So I was recently looking back on my childhood and youth, and I was trying to remember what I did to manage my seizures. Man, I make myself sound SO old! My childhood and youth weren’t actually that long ago! Anyways, now that I have done some memory retrieval I have come up with a list of Five Tips for better Seizure management. They may seem obvious, but when you are out of a routine, or are new to seizures I think they could come in really handy.
Get Lots of Sleep!
I cannot stress this one enough! It is SO important! Being in a regular routine of getting up and going to sleep at a certain time really helps your body to be in a proper sleeping cycle. I remember when I was back in middle and high school I would get up at the same time and then generally always go to bed at the same time, unless if there was a special school event that was happening. Lack of sleep is a major trigger of seizures for me, so this habit really helped to keep them on the down low.
This tip may seem like a “no duh” tip, but I have found that eating three square meals a day plus snacks really helps. When I have not eaten in a while (which I am guilty of) is sometimes when I feel symptoms. This tip makes so much sense: lack of food+ lack of energy=fatigue and sometimes seizures. Planning out your meals can be a useful way to avoid this. When I was cooking for myself I usually made huge dishes of something, such as a vegetarian lasagna, to name one. I would put each individual slice into a Ziploc tupperware container and kept some of it in the fridge and some of it in the freezer. When I came home after a long day I didn’t have to spend extra time making food because it was already done! I just popped it into the microwave and added a salad. Easy as pie! I also sometimes keep protein bars on me in case I feel extremely fatigued when I’m out and about during the day. I find that helps to keep me going until the next meal.
Before my seizures relapsed a few years ago, I worked out at the gym at least four days a week, plus dance and running classes at The Running Room. Exercise served as a way for me to get rid of all my stressors, plus I was able to just enjoy some “me time” while listening to my ipod. Even though I am slowly getting back into dance classes, I try to go for a walk 4-7 times a week. Walking as exercise is so undervalued and has so many health benefits! Don’t under appreciate walking as a form of exercise!
Spread out Your Activities
This one can be hard to do, and difficult to master. I kind of see it like this: when you put some peanut butter on a piece of toast, you don’t want all of it right in the middle. You want to make sure that you smooth it out all over the bread so its equally distributed. If fatigue and over exhaustion are seizure triggers for you, try to equally balance your work and social life. I try to avoid having a bunch of social engagements all in one night. I get tired easily, so going from party to party is a likelihood for disaster. My ideal week would look like this: go to work 8:30-4:30, have selected days that I go to work out classes and go for walks on the days that I don`t, have a few days where I see friends, and have a day or two all to myself doing chores and errands and or just lazing around with my boyfriend. Does that make sense? I’m not trying to do everything possible in one week, and in some cases I just need to say ‘no’. I have been told that I am “gregariously introverted”, so basically I love to socialize, yet I love being by myself and don’t get bored in my own company. Don’t feel silly about turning down social engagements! If your friends know and care about your seizures, they will understand. Health always comes first.
Take your Medications Regularly
It is super super important to take your prescribed medications regularly. When I was kid I used a little medication holder. As I’ve gotten older I stopped using it, but am going back to it due to poor memory and an incident of taking too many meds. Not fun at all!! I would 100% recommend using a dose it, so that way you know that you have taken your medication or not. Setting daily alarms can also help for you to remember to take your medication. Even if you are “feeling better” still take your medication. It means that the medication is working and going off of it could have severe consequences. Going off of medication is something that you can discuss with your neurologist, but never EVER do it own your accord.
I hope these tips have been useful! Feel free to leave a comment or even ask if I have any more tips for seizure management! I am pretty sure that I have more than 5 up my sleeve. 😉