So it’s almost a month since I wrote that first post and there has been plenty of time to reflect on the changes which have occurred since implementing the additional supplements to my diet.
I have a long list of vitamins to take and upon making a discovery was how I recognized the need for my attitude to shift again. I have always taken vitamins over the years but so often I’d finish a bottle and there would always be an excuse as to why I wouldn’t have another one ready as a back-up. These vitamins and minerals are essential to my wellbeing and I am well aware of that, so why then is it that I don’t take them as seriously as I do my chemical medications?
I would never dream in a million years of finishing a bottle of Depakote or my new drug Onfi and thinking to myself “Oh, that’s okay, I’ll wait till I get paid to reorder them” or, “I’ll go down to the pharmacy when I’m in town next”, so why should supplements be any different?
My doctor explained to me, particularly with the magnesium as I previously mentioned that without consuming the vitamins I’m deficient in, it will be highly likely that I will continue having seizures. I allowed myself to do that over these years and it is me who needs to take full responsibility for that.
I need to view these supplements as I do my Depakote and Onfi, a life line and seizure preventative.
When I began taking them all, three days later I wasn’t able to eat a good breakfast due to the fact I got up late and needed to attend a meeting; therefore, I missed the dose. I had planned to take them at a later time but as the day went on I decided it wouldn’t matter if I missed just one day. How wrong was I?! In such a short space of time the influx of seizures was significantly noticeable, enough for me to put the two together. I had considered what else I had done during the day to see if there was anything that could potentially have created these seizure clusters and I could come up with nothing specific. I, of course, am aware that it isn’t 100% proof but the coincidence was a little too close for comfort.
With an Endocrinologist’s appointment under my belt to deal with a slightly underactive thyroid, there are a few more additional issues which need to be addressed.
I thank my lucky stars that my Epileptologist is also a Neuropsychiatrist. As all humans do, we have insecurities and personal issues that we live with and that affect us on a daily basis. Depression, anxiety and mental health illnesses are becoming far more common. They’re slowly stepping into the spotlight for people to learn more and to raise awareness about them.
I am no different to anyone else in that regard. I have issues aside from epilepsy and embrace them in a bid to heal myself. What I have never experienced is a doctor who values that too and who places perhaps even more importance on the results of the two together; thus, it’s not just the seizures and epilepsy that must be focused on, it is the psychological issues too.
Every appointment I am required to complete a form covering my physical and mental wellbeing over the previous month/week. How have any tension levels, OCD, food related issues, tiredness, anger, bodily functions, general outlook on life been? For example, if there is a week which is worse on the anxiety scale for me, is there a correlation between how prominent my absences have been? The answer is yes, and I wasn’t fully aware how relevant the psychological evaluation is in treating seizures. This is something that I don’t believe is taken into account as part of the practice with the majority of general neurologists. I can only speak from my own experience and whilst I’ve had some superb doctors, it’s only now with hindsight that I comprehend how vital this information is. Who knows how different life could have been if this had all occurred when I was seven or eight. I am certainly not bitter, just grateful that I was fortunate enough to discover my doctor and this information at this stage in my life. Now I can begin making the necessary changes and more importantly I can share it with my readers. If it can help just one person then I have accomplished my goal!
“Epilepsy is important to the psychiatrist and the psychiatrist is important to epilepsy.”
– Unknown, Opening quote to Epilepsy, Psychiatry & Learning Difficulties by Tim Betts