health

Epilepsy – Taking Charge

Epilepsy - taking charge

Epilepsy – Taking charge

Life as a teenage boy can be hard, your noticing hormone changes and your also making important choices. You’ve life choices to make at school and you’re preparing and taking charge of your life with GCSE also taking place.

Lee was busy with all of this going on, he was happy and taking each day as it came, getting up and going to school meeting with friends along the way – after school doing any homework he had and then going out to play football with friends just like many other teenage boy’s.

This was soon to change….

One Sunday morning I had noticed Lee to be having a seizure, luckily with my job I’d had training in epilepsy awareness and noticed the signs. I took Lee straight to the hospital where they run some tests and it was confirmed Lee has had his first witnessed seizure.

Lee was referred to the epilepsy specialist where more test was run over a course of time, MRI, ECG, EEG, sleep deprived test and light tests. Lee was so brave especially with the MRI test as this really scared him, he hated the loud sounds and small space but with us in the room with him 2nd time round (we wasn’t allowed in first time) he was brave and braved it out, we couldn’t have been more prouder.

We awaited Lee’s results which was given at a follow-up consultants appointment where it was confirmed and Lee was diagnosed with Tonic-Clonic and Absence seizures.

Our poor boy…

When Lee was diagnosed he went withdrawn, we noticed a loss in his appetite and he hardly went out with friends anymore. He was put on medication (Lamotrigine) but he’d refuse to take them, he didn’t want anybody knowing about his diagnosis, he would close any conversation down quickly if we was to try and talk to him about his diagnosis, and we also noticed a change in his behavior at home and at school.

It was so upsetting to see our poor boy change before our eyes, we knew this was not Lee.

We set out to get him the help needed..

Lee found it really hard to open up so with specialist help from his epilepsy nurse we sat down with Lee and explained that he IS NOT the only teenager to be diagnosed with epilepsy and he IS NOT this alien he had pictured himself to be in his head.

Lee felt different, he felt embarrassed, he just wanted to hide away but at the same time not be on his own because he was scared. He wanted to talk about it but at the same time didn’t because he was scared and didn’t want to hear or accept the answers. He would look so drained and tired, it was so upsetting.

Lee finds it hard to accept…

Lee’s Tonic-Clonic Seizures would mainly happen at night while he was sleeping so in his eye’s he’s not seeing or witnessing anything because he’s not aware that they have happened, he just notices the side effects the next day – side effects being, loss of appetite, headache, feeling sick, aches and pains along with extreme tiredness and on some occasions unexplained bruising.

When Lee has had a seizure we would keep a close eye on him for a good few hours after, meaning we keep him home from school if it’s a school day (school being fully aware) as he needs to rest and sleep it off as it wears him out – plus for his own safety.

Putting a care plan in place…

We have had a care plan in place at his school informing his teacher’s of what to do if he was to have a seizure whilst at school. When Lee was at school it was noticed he was having absences on many occasions, this is where he blanks out for anything from a few seconds to a few minutes – side effects, headache, sudden tiredness, confusion, confusion to loss of time and to why people are asking him why is he not listening to them.

Lee has just finished his GCSES but whilst he was taking them his seizures got more frequent resulting in a visit to the hospital where we was informed stress can bring the seizures on more frequently. This put us in a very tricky situation as you can imagine. Lee was needing to take his exams but at the same time he was suffering, he did take his GCSES but we kept a very close eye on him and he would rest and unwind that bit more.

During his exams he was given extra time, this was to help with the pressure a bit, this really helped him, we worked very closely with the school and I must say the school have been fantastic with helping support Lee during his time with them.

Lee is still coming to terms with his diagnosis, he still finds some things hard to accept as changes have had to be made but he is more open and willing to talk about it now which is a huge help. He now takes his medication 150 mg twice daily with reminding but he does take them. It has been a very tough time for us all and still is but we are working through it together as a family. Lee is on the right path now to taking charge and not letting it beat him, we couldn’t be any more prouder of him.

epilepsy - taking charge

***Posted to help raise awareness***

39 Comments

  • Dean B

    19/07/2016

    I can imagine how difficult it must be especially for a teenager. I’m just glad that he is slowly coming into terms with it and hopefully will be back to what he was like before.

  • VaiChin

    19/07/2016

    Well done to Lee for being so brave in the face of what must have been a very difficult time for a teen. x

  • Hannah Brice

    19/07/2016

    That diagnosis must have been so hard for you as well as him. It’s great he got so much support. Very brave young man.

  • Keely

    19/07/2016

    That sounds really tough, glad he’s working on accepting it.

  • Anita & Ian

    Anita & Ian

    19/07/2016

    Thank you Keely x

  • Anita & Ian

    Anita & Ian

    19/07/2016

    He certainly is very brave Hannah x

  • Anita & Ian

    Anita & Ian

    19/07/2016

    Thank you VaiChin x

  • Anita & Ian

    Anita & Ian

    19/07/2016

    Thank you Dean x

  • Robin Rue

    20/07/2016

    So happy to hear that Lee is on the right path! I wish him the best.

  • Fi Ní Neachtáin

    20/07/2016

    I’m sorry to read that the epilepsy diagnosis hit Lee so hard. I’m glad he now takes him medication though and hopefully he’ll be back to his old self soon. He’s very brave and it’s great that he has such amazing support from you.

