So What Is Epilepsy?
When a person has two or more seizures not provoked by a specific event (trauma,infection, chemical change) s/he is considered to have Epilepsy. You can have a seizure but not have Epilepsy, but having Epilepsy means you’re having seizures. Stay with me. When your baby is sick, your doctor tells you what temperature she can have before you should bring her to the ED. If it gets super high, she’s at risk for a febrile seizure, but not necessarily Epilepsy.
So what’s a seizure? A seizure is defined as an alteration of behavior due to a change in the electrical functioning of the brain. Basically, there’s a lightening storm going on in the brain that jacks with the body in a variety of ways. Remember that the brain is the boss of the entire body so it can affect every system in the body. A person’s sensory and motor function, cognition and memory, behavior and consciousness can all be affected by a seizure. This is why seizures can present in so many different ways.
An accurate diagnosis is important to effective treatment. Detailed descriptions of what happens before, during, and after the seizures are important to diagnosing them. A doctor would also probably do blood tests to look for either other conditions that can be mistaken for Epilepsy, or an underlying cause of Epilepsy. Finally, looking at the brain is also important. This could come in the form of an EEG, CT scan, or MRI.
Confused yet? So was I. That’s why it took me two years to get Aidan diagnosed. You can make the next person’s journey easier by getting educated and sharing this post.