Managing Epilepsy at the Start of the School Year

TINY-PINK-OWL-BACK-TO-SCHOOL-1

So I am finally back in school! I made it. I am all moved in to my residence room, and I’m pretty much unpacked, with a few odds and ends that haven’t found their homes yet. That’s the trouble when you move from an apartment to a suite style room. It calls for purging of lots of unneccesary items and re-examining what you really need on a daily basis.

The start of school is a stressful time, whether I consciously know it or not. All the changes from living at home for a year to transitioning to Residence life (where all my friends are living on their own and or have jobs already), is difficult and it’s hard not to feel a little lonely. This transition period is a prime time for seizure activity, due to the stress, lack of sleep, changes and over all feeling of being overwhelmed. Right now I’m all moved in and I’m waiting for my placement to start as well as my one night class. The waiting period between being ready and just waiting for something to happen is torturous.

I’ve been having a rough past couple of days with regards to seizures since moving into residence. The other day, while my boyfriend was visiting we went up to the cafeteria to get some dinner. We had both grabbed some food, and were heading towards our seats. With a plate full of food, I suddenly felt a seizure coming on. It was too late to sit down or put the plate of food down on the counter that I was next to. I slammed down on to the floor and whacked part of my head onto the counter that I was standing beside. According to my boyfriend, I must have been unconcious for about twenty seconds. He told onlookers that it was just a seizure, so people were less worried and carried on with their business. The head chef of the cafeteria brought us to his office where Campus Safety was called, as well as Campus Security. They had to check all of my vitals, and after determining that I was fine, they walked me back to my residence where I took my Ativan.

I spent most of Saturday in bed listening to Red Bar Radio (podcast) and re-watching episodes of Orange is the New Black, because the impact of my body hitting the ground caused so many bruises. Ultimately, I convinced myself to go out to my friend’s birthday party, and in the end I was so glad that I got out there. I didn’t stay for super long, but it was worth it. I’m really proud of myself for getting out after Saturday’s incident, because it’s easier for me to isolate and be alone than socialize and have fun after major seizures.

I was talking to my boyfriend about how to manage seizures and the anxiety that comes along with them, and he suggested that I continues to listen to my favourite podcast to help put me in a good mood in the morning when I’m on my way to breakfast and classes. It will give me something to focus on, otherwise I will focus on anxious thoughts which will more likely lead me in a downward spiral overtime.

Think of it like this: Anxious thoughts=bad things are going to happen=more anxious thoughts=building up of seizures x repeat.

This is just how I see it, not necessarily how it works for everyone else. My boyfriend and I had a good chat the other day about how I can get myself out of this downward spiral of thinking. I am also going to continue to practice my anxiety reduction exercises. I find that these help me to get out of these down ward spiral, and get into the upward spiral. My two favourites are called Progressive Muscle Relaxation http://media.dartmouth.edu/~healthed/p_muscle_relax.mp3 (with moderations, depending on where I am). My second favourite is http://media.dartmouth.edu/~healthed/special_place.mp3. Maybe they will help you! Hope you’re all having a great weekend, and I love you all! Xox

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