Epilepsy and Disability Benefits

An important question that maybe asked is how to qualify for disability benefits with epilepsy ?
Under certain conditions an adult with epilepsy may be eligible for disability benefits from social security. The Social Security Administration receives many applications from people for disability coverage. Depending upon the type of seizures and the frequency of them, it is possible to receive benefits. Epilepsy is not necessarily a disabling condition, however it can be. A person seeking disability benefits because of a seizure disorder, must go to the Social Security Administration for evaluation. When the case is evaluated it will be assigned to a claims evaluator. This person will assess the information to find out if in fact the person applying for disability benefits does in fact qualify to receive them. That means that a person who is seeking such benefits must be prepared to provide evidence as to the need. The evaluator will be looking for information on the diagnosis of epilepsy along with a detailed description of the nature of the seizures, and all the symptoms. These all your waiter will take a statement from the doctor about your case to collect information about the frequency of the seizures and all medications that have been prescribed. This person will probably ask you about witnesses in other words he or she will be asking who has seen the seizures. The examiner will be looking for the EEG results, and any more information that can be provided about other treatment and your response to them. This may include blood work. Another consideration will be whether or not you have been compliant with your medication treatment over the past months. The examiner is looking to determine your level of impairment. In order to qualify for disability benefits based on convulsive epilepsy you would need to show that you have at least one seizure a month, a tonic clonic or grand Mal seizure. These should be expected to be seizures does it come the daytime and have a loss of consciousness or nighttime seizures that interfere with daytime activities.
Adults who have partial seizures may meet the standards required f that person has at least once a week in spite of compliance with medications and those seizures interfere deeply with daily routines and cause a display of abnormal behaviour.
In my own case, my epilepsy has never been disabling. At my worst I had three to five seizures a year and although they were tonic clonic, they did not significantly interfere with my life. Therefore I have never been a candidate for disability except perhaps when I was pregnant.


Living Independently With Epilepsy

Many people of the question is it possible to live independently if you have seizures. The answer is simply yes. Yes of course a person can live a successful independent life even with a seizure disorder. The question really is, how is this achieved? I think for the most part, it is simply maintaining the desire to do so. Faith in yourself is important too. In order to do a thing, anything, a person must believe that he or she can do it. So this is the key to a successful life with a disorder of any kind. Now , obviously there are some considerations. The most important of these is safety. Honestly if you are having seizures a hundred times a day, just saying, obviously now is not the time for you to be living alone. However for someone who has been on medication for a long while, whose seizures are well-managed , it is possible to live independently and to do it well. It is simply a matter of knowing where the limits are and where they are not When you live with a disorder you have to learn how to manage your tasks. For example, learning to cook meals, whether for yourself or for family is one of many tasks that must be performed each day. So my question to a person who is exploring this possibility for the first time is this. How prepared are you to do this task ? Are you comfortable with it? Do you feel you can become comfortable with it? What is your backup plan for those times you cannot perform the task? To the extent that you can answer these questions you can make the determination you are readiness for independent living. What about shopping? Are you able to get out to the store on your own? Are there buses available ? How will you handle an emergency, whether it is yourself in trouble or someone else in the house? What will you do if something needs to be repaired? Do you have the financial capability for independent living?
Some people make the assumption that because we have a seizure disorder that we shouldn’t be left alone , as though we are invalids. We are not. We are as capable of doing almost anything as anyone else. The problem really isn’t our lack of ability but our lack of faith in ourselves.

New Book Idea

BookCoverPreview  2015I am embarking on a new quest. Beginning this month, I am writing a new book. This new book will feature at least one, and likely two persons who have epilepsy The idea is not to do a self help book or a drama centered on the care of such a person, but to simply write these characters into a story They will be seen and heard as they simply live out their lives on the pages of the book. The book will be complete and ready to edit sometime in the Summer, and will become available for purchase in mid November, 2015.
There is another book that I feel led to write. This one is about my own life journey with epilepsy and my road to remission.
This new book is entitled Seizure Free and Loving Life. I am currently blogging about this in my Epilepsy an Me blog her on Google. Feel free to follow that blog to the completion of the book, and look for my author page