  • this sounds like such a hard thing to deal with at his point in life. I hope that he soon starts to take his life back as he isn’t his illness at all.

  • Oh bless, I cannot imagine how this is at his age, when hormones are raging and now this, I am so proud he takes the medication, as I am sure you are too x

  • Annemarie LeBlanc

    20/07/2016

    I understand what Lee is going through. My cousin has epilepsy and she was diagnosed with the disease when was only 6 years old. I admire Lee and his determination to battle the disease.

  • Melanie Smith

    20/07/2016

    This must be so hard for you and for him, of course. You have to be strong, he is taking his medication and he is gonna be better.

  • Inspiring Kitchen

    20/07/2016

    Being diagnosed with a health condition can be hard on anyone. I am glad Lee is now more open and willing to talk about it. He is lucky to have you as parents. I wish him all the best.

  • NM

    20/07/2016

    Well done Lee for being brave though this all, and well done to you for staying positive for him even though your crumbling inside. Some heros don’t wear capes!

    http://www.shewillneverlose.com

  • Anosa

    20/07/2016

    It’s hard enough having to deal with everyday teenage hormones now to add on epilepsy its not surprising he was not opening but at he’s taking he’s medication and has he’s families support.

  • Jenni

    20/07/2016

    It must be a really difficult thing to come to terms with for him but hopefully it will get easier for him and people around him will support him and show him it isn’t anything that is going to change the way they are with him x

  • tp keane

    20/07/2016

    my heart goes out to you and Lee. You’re both so brave and strong for battling through this. I hope his seizure become more under control as he gets older.

  • Amy Jones

    21/07/2016

    This must be so hard, it’s great that he has the strength in him to manage everything the best way!!

  • Kim Smith

    21/07/2016

    It can be so difficult to deal with, especially at a time when he is going through so much as a teenager. But he can come to deal with it. I have and it is all good. Just take those meds!

  • Elizabeth O.

    21/07/2016

    There’s nothing he needs more than support from his family which you are generously giving him and that’s amazing. It’s not easy to bear any condition at all, most of the time people will feel embarrassed or ashamed and they don’t need judgment, they just need understanding and the thought that they are not treated as a person with a disease but rather, as someone normal.

  • Nicole Haas Etolen

    21/07/2016

    Oh, I hope everything turns well. Stay strong together, you can overcome this.

  • Karlyn Cruz

    21/07/2016

    It is hard to have a condition like this. You will be okay, just stay strong and keep on praying.

  • Mai C.

    21/07/2016

    It’s not easy for most teens to go through something like this, there’s already the pressure with school and grades and here you are having to deal with an illness you never asked for. I’m glad you were able to get him diagnosed and even though it was tough at the beginning it’s nice to know that he’s making baby steps towards accepting his condition.

  • Kara Guppy

    21/07/2016

    That must have been a difficult diagnosis for all of you, especially Lee – lets hope things improve now the stress of exams are over

  • pjkuhn

    21/07/2016

    I went through this with a friend but I’m sure for a teenage boy the feelings go much deeper. As mothers, we grieve when our children are hurting. It’s a good step that he’s taking his medication.

  • ljdove23

    21/07/2016

    Gosh that must be such a difficult diagnosis for all of you but well done to him for taking it in his stride. It’s so hard being a parent at the best of times but when your child is poorly or suffering, it’s even harder. Lots of love to you.

  • AnnMarie Brown

    21/07/2016

    I know as a parent what it is like to have a child diagnosed with something that is life changing. So glad he is accepting it and working through things.

  • I can’t imagine what it must be like to live with epilepsy, constantly worrying about whether an act is imminent. I hope it is something that over the course of time he comes to terms with and learns how to fully control it so it doesn’t control him.

  • ana de jesus

    21/07/2016

    I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to deal with epilepsy bless him it must have been so hard to talk about it but glad school is helping him out.

  • Kathy

    22/07/2016

    I could only imagine how difficult it may be. I don’t know anyone with epilepsy, so I don’t know much about it. I’m glad that everything seems to be improving for him.

  • highland mommy

    22/07/2016

    I’m glad the school has been supportive with Lee’s condition. It must really be difficult for all of you to go through this. I hope you will have all the love and support you can get.

  • The Mad Mommy

    22/07/2016

    Raising awareness is so important, so other kids like Lee know they are not alone. Also, so other parents know that they are not alone. Thank you for sharing your and Lee’s story!

  • Kean Raph De Real

    22/07/2016

    I’m so glad to hear that lee is on the right path. Please stay strong and always keep praying.

  • Fuss Free Helen

    22/07/2016

    It must be so difficult for anyone and even more so a teenage boy. I hope you all find a way to accept and live with it.

  • Kathy Kenny Ngo

    22/07/2016

    It must be hard to suffer from epilepsy. I hope it can be controlled everytime

  • Eileen xo

    27/07/2016

    What a courageous young man! I have a close friend with epilepsy and it is not easy to live with and I applaud your son

  • Alfonzowords

    01/08/2016

    amazing post and mad respect to you for talking about this. raising awareness and dishing out important information on the subject. I loved what you said about him not being the only one diagnosed and not being an alien. I did that exact thing when I was diagnosed with bi polar, it made me feel alone and an outsider to everyone around me. you are so awesome for helping him through this, it shows great character and wisdom.

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