Im’s guest post is the 20th post in the segment on my blog, called “The Reality Of…” which gives others the ability to share their story and raise awareness of the disabilities, illnesses, impairments and invisible illnesses that they have.
Hey everyone! I’m Im, a 21 year old lifestyle blogger, currently studying at university in Birmingham. I started blogging as a travel diary as I did an interrailing trip in Europe, but over the last year, my blog ‘The Im Life‘ has become so much more. I’ve recently been diagnosed with epilepsy, after having my first seizure in September & writing has almost become my therapy in a way. I write down my thoughts & feelings, things that matter to me & creating a blog post gives me a focus.
So, Epilepsy. I really didn’t know much about it before September, and this is why I feel it’s so important to raise awareness. If I’d known more, then I might have been able to spot signs earlier.
Throughout my life, I have had these ‘funny feelings’ as I’d describe them. It’s almost like my brain is saying “somethings not quite right”, but that’s all they’ve been for 20 years. A month later, the same intense feeling occurred driving home from work, and then I remember nothing. Luckily, nothing worse happened & I was found by some very kind strangers, one of which had a dash cam showing the effects of my seizure.
Since then, I’ve seen a consultant who completed further tests, identifying that I have ‘hippocampal sclerosis’ on the right side of my brain. This is known to be associated with epilepsy & increased my risk of another seizure. Since experiencing frequent odd feelings and a few ‘déjà vu’ moments, I have now been officially diagnosed and taking medication to hopefully reduce the risk.
How It Has Affected Me
I would say that the day of the first seizure changed my life. I didn’t recognise this at the time and tried to ‘bounce’ back. But it was the feeling of the ‘unknown’ that affected me the most, even with hippocampal sclerosis, it could have been an isolated seizure. Initally, without the diagnosis, it was unknown and to be honest, I didn’t know how to tell people what had happened.
I found losing my ability to drive really tough – I had just started a new job where I needed to drive to it every day, I’d moved back home to a village where there is no public transport. That being said, I have been incredibly lucky to have been supported by family & friends in this situation, and I cannot thank them enough. But losing my driving license, was a loss of independence for me. In a way, I felt like I’d lost my identity.
Learning To Adapt
It’s been tricky & I think I definitely went through the denial-anger-accept cycle, but I’ve been lucky enough to have support. I’d say that as I felt I’d lost my identity, the main part of learning to adapt was majorly in my mindset towards epilepsy.
I found it difficult to talk about to begin with, as I tried to ‘bounce’ back, but after taking time to process & learn to accept, I’ve found that talking about it with people has been the best way to adapt, as it does reduce any negative thoughts I have. Although there is the unknown of if & when a seizure could happen, I’ve tried to live as normally as possible & will continue to do so.
My Favourite Superheroes
As for my superheroes, I like to think I’ve got an array of them because it would be everyone that has supported me throughout the past year – they know who they are & if you’re reading this, thank you ❤
Thanks Im for sharing your story with my readers and me!