Monday 26 January 2015

'I had up to 40 seizures a month'

how it feels . . . to have epilepsy

'I had up to 40 seizures a month'

Emma Farrell (26 ) suffered up to 40 seizures a month until she found the right drug for her

Deja vu: Emma felt her seizures coming

'I've had seizures for as long as I can remember. Originally it was believed to be migraine and vertigo.

"My seizures usually began with a sickening deja vu feeling – the sense that this had happened before.

"I'd get a metallic taste in my mouth and I'd suddenly be unsure of where I was or the date or time.

"I wouldn't talk for several minutes and from an onlooker's point of view I'd be completely out of it.

"However, a million things would be going through my mind. Afterwards I'd have a migraine for the day and feel very sick.

"When I was 17 though, I experienced an episode that led to my diagnosis of epilepsy. After sitting the first paper of my Leaving Cert, I came home and went shopping with my mother.

"In the car I had a seizure.

"This time it was different – when I came out of the seizure I couldn't see.

"This hadn't happened before. I had no vision. It was terrifying.

"Mum brought me to the emergency ward of Beaumont Hospital. There I had a number of other seizures.

"After I was discharged, they tried a number of different medications but none of them worked properly.

"I was diagnosed with Refractory Epilepsy, which means that the available medications don't work because you're either allergic to them or the side-effects are too extreme.

"My seizures became very bad over the next year.

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