Angels Of Epilepsy Newsletter
NOVEMBER - #AOENEWS, BLOGS, ARTICLES, & MORE!
"Footprints" by: Ashley Flowers
Ashley Flowers was diagnosed with Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy in 2009. She attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is currently working in Washington, DC. Ashley has made it her mission to help bring peace of mind to families affected by Epilepsy.
We all know the famous poem: a man is walking on the beach reflecting on his life. When he thinks of the hardships he has faced, he questions God's word. It concerns him that God said he would stand by him, yet when he needed God the most, he felt that God was nowhere to be found. God answered, "…when you only saw one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you." This poem has stuck with me since my diagnosis in 2009. As a junior in high school, my biggest worries were college applications and maintaining a solid GPA. When I had my first seizure, I was bewildered. What is Epilepsy? The only seizures I had witnessed up until that point were ones shown on TV. The person is shaking violently, foaming at the mouth, eyes roll back, etc. So, when I heard the words, “Ashley, you just had a seizure," my mind instantly thought of those images. This time, I was the character. Before I found the perfect cocktail to control my condition, I would have seizures twice a week, on average. That caused me to miss school, basketball games, and other high school activities. I would cry myself to sleep, asking God why he was putting me through all this pain.
When I started my senior year in 2010, my seizures began to subside. They went from twice a week to twice a month to twice every three months. Finally, I felt the worst was behind me. Unfortunately, in January 2014, I had another seizure. The seizure was unique because it was unexpected. I had been seizure-free for so long it was as if it was something I grew out of, like a healed limb or getting over a bad cold. But that seizure taught me that Epilepsy is a part of me, and it is here to stay.
It has been five years since my last seizure. I consistently reflect on my journey, much like the man does as he walks along the beach. One episode always comes to mind. I was walking to the water fountain during practice, and the next thing I knew, I was in my best friend’s arms with blood on my face. When you have a seizure, you fall into an abyss where time stops. For those five minutes, you lose all control of your body. Therefore, you rely on others to protect you. This memory reminds me that we are never alone. It took me over a decade to fully appreciate and understand how critical it is to have faith. This unwavering faith in the protection your loved ones provide will save you. When you lose control, it is then that they carry you.
- Ashley Flowers
By: Lance Fogan, MD
After a first-observed convulsion causing loss of consciousness with falling and shaking, it is natural to wonder, will the person have another convulsion? If so, when? Why did it happen? Is this epilepsy or just a seizure? These are questions patients, families and doctors must deal with.
Epilepsy is diagnosed when more than one seizure occurs if the seizure is not a “reactive” seizure. Reactive seizure are caused by some transient medical condition that can disappear such as infections, toxins and drugs, or temporary loss of a body organ function (e.g., liver, kidney, lung, etc.) that then heal and further seizures do not occur. When a second convulsion occurs, even if the first and this second seizure are separated by years, epilepsy is diagnosed. Epilepsy means recurrent seizures.
Epilepsy can be caused by brain injuries, strokes, tumors, infections, degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, inherited conditions, and other diseases. Recognition of genetic causes of epilepsy is rising as science improves to identify abnormal genes. However, epilepsy is not common in families. Causes for approximately 50% of epilepsy cases are never found. Currently, onset of epilepsy is no longer most common in children, rather, it most commonly occurs in those over age 60. This is because we are living longer and we are susceptible to more insults to our brains.
Lance Fogan, M.D.
Clinical Professor of Neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS
Do you know about Project UPLIFT?
The Morehouse School Of Medicine and Emory University has an intervention program Project UPLIFT (Using Practice and Learning to Increase Favorable Thoughts).
This project seeks to educate epilepsy survivors and their caregivers regarding epilepsy, the stigma, and self-management.
To know more about Project UPLIFT, follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
Epilepsy: When you look in the mirror are you happy with who you see?
By: Stacey Chillemi
Epilepsy is like a roller coaster ride. It has many highs and lows. There were times when my epilepsy was doing so well that I didn’t feel like a person with epilepsy. I even forget that I had epilepsy. Believe or not. Each day, I lived life according to the limitations I set for myself and followed the diet and lifestyle I created which I knew helped my seizures stay under control. I actually felt normal.
Then eventually a seizure would creep on me and I was reminded that I wasn’t normal. I was a woman who lived life with a serious condition. A woman who had to remember to take her medicine every day. A person who had to live life with limitations and I had to create a lifestyle that wouldn’t cause me to overstress so I would have seizures.
- Stacey Chillemi
LinkedIn: Stacey Chillemi
Gospel Singer & Writer, Micah Stampley’s daughter dies at age 15 due to complications from a seizure.
On October 22nd, the daughter of gospel recording artist and songwriter Micah Stampley, passed away due to complications from a seizure.
The statement did not reveal information about the health issues that caused the seizure, and the cause of death. However, previous statements by Micah and Heidi indicated that Mary had been battling with an undisclosed illness for some years before she died.
The singer, who has been nominated for several Dove and Stellar Awards, lives in Fayetteville, GA. He and his wife, Heidi, own Orleans Brews and Beignets.
Us here at Angels Of Epilepsy send our prayers and condolences to the Stampley family.
Rest in peace, Mary Stampley...
AOEAT'S HEALTHY ON PINTEREST
Purple Power Protein Smoothie
1/2 Banana, medium frozen very ripe
1/2 cup Blueberries, frozen
2 Dates, medium
1/2 inch Ginger
1/4 cup Vanilla almond milk, unsweetened
1 scoop Vital whey unflavored protein powder
Baking & Spices
1 Dash Cinnamon
1 Power protein smoothie, Purple
1/2 cup Ice
3/4 cup Water