Sarah has left temporal lobe epilepsy. She has decided to opt for surgery. 'All I want is my independence,' she says. 'I want to cook by myself, bath by myself and look after my two daughters without having to ask for help.'
"I was living with multiple seizures on a regular basis while looking after my two daughters – Layla who's 11 and Lauren who's four. They've both had to witness their mum having seizures every day and I've always felt such a burden on family because I haven't been able to be left alone with Lauren.
I've called the helpline many times when I've been feeling really low. The helpline offers a friendly, listening ear, someone to cry to and talk to about what is going on in your life. I have had epilepsy for 30 years and so many times I've needed a shoulder to cry on. I have friends and family to support me, but sometimes they don’t know what answer to give. When you talk to the helpline they know where you are coming from and understand what you are going through. Crying always feels worse when you are alone, but if you phone the helpline you can have a good cry and they can point you in the right direction. Speaking to the helpline I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I felt I wasn’t alone."
"The helpline has supported me on so many occasions, when I have been turned down for jobs and when I have had to give up my driving licence because of my seizures. They have provided all the right information for me and support. Before I had surgery for my epilepsy, they provided me with the information I needed. They have also helped me to provide support for my daughter Layla for all the things she went through when she saw her mum having a seizure.
I've been fortunate enough to have had successful surgery in April 2015 which, so far, has meant that I'm now seizure free and can be a mum again. I've lost some of my vision which at the moment means I can't yet drive again, but the positive impact on my life is hard to express. I'm still going to have good and bad days, but I know I can always ring the helpline and they'll help me overcome my fears and worries. They've truly changed my outlook on so many occasions."
To talk about concerns around epilepsy please call the Epilepsy Society helpline on 01494 601 400.
Epilepsy is not just one condition, but a group of many different 'epilepsies' with one thing in common: a tendency to have seizures that start in the brain.
Did you know that the Greek philosopher Hippocrates (460-377 BC) was the first person to think that epilepsy starts in the brain? Find out more interesting facts and debunked myths around epilepsy and seizures.
There are many different types of epileptic seizure. Any of us could potentially have a single epileptic seizure at some point in our lives. This is not the same as having epilepsy, which is a tendency to have seizures that start in the brain.