Menstruation and Ovulation - How It Can Affect Your Epilepsy Disorder and Find out What You Can Do about It
progesterone (which prevents seizures).
- Seizure Tracking: Each month I keep track (seizure tracking) of when my seizures occur. This gives me a good idea when the majority of my seizures are occurring. For example, did most of my seizures occur during menstruation? Did they happen around ovulation? To help you with your seizure tracking I would suggest going to epilepsy.com. Epilepsy.com is an excellent web site that provides an outstanding seizure diary program. You can find their seizure diary program at epilepsy.com/seizurediary.
- Time of Seizures: When keeping track of your seizures it is a good idea to write down when your seizures are occurring. Are they occurring morning, noon or night?
- Types of Seizures: When keeping track of your seizures it is a good idea to write down what types of seizures you are having when you experience a seizure. Are your seizures focal, partial, grand-mal etc…? Does your body swing to a certain side? All this things can help give your doctor a better idea where the seizures are coming from.
- Ask Yourself Questions: I would ask myself questions and answers in my journal. When and where are the majority of my seizures occurring and was I doing anything different during those times?
- Wall Calendar: I spend a lot of time by my desk so I hung a wall calendar next to me on the wall. This is where I keep track of my menstruation and ovulation. I menstruate usually around 28 days so I would highlight the 28th day and circle 4 days before and for days after that day. I also would do the same for my ovulation. Two weeks from the first day I menstruated, I would mark on the calendar and circle 4 days before and 4 days after that day. For those two weeks, I was prescribed water pills from my doctor to help reduce the water retention in my body. Remember, during these two weeks you should be careful where you go and what you do because your chances of having a seizure can increase.
- Diet: Diet is an important part of my life. I weigh myself regularly and when I see my weight has gone up 7 or 8 pounds within a few days then I know that I need to make sure I am taking my water pills, increasing my water intake to flush out the toxins in my body and reduce my sodium intake. I am a firm believer in the concept of you are what you eat. For example, I like cream of mushroom soup. One day I was in the mood for the soup, so I made it. Afterwards a couple of hours later I realized that I looked very bloated, so just out of curiosity I look at the back of the can to my amazement the soup had 960mg of sodium. That is a lot of sodium to accumulate especially if you have epilepsy. Since I have been taking better care of myself (watching what I eat, exercising) I have lost weight. My seizures have decreased by 99.9 percent. I say this with tears in my eyes because it was not always like this. Do I still fear that I can have a seizure at anytime? Of course, just because I am not having them does not mean I cannot have them. I know if I do not take my medicine, eat well, get enough of sleep etc… then I am setting myself up to have one. So I make sure I stay within my limitations. Caring for myself is a top priority because if I do not care for myself than I cannot care for my family.
- Do Not Forget to Take Your Medication: Most important do not forget or skip your medications! Taking your medication on time is very important, especially during menstruation and ovulation.
- Stress: Stress can bring on seizures, especially during this time of the month when women tend to be more sensitive and emotional. Therefore, what I do is take it day by day and live each day as if it was my last. For example, if you knew today was your last day would you let many minor things upset you or would you say, “It's not worth it. Say to yourself, I’m not going to let this upset me.” Focus on now; do not focus on the past because we cannot change the past. Enjoy the moment and focus on the present.
- Take “ME” Time: Take some time to relax - take a bubble bath, mediate or read a book. A little quality time helps you wind down, focus clearly and its helps you mentally and physically and emotionally. You would be surprised how many things can affect epilepsy, so take some time to recharge.
- It Is All In the Attitude: The power of positive thinking goes long way. Look at life from a positive point of view. Negative thinking and pity leads to depression and keeps you stagnant in life. You end hurting herself no one else. Yes, you have epilepsy but how has this disorder changed you for the better. Have you become stronger as a person? Would you be as caring to others with conditions and disabilities? Has it helped you to see the world from a different light? Would you have walked down the same path of life if you did not have epilepsy? Honestly, I think my disorder has made me into a better person because I would not have done many things the way I have and I would not have had the same views on life as I do now.