Finding Clarity Through My Epilepsy Diagnosis

Liliana is sharing her story about how her epilepsy diagnosis provided clarity

By Liliana Ambriz , Texas

Person with Epilepsy

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

I was having seizures for approximately 10 years before I was diagnosed with epilepsy. It all began when I was in third grade. My mom noticed that I would “space out” in the middle of a conversation or action. It was like I completely froze. This went on all throughout the rest of elementary, middle, and high school. I would always get embarrassed anytime it happened in front of someone. 

My mom was getting worried that this was not normal, so she wanted to get me checked out while I was in high school. I always convinced her not to because I thought they would say I was stupid and nothing was wrong with me. Finally, I decided to listen to her, and we went to get checked out the summer after I graduated. After a series of tests and a hospital stay, I was finally told on Thanksgiving Day 2021 that I was having absence seizures 

I was so shocked, but I mainly had mixed feelings. I was upset because I felt like something was wrong with me. I also felt guilty that I even felt this way because I didn’t have what people typically think about when they think of seizures – shaking and jerking. I didn’t know how to feel, but all I knew was that I was a bit overwhelmed. 

Looking back, it took me so long to go to the doctor because I did not know that I was experiencing something worrisome. I did not even know absence seizures existed. As a result of what I went through, I encourage more people to get checked out if something is happening to them, even if they don’t think it is something to be concerned about. It is important not to feel embarrassed or ashamed! 

My diagnosis indeed changed my life, but it also gave me so much more clarity about what I was experiencing. My doctor told me that I would most likely have to take medicine for the rest of my life because I am an adult, and absence seizures are easier to treat if they are diagnosed during childhood. The cause of my seizures is unknown, but I came to accept them. I was finally able to research and learn more about my type of epilepsy. I learned so much that it brought back and explained old memories from when I was in school.  

I never thought being diagnosed with epilepsy would bring me so much clarity. Now, I educate my family and friends about seizures they may never have heard of and break the stigma around it. More people need to be aware of absence seizures and what they can look like. Through sharing my story and talking about the challenges I faced, I hope more people seek help sooner.  

Reviewed By: Sara Wyen

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