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In November 2018, I received a call from my son’s mobile, although it wasn’t Jack. He had suffered a seizure at college and had been taken to hospital. This was totally out of the blue. He was 18 years of age and had no previous history of seizures.
It soon became apparent that as well as the tonic-clonic seizure he suffered at college, he was having several myoclonic seizures and absence seizures. In December 2018, he was diagnosed with epilepsy, Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy (JME) to be precise.
It was a big shock, you think by the age of 18, you’d know. Jack started immediately on Anti-Epilepsy Drugs, gradually building himself up to his controlling dose. So far they seem to be working, but that comes at a cost.
The meds make him extremely tired, affect his memory and have a big impact on his mood. At 18 he should be having the time of his life, but instead, he has to be extremely responsible (epilepsy and too much alcohol aren’t a great combination) and add a late-night to the equation …….
In addition, after working hard and paying to pass his driving test, his license was revoked (and quite rightly so) until he is seizure-free for 12 months. This for Jack has probably been the hardest part of being diagnosed. He lost his independence and freedom, but like the trooper he is, he dealt/is dealing with it.
I am extremely proud of Jack. Maybe it happened to Jack because he is a strong young man that can deal with it. Maybe it happened to Jack because he has a family that can love and support him. I don’t know, but it sucks.
So far Jack is lucky that the drugs seem to be working despite the side effects and that is what we as a family are concentrating on, however that is not the case for many people affected by epilepsy. That is why I, along with friends have decided to take on the challenge of riding from London to Brighton (55 miles) and have chosen the charity Epilepsy Action. This is a charity that improves the lives of everyone affected by epilepsy, giving advice, support, improved healthcare, funding for research and campaigning for change.
Any donation you can give to this amazing charity is much appreciated and I thank you in advance.