Epilepsy is a neurological disorder marked by sudden recurrent episodes of sensory disturbance loss of consciousness, or convulsions, associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain.
My definition; An invisible illness that can possibly seize over your entire body and any given time.
Living with epilepsy for over 30 years has been quite a challenge. Can you image playing with your friends on the playground or in a classroom as a child and all of a sudden you pass out and your body goes into convulsions? Or being a public transit alone and an episode occurs? Or what about at an airport? That's just some....
I was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 5 and I'm now in my 40's. And I'm very thankful!
Growing up, myself and my family didn't know about medical I.D. We just notified those in my presence. As a teen, riding public transit or at a park, or movies with my friends, only they knew what to do. But as an adult, I've been in public places alone.
I was having an ordinary day, which I thought. I entered a store inside of a big mall and as I walked and walked seeking an outfit for a celebration, I felt quite strange.
The type of episode I was having warned me by feeling dizzy and slowly losing my memory. All I remember was a group of people surrounded me and were asking so many questions. Unfortunately, having epilepsy deals with short-term memory loss. So after an episode it take a little time for us to regain our memory.
A nurse there in the store said, "Please make sure you get a medical I.D. to have on you in case of an emergency like this." After that incident, I grabbed my computer to search "Medical I.D."
Searching for an I. D. to assist me, I came across "American Medical I.D." This particular site has so many accessories to choose from. Whether it's men or women, and even children. I also love the reasonable pricing on their items as well. Not only did I see jewelry but I also saw that they have emergency medical I.D. cards. This is an important item to keep in your wallet, purse, or even your pocket. Seeing all of this, I immediately told my family about it and I order a necklace, bracelet, and an emergency I.D. card. All of these accessories has my name, my illness (seizures/epilepsy), and has an emergency contact name and telephone number. I wear it anytime I'm out especially in a public area. And I'm not ashamed to wear it! Actually I love it!
TELLING OTHERS THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING A MEDICAL I.D.
Being an survivor and advocate for epilepsy awareness and outreach, I always advise parents, survivors, and others the importance of having a medical I.D., no matter what illness or condition it may be. Many survivors have approached me in reference to these accessories and I definitely provide information about the American Medical I.D. Working with the Angels Of Epilepsy Foundation, we've also received calls from parents, even survivors about assistance with receiving these medical accessories. So the AOE charity provides assistance to get these items to those that need it, especially to survivors in the epilepsy community.
Again, with epilepsy being known as an invisible illness, it is definitely important for survivors to have a medical I. D. on them!
** If you need a medical I.D. accessory, visit American Medical ID
Also, feel free to contact Angels Of Epilepsy Foundation to get information.
Natalie Y. Beavers
Epilepsy Survivor & Advocate