Many of you have shared (willingly or not) the journey of my epilepsy with me over the past several years. Six years ago, after having years of living on medication with partial seizures (not loss of consciousness seizures) but no general (grand mal) seizures, the pattern of my epilepsy changed, and I again began having grand mal seizures. As many of you know, over the past six years, my seizures have increased in frequency to the point of being almost a monthly occurrence. To a certain extent, the intensity has also increased. I have gone through a variety of medications which, while they diminish the intensity of the seizures, have not stopped the seizures altogether.
Epilepsy is an extremely common disability. One in twenty six Americans will be diagnosed with epilepsy in their lifetime. The rate is much higher in “2nd” and “3rd” world countries. Statistically, epilepsy is more common than breast cancer in women, lung cancer in men. Of those of us who have epilepsy, there are a significant number of us whose seizures are not well controlled through medication. When the location of the point of origin of the seizures can be localized in the brain, and depending upon a number of other factors, surgery is now the choice of treatment when medications fail.
The possibility of surgically treating my epilepsy was first introduced to me a year ago. Since that time, I have been in the process of going through a lengthy testing and evaluation process in order to determine if I am a “good” candidate for surgery. What I have been recently found out is that I do, indeed, appear to be a good candidate. While there is still more testing to do, which will probably take me to Boston and Seattle during the upcoming weeks and months, the initial tests I have had in Spokane and at the University of Washington Medical Center at Harborview are all indicating that surgery is the logical and necessary next step. At the moment, the course of testing and treatment is still being settled, but it is possible that I will be having this surgery toward the end of the summer/early fall, and then I will be taking off a period of time to recover.
This blog will be the place where any of you who want to know what is going on with my treatment can follow along. I will be posting things I think people need to know here, as well as providing information about epilepsy in general. As things unfold, I will post a more about the particular situation I am dealing with, which is complicated and makes the surgery a bit complicated (thus all of the testing). This will be the main way I will share information – both to respect my own privacy, as well as to not spend all of my time talking about my own medical condition, which would not be a plus for me.
Thank you for your love, your prayers, and your support. While no one really wants to go through what I have coming up, I am thankful to go through this with so many loving family members and friends.