From Denial to Helping Others

Ravi is sharing his eJourney about how he went from living in denial about epilepsy to helping others through a similar experience

By Ravi Ghotra

I was diagnosed with epilepsy when I was 14 years old after having a tonic-clonic seizure in my sleep. I had an EEG and the epileptologist looked me in the eye and said, "Ravi, you have epilepsy." Previously, I just shrugged these seizures off and went on with my life, so this was the first time I took them seriously. I was in denial and felt like an outcast. It took me a long time to accept my diagnosis.

I had focal impaired awareness seizures one to four times a day and I was not able to understand or speak during conversations. I had a tonic-clonic seizure nocturnally every three to four months. It turned out that I had a tumor in my left temporal lobe associated with language and comprehension.

It was small, everyday tasks that impacted me the most. For example, I was constantly worried about having a seizure in a formal setting, like when talking to a professor. I also worried about how people viewed epilepsy and seizures as a disability, and I was afraid I would be judged.

In 2017, I underwent tumor resection, and I have been seizure-free ever since!

I am a current graduate student studying to be an epileptologist. I look forward to using my experience and knowledge as a patient to build my career and give my future patients the best quality of treatment medically, mentally, and emotionally. I hope my story shows people with epilepsy that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

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Reviewed By: Sara Wyen

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