The Girl in the Pink Suede Sneakers Chap One

Book Excerpt
Chapter One- The Girl in the Pink Suede Sneakers
I was born in May, 1962 in a small town in New Jersey. I was three weeks premature and weighed only 4 lbs. 1 oz. I was small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. I am told that the placenta (which carries vital nutrients and oxygen to the unborn child) was very small. This increased the odds of there being developmental issues in my life. However, I appeared to be in excellent health, with no defects of any kind.
I was a smart little girl and even began speaking at an early age. But, my physical development was not as smooth. I had trouble with small motor coordination. Things like tying my shoes were difficult, and I learned to do tasky things more slowly than other children my own age did. I am also left-handed, which increases the difficulty of mastering new skills.
When I reached school age, I was one of the smallest children in my grade. The other children laughed when I struggled to do certain things, and sometimes got angry at me for staring. My mother seemed concerned about the staring episodes. She wondered if it was seizures. I don’t have a memory of staring spells, or absence seizures, though I do have a clear memory of other people being angry that I was looking at them. I remember going to the hospital to get tested. I don’t remember much, but I do recall the electrodes being attached to my head. They were sticky, and I had to stay very still during the procedure. The doctors told my mother that I had Epilepsy, and put me on medicine. After a year or so, the doctors took me off the medicine, saying I was not having seizures. My family rejoiced! I was a happy, healthy little girl once more, until I reached junior high school. When I was 14, something happened that would forever change my life.
It was early spring, in the year 1976. I had gone to sleep early because I had an important test at school in the morning. In the middle of the night, I had what I thought was a dream. I saw at the foot of my bed a dark figure. This figure was hooded, cloaked , and foreboding. It stood at the foot of my bed watching me as I slept. This creature was evil. It intended to do me harm. It moved slowly across my room toward me. I knew that is this creature put his hand upon me I would die. The hooded figure continued its movement towards me as I watched helplessly, unable to do anything to stop it. As the creature stretched out its hand toward my head, I cried out to God to save me and I woke up. I was crying, but I was grateful to be alive. Then, I felt my body change. I begin to lose sensation throughout my body. I lost feeling. I was convinced I was dying. I had cried out to God, but I had been too slow and now I would surely die. I had been too late.
I passed out and lay unconscious for several hours before regaining consciousness. When I did, I was unable to move. a few hours ago I had thought I would die. now I like in a paralyzed body. I wondered what sort of life I would have. I was frightened. To make it worse, I believed that my parents would you find me in this condition and believe me to be dead and gone. few minutes I actually considered that they might bury me alive , not realizing I was still alive. that might sound silly to most of us today, but you have to remember I was 14 years old. I had no way of knowing if or how anyone would determine I was still alive. All I’m knew was I couldn’t move.
Time passed and I begin to feel my limbs again. I had some movement. I reached out my arm to take hold of the nearest object to my bed. My plan was to throw something to the floor to wake one of my parents. I knock over my lamp but no one heard me. I cried out, but no one came. No doubt I had no strength in my vocal cords. so there I lay on the bed for hours. My only companion was the spider on my ceiling. I fell asleep and I woke up several times before morning. I may have lost and regained consciousness. It might not have been sleep. Once I was fully awake, I dismissed the events of the night before as if it had been a bad dream. But in fact it was only the beginning. Several months later , in the middle of my physical education class I had my first grand mal seizure. this was far different than the absence seizures that I had had as a child. In fact I don’t remember them, but this new class of seizures I would never forget.
I usually have an aura at the beginning of a seizure. This is a partial, or localized seizure. It is often a migraine, or mild tingling on one side of the brain. Other people experience an aura differently. Soon after the aura begins, I begin to lose sensation in my right hand, while my body is taken over by the seizure. It is very uncomfortable. Many times, I feel nauseous. I also feel like things around me are becoming unreal; dreamlike. There is a sense of depersonalization that occurs. Sometimes, it hurts. It feels like my body is falling asleep, one part at a time. I often experience a heightened sense of emotions at this time. Sometimes, I feel angry, but the most common emotion for me to encounter during a seizure is fear. That is putting it mildly. The fact is, the seizure is terrifying! Epilepsy is not for the faint-hearted, that is for sure! Finally, my body begins to convulse, which is something I would prefer to not remember. Unfortunately, I have been awake for the entire seizure, most of the time. Afterwards, I go into a deep sleep. It is unfortunate that this is never restful sleep. When I wake, I am often agitated, and animated. I try to busy myself with things like folding laundry; anything to occupy myself. What I actually need, though, is to get myself some restful sleep. Yeah, that’s going to happen!

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