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Taking on College..

Topic: 

I'm entering my third year of college and I am still struggling with how to function as an epileptic attending a university.

 

I went to an extremely small grade school (K-12), and after being diagnosed with epilepsy in 5th grade I struggled tremendously. Being at a small school benefited me by allowing me to get more one-on-one attention and having understanding teachers/coaches. I still wanted to venture out and experience more after high school, so now I am attending, fortunately enough, a small university. What I struggle with most is lack of sleep, not making enough money at my part-time job to buy enough healthy foods, too worn out to want to exercise, too tired after class and work to sudy and do homework, and too worried that having some sort of fun and a social life will make it all worse which makes ME feels worse! Nobody ever understands how it is that I take at most only 14 hrs. a semester yet I still struggle and I'm still exhausted. Nobody can relate. All of this, especially by finals week, has me pulling my hair out, causes high anxiety, and most likely strikes seizures.

On top of all of that, I currently have a suspended license because I had a seizure and ran into a tree. Luckily, I came out fine, my car...not so much. :(  I have been so upset lately because it is now summer in this college town and I am still working, taking summer classes, none of my friends are here, and I have to try to find a ride to work, to school, to the grocery store, and to go pick up my medicine. And when I have to go to my doctor at home, 3 hours away, I have to have family members come out of their way just to pick me up. I just feel like freshman year I had a rude awakening in learning that college wouldn't be as understanding as my high school, sophomore year I was trying to learn how to manage everything, now this year everything is piling up and reality is hitting as to how life will be as an adult epileptic.

I have no one to talk to, no one can relate. I have a very great doctor, but I'm not sure he understands the whole "not enough money for healthy foods" part. Also, I'm a girl! I want other girls to talk to who understand and have tips and to just hear that I'm not alone! Does anyone else feel this way? Girl OR Boy!

Comments

I'm just starting to go

I'm just starting to go through the process of seeing if my seizures are caused by epilepsy or something else. I'm about to hit 3rd year of my university as well. My seizures are very often and vary from hand and arms to whole body shaking with blackouts. Its annoying that some people don't understand how tired it all makes you and how much harder it can be to deal with everyday things. My hands and fingers go in to crazy mode most days. I cant hold a pen or answer a phone, pour a drink or use a knife and fork. This can be a real pain in public. I was  with my family for a meal just the other week when both my arm went into seizure mode. My mum had to cut my food up for me and feed me like a baby. I'm 21 for goodness sake. needless to say I got a few funny looks for the wait staff.On the bus some people whisper and give me funny looks because i'm either shaking or my hand are all stiff and form like claws. By doctor said that a person can have more than one type of epilepsy and that my hand and arms might e a different type to whole body seizures where I got unconscious.This is all relatively new for me, I've only been dealing with for bout 2months. I understand what you mean about foods, I can't really afford to buy the amount of food I would need.. I'm also dairy free and gluten free which is expensive enough. Its also that time of the year for me when no body is around and i'm still here, working and preparing my dissertation and trying to apply for Masters and internships for next year.My family are really trying to understand but they live far away. My mother also is currently going through cancer which was hard enough on my family anyway. Sometimes its just all alot you know. It would be nice to be able to talk to you and zack about going through this at University and through the whole process and just dealing with everything really. If you want someone to talk to I can promise I'll always be here for a chat. Feel free to email me at rebeccawendycoles@hotmail.co.uk if you guys want to discuss this and share things more. Beccie xx

I would suggest investing in

I would suggest investing in a bicycle and a basket. Ride to the store every day Buy a bag or two, and ride home. Nobody sleeps in college.  I don't know if no one can relate. Epileptics struggle with self esteem issues normal people may not understand. That's something I wish I could control. Nobody is meant to be alone.

Seriously, this is like you

Seriously, this is like you are reading my mind.. I got diagnosed after having epilepsy since I was in 6th grade and am currently a junior in college... For a long time they were controlled. I was driving, had my own car, going out with friends, etc then I started getting too confident and started partying and drinking. I know being in college it makes it a little more tempting or seems like thats the only way you can meet friends at times. Well I just want to let you know thats NOT THE CASE. I just maybe a month ago had a seizure I was just about to get my license again being 8 months seizure free. So I know exactly how you feel. When I was partying I had 2 seizures in less than 6 months which is not normal for me. So I was forced to come home. I was so upset about that for a long time but I realized it turned into a blessing.I'm not sure if you are religious or not but thats where I found peace and helped the anxiety. Once I became involved I had numerous people I could count on if I need to go somewhere for basic necessities. There I met someone who now is one of my best friends, who doesn't have epilepsy but we have and still struggle with some of the same things. We have helped each other so much and I can't tell you how great it has been to have someone there. We both look at each other as a blessing. And because her issue hasn't caused her to not drive anymore she has volunteered to make sure if I ever need anything she would be there for me. So I highly suggest maybe on finding a young adult or college ministry in your town.  I also suggest maybe you could talk to your parents this.. My mom also started sending me to a psychologist and thats how I found out I have anxiety as well. And since I cannot drive and the psychologists are fully aware and sensitive to that fact they are flexible. I know the past few weeks I haven't been able to get a ride there so I have been having phone sessions. And before I went to the one I have now, the other psychologist, she does Skype sessions as well. So that could be an option!Other options I would recommend would be:1. Try Yoga.. It helps so much with meditation, relaxation, and honestly its just super fun!2. Maybe you could find an epileptic support group in your area/online3. You can pray and read the bible.. That personally helped me the most I felt. 4. You can get a dog. I have a labradoodle and she also was a huge help not only with anxiety but just when you can feel lonely. (i promise you I am not a crazy dog lady)5. You could maybe look for a support group with people who have seizures/other disorders that need to be around others6. Get a Netflix account... That could also be dangerous I have found myself not getting off the couch 7. As for the food... You could always find maybe a grocery store that delivers food? or you could go online and get coupons... if you have an iPhone there are certain apps you can get that give you coupons and some will pay you to buy certain products.. Granted it won't be that much money but the money will add up! :) 8. Feel free to contact me, I am girl in college as well and strangely even though I'm an epileptic all my friends come to me to talk and advice.. So this might sound cliche but.. "my door is always open" :)9. Knowing me I might get some ideas later so if you are curious you can contact me as well! :)Good luck and remember you are not alone even though sometimes it can definitely seem like it.

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