Health & Fitness Young mum thought she was going 'crazy' when epilepsy was misdiagnosed
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Lanna Hanks is hoping to raise as much money as possible for St Barnabas House when she takes on the marathon hike on March 26thLanna Hanks, 36, and six friends will be taking on the South Downs Trek on 26th March in the hopes to raise as much money for St Barnabas House as possible.
A young mum was left confused after her epilepsy was misdiagnosed for years. Doctors told Rachel Wilson she had sinus problems, an allergy and then anxiety.
During that time the mum-of-one from St Helens on Merseyside thought she might be going "crazy". She had to stop driving and leave her job.
In desperation, she issued a plea on Facebook for family and friends to help her identify her symptoms. Fortunately, a chance conversation with a friend who saw her post led the mum to find out that she had epilepsy.
Rachelshe remembered the first time she suffered a seizure - while driving with her son Sonny.
Hamilton Town House to be lit up purple to raise awareness of epilepsy
The Town House will be among the 46 buildings and landmarks across the country which will be lit up purple on the day. Every year, Epilepsy Scotland works to get politicians, business leaders, schools, health professionals and members of the public to think and talk about epilepsy and help raise money for those living with the condition. They are also encouraging people to get involved in Purple Day by organising a quiz night or coffee morning, getting sponsored to wear purple on the day or taking part in a sponsored run, walk, cycle or swim.
She said: "It was completely out of the blue, I was driving to Manchester with my little boy in the car. Luckily, we were in traffic lights, and I just had this weird sensation.
"Almost like I was going to faint and I opened the windows. It was really strange. On the way home, I had another one and we were on the motorway and I was completely paralysed, I couldn't even indicate for the junction we needed to get off at.
"I was having them every time, while I was working. I couldn't put my finger on it."
After visiting the doctors, she was diagnosed with sinusitis and underwent surgery which made no difference, before being sent for allergy testing. But when the pandemic struck - she struggled to access help, and her mental health nosedived.
Tristan Thompson teams up with Epilepsy Foundation for sweepstakes
One lucky winner will receive the Canadian 31-year-old's autographed sneakers and jersey he'll wear during the game this Saturday (Purple Day) against his old team, Cleveland Cavaliers .'My little brother has epilepsy, so this has always been a cause that is close to my heart. I've seen the hardships Amari goes through,' Tristan said of his brother's daily seizures.
She said: "I was misdiagnosed for a long time and, due to the prolonged misdiagnosis, I was made to feel like it was psychological. At times, I felt like I was going crazy.
"In the beginning, my symptoms weren't taken seriously. I wasn’t sent for any tests and so the diagnosis was delayed.
"I was given other diagnoses that were minor in comparison to epilepsy, ones which required a lot less investigation. My seizures were put down to sinus problems, an allergy and then anxiety.
"I was placed on a lot of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications and told that once the depression eased, then the 'anxiety attacks' which were actually seizures would also settle down. The GP never referred me to anyone else."
During the pandemic, she struggled further as she was never offered a video or virtual appointment.
Rachel said: "I was diagnosed in December 2021 with epilepsy and frontal lobe cavernoma. I was absolutely devastated. I couldn't see any future with such a lifelong diagnosis.
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"I felt angry that this had happened to me, I felt desperately sad. I felt guilty that I had failed my family, that I wasn't the woman that my husband had married and that neither of us had signed up to this.
"I was worried that life would never be the same and that my son deserved more than me as his mama. I was angry that this could have been diagnosed a long time ago and that by now I would have accepted and come to terms with it."
Rachel hasn't had a seizure since January 17, after starting medication, and says she is "starting to remember the person I was before this started and I see light at the end of tunnel”.
As many as 31,000 people in the UK are facing an epilepsy diagnosis this year, but Epilepsy Action warns many are struggling to get the information they need.
Advice and information services manager at Epilepsy Action Tom Beddow said: “The impact of epilepsy is huge and goes way beyond initial diagnosis. Even before the pandemic hit, neurology services were one of the least funded, most stretched areas of the NHS.
“Now, two years on, we have a surge in people seeking our help, fresh from being diagnosed over the phone, sometimes in as little as ten minutes. Many are being left to their own devices, struggling to find support, not knowing their rights or their risks."
To coincide with Purple Day on March 26, the global awareness day for epilepsy, Epilepsy Action has released a video sharing the overwhelming panic and confusion that can follow an epilepsy diagnosis.
* If you are looking for support, visitor by calling the Epilepsy Action helpline on freephone 0808 800 5050.
NHS doctors gave pregnant women drug known to cause birth defects .
The NHS is facing a thalidomide-style (pictured) scandal over doctors prescribing an epilepsy drug to pregnant women that is known to cause birth defects, it was claimed last night. Sodium valproate was hailed as a breakthrough drug for epileptics as it helped control fits and seizures, but reports began to surface in the 1980s of babies with abnormalities being born to mothers who took the medicine during pregnancy.Two years ago, a report criticised the failure of doctors to inform women about the dangers of the drug and said they were still not telling women the full story when prescribing.