You are stronger than you think
The main thing I find about starting new medication for epilepsy is the side effects, being completely honest they can be awful! However be patient and it will be worth all that pain and frustration. Trust me, I have gone through it. Came out the other side and looking back it was worth it. So here is my story. I hope it can help others going through the same situation. Or have someone you know going through it, to help support them.
At about eleven years old I was put on lamotrigine, started on a small dosage (one tablet) . As I have spoken in previous posts at this age I didn't understand what epilepsy was or what was happening to me. But I had doctors and my parents telling me to take it, saying it would help me. I remember the first time I took it, I was on holiday. I was pretty fortunate with not having too many side affects to it, apart from feeling lot of fatigue and nausea. Fortunately this past after a couple of weeks.
They started to control the long seizures but I was still ‘blanking out’ every day. Due to this my consultant decided to up the dosage to two tablets. Again this helped control the longer seizures, but I was still continuing to blank out.
This continued from the age of eleven to fifteen, my doctors had tried to persuade me to add new medication to it, but I was stubborn. I knew that the side affects of a new medication would cause me to have time out of school (this was during GCSE years).
Therefore I waited until the summer holidays. When I was fifteen, to start ethosuximide. I don't mean to scare readers if they're about to start this drug as it reacts differently with every body and it was totally worth going through all this, to get where I am. But my side effects for it where horrific for a good couple of months. I couldn't leave the house as I was too tired to move, I felt spaced out, dizzy, nausea, weak and had continuos hiccups. However the patience of dealing with these side affects was so worth it. Four years on, they have successfully controlled my blanking out. And I am pleased to say I have been seizure free for about four years now!
Ethosuximide, is literally my angel as I am now able to live as much or a normal life as possible. So I guess what I am trying to say is I know how horrible it is, trying different medications, changing doses and so on. However it is worth it, stay strong and it will pay off.
My advice for parents, friends or partners of someone who is epileptic and trying out different medications. Is please be patient, it is scary putting various medications into your body and not knowing what side affects you’re going to experience. Or how it is going to affect your seizures. If they're tired, or experience the horrible side effects, therefore they cant do much. Sit with them, comfort them and reassure them.
If you have a child who is going through this process, they may be confused (like I was). So try and explain as well as you can what is happen, give them leaflets on epilepsy, if you're struggling to communicate with them. Having my family and friends around me, supporting me during these times where vital and it all pays off in the end.
Be the strong warrior that you are, and stick at it! As the results could change your life for the better!
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