Good morning and welcome back to my blog!
Today, I will be sharing with you the Untold stories about Epilepsy and this was triggered after a 59mins chat with my friend who is Epileptic.
I’ve known her for years but I last saw her over 10years ago.
On seeing her 2 days ago… We chatted for a while. She asked me a lot of questions concerning health and most importantly EPILEPSY.
She is 31years old . Her first Seizure was at 27years. Prior to that, she never had a seizure.
In her words: “I had a misunderstanding with my mother in- law and she threatened to deal with me. Few days after that I started having seizures. Whenever it happens, I fall on the ground, drooling saliva and urinating on my body. No one comes close to me because they believe I will spread it to them. Look at my body Ola, I’ve scars all over from the frequent falls. The other time I woke up naked infront of my house. No body tried to cover me up. Everyone avoids me like a plaque even her husband. Then she broke down in tears.
At this point, my whole body was in shock. I still didn’t believe in 2020 people still think this way. Ignorance at it’s peak
So I tried to pacify her. Then asked her these questions:
- Does it give you signs before it starts?
- How long does it last ?
- Have you seen a Doctor?
- Any history of seizure in your family?
- How frequent does this happen in a week?
She has never visited the hospital for it. But has been to over 15 prayer houses. It normally gives her a sign (aura) which is Abnormal taste, which precedes the seizure with 10-15mins. The frequency varies ,could be as much as 10 times in a week to as low as twice in 2 weeks.
So I tried to debunk some of the myths /misconceptions about Epilepsy.
Misconceptions about Epilepsy (myths)
- Epilepsy is demonic or caused by village people
- The saliva of the person is contagious
- You should put a spoon or metal in the mouth to prevent clenching of the teeth
- Crude oil is needed in children. It is not spiritual
- People with Epilepsy are disabled
- You can swallow your tongue
These are all false
Epilepsy is a disorder characterized by recurring seizures (also known as “seizure disorder”)
A seizure is a brief, temporary disturbance in the electrical activity of the brain.
That one had one episode of seizure/convulsion doesn’t make her /him Epiletic. It has to be recurrent before the diagnosis of epilepsy is made.
What causes epilepsy?
All brain functions — including feeling, seeing, thinking, and moving muscles — depend on electrical signals passed between nerve cells in the brain
A seizure occurs when too many nerve cells in the brain “fire” too quickly causing an “electrical storm”
In about 70% of people, the cause is not known.
In the other 30%, causes include
- Head trauma
- Infection of the brain
- Brain tumors
- Factors that disturb brain development
Symptoms of Seizures
– Periods of blackout or confused memory
– Occasional “fainting spells”
– Episodes of blank staring
– Sudden falls for no apparent reason
– Episodes of blinking or chewing at inappropriate times
– A convulsion, with or without fever
– Clusters of swift jerking movements of the body that may involve the both the hands and/ or legs or any other part of the body
This involves patient’s history and interview of eyewitness(es)
- Tests : blood, EEG, CT-scan etc
The aim of treatment is to help these patients lead a productive life. Treatment could be
3. Nonpharmacologic treatment:
Vagus nerve stimulation
With appropriate treatment and strict adherence to treatments, the seizures can be controlled. Some patients even go for so many years seizure-free.
Complications that arise when not treated:
– Seizures can be potentially life threatening with brain failure, heart and lung failure, trauma, accidents
– Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP)
– Even subtle seizures can cause small damage in brain
– Long Term problems like fall in IQ, depression, suicide, Social Problems, poorquality of Life
Things that trigger seizures
If you’re epileptic or knows someone who is. These are some factors you must know
- Missed medication (Number one reason)
- Hormonal changes
- Dehydration (not taking enough water)
- Lack of sleep
- Illicit drugs
- Certain drugs
- Fever in children
DANGEROUS THINGS YOU MUST AVOID
Don’t restrain person having a seizure
Don’t put anything in the person’s mouth
Don’t try to hold down or restrain the person
Don’t attempt to give oral antiseizure medication
Don’t keep the person on their back face up
Don’t put crude oil or palm kernel oil into the baby’s mouth. This can lead to aspiration and dearg ev
Epileptics can’t engage in these activities as long as seizures are not controlled.
However, most will advice them to stay away until 2years after the last seizure
1 Driving: a person with epilepsy must be free of seizures that affect consciousness for a certain period of time.
2. Climbing altitudes
3. Swimming/ Bathing alone
4. Operating heavy machinery or weapons that can be dangerous
5. Cooking, hot water (very common ensure you’re making your medications and always stay away from fire)
6. Taking care of babies
“…I just need everyone to remember that things happen for a reason, and that we will cope with whatever comes our way. It is okay zeèßae1qnot to like it, as seizures aren’t fun and can be scary.
Epilepsy doesn’t have to rule our lives — as long as we have people who will listen to us, believe us, and give us honest answers.”___Dr Shahin Nouri
Thanks for not sleeping on me☺️. Please do well to share. I feel there’s need to raise more awareness on this. See you in the comment section