Epilepsy Talk

Domestic Violence — When Love Goes Wrong

May 16, 2017
22 Comments

Carol found herself in a cycle of violence from the time she was a child. By adulthood, she had already experienced multiple beatings and hospitalizations.

In the most recent attack, her husband beat her with a board, leaving her with permanent brain damage and a life-long disability.

As a result of her injury, she now has frequent seizures, difficulty with balance, and is terrified to leave her home for fear of having a seizure or falling.


A Menu of Epilepsy Auras

May 2, 2017
19 Comments

The fact is: There are probably as many or more types of auras as there are types of epilepsy…

Auras can last from several seconds to as long as an hour, and can sometimes end with feelings of extreme tiredness, weakness, heart palpitation, sweating and warmth throughout one’s body.

And some people can experience auras and have no seizure(s).

Each and every person’s aura patterns are different. They vary significantly between individuals.


Is Epilepsy Inherited?

April 23, 2017
21 Comments

Just because you have a parent, sibling, cousin or aunt who has epilepsy doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have it also.

In fact, if you have a close relative with epilepsy, the chance of you having epilepsy is only about 2-5%, depending on the specific type of epilepsy.

The risk in the general population is about 1-2%.


Exactly what IS Neuropsychology?

February 10, 2017
28 Comments

I never had a clue what neuropsychology was all about. Although it sounded like a good idea.

Then a while ago, I had an assessment. (Mercifully, it was the two-hour test and not the 8-hour version.)

The neuropsychologist I went to had all the records of my last 12 years from my neurologist and it was clear he had done his homework.

The question was, did my deficit in memory come from my history of seizures, my previous concussions (one of which was only a month ago) or even age itself? (I thought to myself, geeze, I’m only 63!)

Here’s basically what happened…


Epilepsy and Diabetes — Confusion or Common Cure?

November 23, 2016
9 Comments

You might be surprised to hear it, but according to recent research, epilepsy and diabetes have more in common than we thought.

The key commonality is fluctuating blood sugar. People with hyperglycemia tend to have focal or local seizures. And those who are hypoglycemic, tend to have tonic-clonic seizures…


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

November 17, 2016
18 Comments

At least one in every eight people with epilepsy also has 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.


The Trouble with AEDs

September 10, 2016
12 Comments

At the very best, finding the right anti-epilepsy drug is a crap shoot. There’s always the hope that this one will do it.

Or maybe adjunct therapy will work. Or, sigh, the side-effects derail you and you’re on to the next.

Is asking for seizure control too much?


Stress and Seizures

August 23, 2016
24 Comments

Let’s be honest, you probably didn’t plan on having epilepsy.

But here we are. And we all know that stress is #1 in the hit parade of seizure triggers.

And endless surveys prove the fact. Most people think of stress as being related only to unpleasant or sad times in their lives.

However, even “happy” stress can trigger seizures!


Syncope or Seizure?

July 9, 2016
12 Comments

Studies have now confirmed what some doctors have long suspected — many young people who are given the diagnosis of epilepsy (or seizure disorder) apparently don’t have epilepsy at all.

Instead, they have a condition known as syncope…

Syncope (sing’-koe-pee), the medical term for fainting, is the sudden loss of consciousness and physical collapse due to lack of blood and oxygen to the brain.


Heat Is Not Our Friend

June 26, 2016
32 Comments

Heat is not our friend.

And it can trigger some pretty awful consequences.

Like the time I was gardening at high noon. (What was I thinking about?) I fell backwards, hitting my head on the walkway. And I couldn’t ask for help because I was out cold. Baking in the sun.

And I’m sure you have your own stories. About passing out, puking or just feeling like you’re as dizzy as if you were on a roller coaster ride.


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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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