It might take a village to raise a child—but it also takes a village to manage your epilepsy. Having a trusted team of healthcare professionals, friends, and family members can help you control your seizures as well as navigate the symptoms and stressors that typically come with a chronic condition. From doctors to specialists and everyone in between, here are a few examples of people you should consider including in your village.
Family member: Relatives or good friends are typically in close contact with you on a
day-to-day basis, so they can provide valuable information to your doctors about your seizure characteristics and offer support.
Primary care physician: Primary care physicians can diagnose your condition, prescribe appropriate medications, and refer you to epilepsy specialists if necessary.
Neurologist: After having a seizure, people are typically directed first to a primary care
physician and then to a neurologist if their seizures aren’t immediately controlled.
Epileptologist: Seeing an epileptologist can be helpful if your seizures aren’t well controlled, even after taking medications. If that’s the case, they can provide specialized care.
Occupational Therapist: An occupational therapist can give you advice for performing everyday activities, help you lead a more independent life, and recommend specialized equipment, like adaptive cutlery or seating.
Nurse: Nurses keep track of your medical history, educate you about disease management, and answer questions about epilepsy and medication.
Psychologist: Epilepsy is often associated with depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. A psychologist can work with you to develop coping strategies as well as offer tools for how to improve your well-being.
Physical Therapist: When epilepsy causes a physical injury or limitation, seeing a physical
therapist can help restore strength and muscle function, as well as improve balance.
Pharmacist: A pharmacist can help you with any medication-related questions, including those about common side effects, costs, and which medications react poorly with others.
Originally published in EpilepsyAdvocate Fall 2019.