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'Epilepsy Has Never Defined Who I Am'

Kirsty Nichols:

"I started my theatre nursing degree when I was 18, straight from a levels. In my final year, final placement just before my exams and the week after I was offered my first job in operating theatres, I had my first seizure. It hapened whilst I was on placement, I came round in A&E, to a doctor telling me I had a tonic clonic seizure. After that I continued to have seizures nearly every day, there was times I fell down stairs, fell face first onto the floor and had seizures in a restaurant. I was signed off university, was stopped from driving and awaited a neurology appointment. In those first few weeks, I was at my lowest, thinking I wouldn't be able to continue with my degree, start my dream job, and drive again. I believed my life would never be the same. I was diagnosed with generalised epilepsy with tonic clonic seizures and was started on Keppra. Once my seizures were finally controlled by my medication I was allowed back to sit my exams and finish my last placement. I graduated and I started my first job as a theatre nurse. However I wouldn't have been able to do this without the support from all my family and friends, I cried to them, I laughed with them, they've been my personal drivers and even sent me daily reminders to take my medication. They have been my biggest support and I have definitely needed it.

I am now 22, I graduated, I've been in my dream job for nearly 2 years and have been seizure free for a year! Being diagnosed with epilepsy was hard, living with epilepsy can be hard but it also made me realise epilepsy should never define who I am and what I do. I continue to take my medication, regularly see my neurologist and epilepsy nurse and most of all I continue to live my life to the fullest."

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