very fear of having a seizure, social rejection, job anxieties, debt, fear of failure, an anticipated argument, holidays, fear of flying.

There are probably as many kinds of stress and panic attacks as there are those of us who suffer from them.


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    About the author

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

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