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Faces of Epilepsy

Chelsea Murallo

Faces of Epilepsy - Chelsea Murallo - Epilepsy Foundation of CTMy name is Chelsea Murallo, I am 21 years old and have had seizures since I was 2. I was diagnosed with epilepsy which consisted of complex partial seizures. I was first treated with tegretol, this medication controlled my seizures until age 6. After age 6 I was treated with a variation of epileptic medications with varying results. When I started high school at age 15 I had difficulty with concentration and cognitive activities. I was placed in special needs courses and grouped together with all handicapped children. This bothered me because I had a medical condition epilepsy and no one understood. On several occasions I had seizures during school. This was very humiliating and frustrating.

In my freshman year, I joined the swim team and became an accomplished swimmer. Next I hit the books and became an honor student. To compensate for my epilepsy I became somewhat of an over-achiever. My best memories of being a member of a champion swim team is the support of my team-mates. If I had a seizure they would help me in and around the pool and were right there by my side to make sure I was ok. When the seizure abated I would continue my activities no matter what. After graduation I went to work for Pfizer. The work place team are aware of my condition and support me. I have had several tests, including the inner cranial test and it was determined that I was not a candidate for surgery, because I am seizing from both sides of my brain and the surgery could affect my speech and vocalization. I know that the seizures have affected my memory and cognitive ability but that doesn’t stop me from living my life. I am now being seen by the Yale new haven neurological team. I am hoping to be a candidate for a neuropace in the future.

I now live with my grandparents who are very supportive and help me in every way. I have joined an epilepsy support group, which my grandparents attend with me. I participate in activities like Connecticut epilepsy foundation walk. I am beginning to feel that my life is starting to take on normalcy. This is because of the Connecticut epilepsy foundation, my support group the shoreline shakers and my grandparents. My goals for the future are to make people more aware of epilepsy and get rid of the fear and uncertainty of epilepsy. People need to know that people with epilepsy are capable of performing successfully with a little understanding and support.



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