State-of-the-art epilepsy treatment helps give Vicky seizure-free relief

AFTER a successful amateur dramatics show, Vicky Lockhart and her pals headed to the pub to celebrate.

Soon afterwards, she was slumped and faced the indignity of bar staff muttering about her drunken ways.

The reality, though, was shockingly different.

Vicky’s teetotal and she was suffering from one of the epileptic seizures that have had a devastating impact on her.

The Kirkcaldy girl had put life and love on hold as she couldn’t imagine getting clear of the seizures and shaking that had literally become a daily occurrence.

But now she’s enjoying blessed seizure-free relief after treatment at a state-of-the-art Glasgow centre.

Vicky was just eight when she had her first seizure and a diagnosis of epilepsy soon followed.

“I used to get warning signs a couple of days before,” explained Vicky, 34.

“I’d get jerking in my arms and legs. And on the day I’d have a real sign in my hands and I could shout for help from my parents.

“I get tonic-clonic seizures with the stiff limbs and the scary momentary stopping of breathing, but they’ve changed over the years. I used to sleep for a day and have what I’d call my ‘epilepsy headache’ afterwards. Now I have no recollection of a seizure.”

Medication kept control of things for 12 years, allowing her to go to university and learn to drive.

But in her late 20s the seizures returned with a vengeance with jerks most days and full-out seizures two or three times a month.

“It was so bad it was making me panic and that would get me more stressed,” said Vicky, who works at a day care centre for adults with learning disabilities.

“Because that’s a trigger for epilepsy, it was all making it worse.

“I felt I couldn’t do my job properly. I stopped socialising in case people made the wrong assumption or did the wrong thing.

“And I put off setting a date for my wedding to my fiancé Craig.”

The shattering effects were such that Vicky’s neurologist referred her to the 12-bed William Quarrier Scottish Epilepsy Centre, Scotland’s only residential assessment and treatment facility.

Vicky stayed for a month and the expertise of the staff and the hi-tech equipment got a clearer-than-ever picture of her brain and the epilepsy.

Two of her three medications were changed and she was also taught relaxation techniques to relieve seizure-inducing stress.

“I’ve been clear of seizures since I came out and it’s made me feel so much more positive about the future.

“Craig and I have now got a house and I can start to think about planning the wedding.”

Vicky has always been totally open about her condition, telling school pals and everyone else since so they don’t panic if she has an attack.

But the current awareness week highlighted that three-quarters worried about employers’ reactions.

“There is discrimination and we really need to make people understand better,” added Vicky.


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