Monday, March 31, 2014

One in 26...

One in 26 of all Americans will develop epilepsy in their lifetimes.
It is estimated that epilepsy can be expected to develop in 33 percent of people who have had a single, unprovoked seizure.

I've also read somewhere that people who have had two unprovoked seizures have an 80% chance of having more.  

Statistics like this often leave me reeling!  Ok, yes, it is easy to read things like this and shrug it off, never actually taking the time to truly consider them.  But when you live it, when you ARE the one in 26- you begin seeing things differently.  If you end up falling into that 80% chance of having more, you are forced to stop and think.  Epilepsy is not an illness designated for the poor, the uneducated, third world countries, etc.  Seizures can happen to ANYBODY!  Epilepsy can, and often does, strike without warning.  Epilepsy can change a life in an instant.  

Things like cancer- breast cancer to be specific- receive far more attention and public awareness.  The thing is, the thing that people either simply don't realize or chose to ignore, Epilepsy is just a prevalent as cancer, and severely under funded.  When is the last time you saw a commercial for epilepsy?  What about the last time you passed a product in the store promising a portion of the proceeds to fight epilepsy?  Guess what?!  IT JUST DOESN'T HAPPEN!  

Epilepsy Awareness just doesn't exist.  Nobody is stirred to support it, or even yield an Epilepsy Foundation bumper sticker.  Not until you or somebody close to you becomes the one in 26 to develop epilepsy.  

It shouldn't be this way.  One by one, step by step, we CAN make a difference.  

2 comments:

  1. Amen to that! Being a professional carpenter, epilepsy can be a real pain. But growing up, I never heard anything about it. The only person I knew with epilepsy was so ashamed that I wasn't allowed to ask any questions about it (mothers friend). So when I had my first seizure at age 23, I was already ashamed, because I was taught young, "it's embarrassing don't talk about it". I'm really thankful there are others willing to speak up. It's now 12 years later, and I can say I'm not ashamed but it took a while. Thanks

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  2. I get SO tired of people NOT wanting to even acknowledge this disorder AT ALL! Epilepsy DID change my Entire Life, in one single instant. I will NEVER forget the first seizure my 5month old son had. Immediately, I was plunged into what seemed like the most horrid of Nightmares, and sometimes I feel l am STILL waiting for it to END. Or for someone to just WAKE ME UP!! My son wasn't diagnosed until he was 6mo.old, but looking back, I now know, that he was having small "staring spells" or Absence Sz's, as far back as 2mo. of age. It was RIGHT after his 2mo.immunizations, & immediately I took him to his then Pedi & told him I thought he was having these "Spells". I was told that I was just being a "Paranoid 1st time Mom"!! He told me that it was too rare for that to happen to my son. So I put it in the back of my mind and focused on the fact that he was developing as he should be. Then, at 5mo. old he got his 4mo.immunizations. Less than 2wks later, he was in Cook Children's Hosp. being dx'd with Infantile Spasms. A rare form of Epilepsy. I'd tried to tell his pedi that I thought my son HAD that, & he shrugged me off again. Then after my son was actually given that dx', he told me: "You MUST have done something to cause this. It's too rare to JUST happen."!!! I felt like I was being kicked while I was already waay down! Needless to say, we switched Pediatricians the next day! But the whole point, is that even doctors are very "Unaware" of this disorder! There have been times when I had to explain to a DOCTOR what exactly Infantile Spasms was! This should NOT be the case! Because Epilepsy IS Soo prevalent! And while yes, Breast Cancer is a horrible disease, EPILEPSY kills MORE people a year than Breast Cancer! Because BC has so much funding and we've come SO FAR in medical advances in treatments for it. It's WAY PAST TIME we shine the Spotlight on EPILEPSY, so we can make some VERY much needed Medical advances in this area! 1in 26 is just TOO much for us to ignore any longer! And with our Troops coming home with "TBI's" (Traumatic Brain Injuries) we are seeing more & more cases of Epilepsy in soldiers! So you'd think that we as a nation, if for no other reason than "Taking care of our Troops", would see more Advocacy for Epilepsy. But then, the way we treat the men&women who risk their lives for our "freedoms" is a whole separate Issue....
    WAKE UP PEOPLE!!! Epilepsy isn't going to just "Go Away"!! It SEVERELY needs to be Addressed. Because really, it's only a matter of time before it's someone YOU know having a seizure!!

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