Because epilepsy doesn’t have the awareness it deserves, few people know or understand the symptoms to watch for before I have a seizure because it doesn’t get talked about. The number one question I get asked is, “What do I do if you have a seizure?” The second is, “How will I know if you’re going to have one?” These are my symptoms before I have a seizure.
1. Blank stare: If I start to have a blank stare, that’s a red flag for me. If I’m unresponsive, it’s even worse. Be alert and on your toes. I’ll either come out of it asking what just happened or I’m about to have a seizure.
2. Overheating: People with epilepsy like me tend to not be able to stay out in hot weather conditions for too long. So if you’re out on a hot day with me, be mindful of me getting dehydrated. If I start to complain about being too hot, dizzy, lightheaded, nauseated, etc., help me get home before a seizure happens.
3. Tiredness or lack of sleep: Lack of sleep can lead to a seizure for me. It’s important for me to get at least eight hours of sleep a day. Sometimes it is hard.
4. The flu: When I was a child, I used to have seizures every time I would catch the flu.
5. Shaking/twitching: Random twitches or shaking can sometimes come before a seizure for me. Sometimes I will be asleep and wake up because I got electric shocks sent to my brain that shook me and woke me up, but it wasn’t a seizure. So I have to be on toes at all times when shakes like that come because I don’t know if it’s a seizure coming or if I’m just shaking.
These are the symptoms that go unnoticed for me because epilepsy often goes without being talked about. But together we can all change that one voice at a time!