Blog · Dealing with epilepsy

Stupid questions about epilepsy from people without epilepsy

In 2020, I received quite a few messages from people with epilepsy asking about side effects of meds, what kind of seizures I have or how do I handle stress, among other.

But, at the same time, I received questions from people without epilepsy: friends, family, teachers of those with epilepsy. While 90% of the questions were right on the point, the rest was, quite frankly, extremely stupid. Here is my top 3 selection:

  1. Is epilepsy transmittable? Answer: it was an exchange of three emails -> by transmittable, the guy (USA) meant something like COVID, not genetically. He actually got angry when I said “NO” because that’s the reason why he fired someone. I hope they go to court this year because of this.
  2. If I drink alcohol and have sex with my boyfriend, will the alcohol in me cause him a seizure? I like to drink. Answer: No. Neither alcohol nor stupidity can be shared through sex.
  3. Can a brain transplant be done to cure epilepsy? Answer: honestly, this was the only message received last year to which I didn’t respond.

Send messages or emails and you’ll get an answer from my personal experience. But strangers beware, sarcasm is a possibility.

Dealing with epilepsy

Alcohol

Ever since I was diagnosed with epilepsy, everyone told me that all stimulants (alcohol, coffee, drugs – like crystal meth, cocaine etc.) are off-limits because they might cause a seizure. That’s something that all persons with epilepsy are told.

But someone recently told that his neurologist recommended moderation instead of abstinence. If you drink a glass of wine once in a while, it’s ok. That’s something weird. I told my neurologist and he said the same.

So what’s the deal?!? Marijuana is now considered as a possible alternative to current meds even if THC (the active substance) is considered as having stimulant effects.

I never drank, smoked any of the possible stimulants out of principle. I would try medical marijuana, but I am still curious whether or not alcohol, caffeine and so on are still off-limits or just moderation is recommended.

Dealing with epilepsy

First contact with epilepsy

I was 14 when I have my first seizure. I was my first ever party.┬áIt was New Year’s Eve 1999.

After “partying” all night, with a sip of champagne at midnight (and just that), I woke up at around 5.30 am with all my friends curling up around me and my mother and sister there to take me to the hospital.

The pediatrician (I was a kid after all) told my mother that it was a simple tetany seizure induced by alcohol (that little sip of champagne). She sent me home after giving up half of pill of Phenobarbital. I don’t remember the dosage. It took me three days to wake up after that Phenobarbital.

That was my first ever contact with epilepsy, even if I didn’t knew it then.