Showing posts from November, 2016

Millennials and the Decline of the Stigma

This post is part of the Epilepsy Blog Relay™ which runs from November 1 through November 30. Follow along and add comments to posts that inspire you!
A month ago, I spoke with Jason Baranello, who, at 32, happens to be a Millennial (someone born into a generation thought to have born between 1982 and 2004*, though some consensus data differ slightly) .He was diagnosed with tonic-clonic epilepsy when he was 19… and didn’t know about the stigma.In fact, 13 years later, and having never hid his epilepsy, he still hasn’t experienced one.
Our conversation stuck with me.Jason is a smart person who is completely aware of the complex interplay of truth, myths, and social constructs around him.He had his first seizure when in college and has had a full life, enjoying controlled epilepsy. He is thoroughly integrated into society, one that he reports never makes him feel diminished when he tells any of its members about his epilepsy.“They’re supportive,” he says.What, then, is so different about…

Guest Post: Taking Charge by Shan O'Meara

Please welcome guest blogger, Shan O'Meara! Suffering crushing side effects from Depakote, Shan decided to take charge of his care, no longer simply accepting all that his doctor told him to do. The quality of his life changed dramatically, as you'll see. Please join me in a loud "bravo!" to Shan.

As I have gotten older (I am now 43) I began to question, if not just to myself, but also to my doctor, exactly what he was doing. It’s hard to quantify, but being on Depakote made me not care about anything. With each passing doctor’s appointment, I would have nothing to tell him. Finally, I got off of Depakote, and I now always create a list before each appointment. Writing things down made it easier for me to remember what I wanted to say to the doctor and I had plenty of questions for him each time. Epilepsy became a part of my life at age 20. I was struck by a car when I was 10, but the seizures didn’t start until I was 20.  There are a lot of meds I haven’t taken - …