Living with epilepsy as a woman comes with different challenges. For me the biggest challenge was when I was unconscious and major changes had happened to me. So I had just come from town, exhausted from the hot sun. Near our home compound, I am tempted to sit and rest. I can feel an aura coming. Smell of rotten egg some weird feeling hard to describe. I do not know what happens next.

I am up again, I think I see someone familiar but before I know it I am alone. Something feels different. There is an extreme wetness in my private parts and also pain. I look to check and there a pull of blood, I am not fully dressed as I was. My panty is down. Someone was there when I was unconscious. I am feeling ashamed of myself. I go wash my whole body. Over and over again with the hope that I could wash away the shame.

I have kept the incident a secret for a while, I should have my periods but I notice days are passing and I am not getting. I realize that I might have gotten pregnant. I secretly go to the chemist, I buy a kit and my fears are confirmed. My stress levels are very high and the seizures are a lot more. I recover from a seizure and I notice that I am bleeding with a lot of pain.  I go to the doctor and I have a miscarriage.

Mum knows about this. She has been insulting me calling me a prostitute. I am too scared to share what happened to me. I am scared of having a seizure but this fear puts so much stress in me and I end up getting more seizures.

On international women’s day, I wish that the plight of women with epilepsy would be heard. That they could feel safe with their condition and not be possible victims of abuse. The misconception held is that a seizure is a sign of hysteria treated with intercourse. Help me create awareness that epilepsy is a brain disorder that is treated with Anti-Epileptic Drugs and not hysteria.

Happy International Women’s Day!!!