Posted in Blog

Epilepsy and Periods…

Tuesday 7th March

I don’t really talk much about periods and Epilepsy.

My mum and sister would always laugh at me because my periods would always take me by surprise because I never really kept track of them; I would feel emotional, stare at myself in the mirror for hours and feel suicidal and then my period would come the the light bulb moment would come as everything fell into place.

Now, with my Epilepsy I do try to keep track of my cycle however for some reason I seem to be completely out of sync and so never come on around the same time of the month. Ever.

This is since having the coil fitted.

The reason why I have a coil is because of my AEDs.

The coil causes me the most extremely heavy periods, with severe pain and nausea and I guess this is what triggers the seizures. This also triggers sleepless nights. Which again leads to…. Yes you guessed it…. Seizures.

Also, my body feels like lead. Today I felt like I was carrying the weight of a dead body around with me all day.

And this is just the beginning of my period.

I can feel the seizure coming on like a wave…

Wednesday 8th March

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So I started writing the above last night, and I did have a seizure today (my first in a couple of weeks). I also had to take the day off work (also my first day off in a couple of weeks).

People don’t really like to talk about their periods. Luckily I had a migraine too, so my reason for calling in sick was because of that. However, it doesn’t seem to be “socially acceptable” to speak openly about periods, even in this day and age.

This month will be three years since I was diagnosed with epilepsy, and not a day goes by that I don’t think about children.

Recently I’ve been looking at into having a hysterectomy, however this is not something that I’ve only just started to think about. It’s actually something that I’ve been thinking about ever since my periods started as a teenager. And when I was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2014, it made me all the more concerned about bearing children.

Some people might think this decision an extreme one, and it’s extremely difficult to not rise in anger when people are so aggressively judgemental.

My decision is one that my current boyfriend supports, but my previous one didn’t, and he thought that he could talk me out of it.

Last year when I went to see a psychiatrist for an evaluation, I spoke very candidly of course about my epilepsy, mental health and decision to not have children and he concluded that I use my Epilepsy as an excuse for sympathy when people ask me about wanting children because my response was that it’s easier to explain to people that the reason for not wanting children because of my Epilepsy is less complicated than all of the other reasons.

I use my Epilepsy because of fear, because I don’t want to be judged for being selfish.

However regardless of my reasons, as a woman, I should not be judged for the choices I make over my own body!

One of my best friends made the decision that she never wanted children from a very young age and she was brave enough to be very vocal about it, which she was very harshly judged for in school (we went to a girls’ school). Friends would bitch about her: call her selfish and judge her constantly. Even now, at the age of thirty-one, people still insist that she will change her mind as if she doesn’t know her OWN MIND!

This is the first time that I have been so open about my choice to not have children.

In fact, most of my friends don’t even know how I feel. Until now.

I see my bestie’s baby boy and I love him to bits, however it makes me all the more aware that I was not created to have one of my own; I was not mentally or physically created for it and nothing is ever going to change that and I am not ashamed to admit that. I see children (me being one of them) everyday, who are destroyed by adults who were either too ignorant or ashamed to admit to themselves, that they are mentally and physically damaged and should never have become parents.

I don’t want to be part of that cycle.

Looking online, by the looks of it, getting an voluntary hysterectomy is a battle, especially at my age. We’ll see…..

Author:

I’m Cece Alexandra and I have Epilepsy. Since being diagnosed, my life has changed significantly. After studying and teaching Humanities and Literature for all of my adult life, I was bullied and lost my job a month before qualifying to become an English Teacher. Once you fail the Teacher Training course in England, you cannot ever retrain; I then became too sick to work because of my Epilepsy. I am now currently studying an MSc in Mental Health Psychology with the University of Liverpool. My disability provokes me into raising awareness for invisible disabilities, which I also actively partake in with Epilepsy Action. Part of that awareness is to help fight against invisible disability discrimination - I believe that this behaviour is not cognitively unconscious; modern society is actively partaking in a hierarchy of disabilities and I believe that there is not enough psychological research to prove this. I am also clinically interested in Cultural Psychology - particularly Collectivist Culture, and wish to pursue this further in my academic career.

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