How It All Started.... By Ellie Prouse

I was diagnosed with epilepsy when I was 7 years old. I have had it for 10 years now.

Epilepsy isn't just one condition, but a group of different 'epilepsies' with one thing in common: having seizures that start in the brain. You can be diagnosed after a person has had one seizure but not all seizures are caused by epilepsy. Other conditions that look like epilepsy include, fainting, or very low blood sugar in some people treated for diabetes. The type of epilepsy I have is when my blood is low. I use to either faint or have a seizure when I saw flashing lights. I haven't been checked if I have diabetes though.

When I was in primary 6, my medicine got changed and after 2 weeks of taking it, I got really ill. My lips were covered in blood, and I couldn't walk later on. After going to Arbroath hospital and the doctors, my family took me to Nine wells. After doing tests on me, it turns out that I was really lucky. I had a 5% chance of surviving. The doctors said to my family that I have Steven Johnston (Epilepsy). During my time in the hospital, I couldn't eat, so I started to get skinnier and since I couldn't walk I couldn't go to the bathroom. I then started to get better. I started to walk better and I started to eat. I finally got to go home but I get didn't back to school till after the Christmas holidays.

When I was in P7, I started to feel funny at lunch time then I was in my own little world where I didn't know where I was, or who I was and who everyone else was.

My friends were with me and they started asking if I was okay and then not long after I ended up having a seizure. One of my friends got a teacher and all my other friends stayed with me trying to stop my seizure. It lasted for 3 minutes. Then I came out of my little world.

When I was in 2nd year I was walking home with my friends from school, and this women came up to us to ask if she can borrow one of our phones to call someone. I then started to go back into my little world so when both my friends said no, she asked me and I agreed. I was then brought into her house, leaving my worried friends. Not long after been in her house I realised what happened and I was trying to figure a way to get out. I got my phone back and she asked me if I could get her a glass of water so I went into the kitchen, put the tap on and ran out of the house to meet with my friends on the other side who got help. She then chased after me not long after I ran out of the house. The people who my friends asked for help phoned the police and they came not long after she came out but when they arrived she wasn't there. I then said thank you to the people who called the police.

The police asked me and my friends questions and I had to tell them how I had epilepsy and how I was in my own little world when she invited me up. Me and my friends then got a lift home from the police and told our parents what happened. Not long after that, I saw the woman again, so I started to run in a different direction. Some time later, my mum and I got a letter, telling us that she was arrested and I was glad it was over. Even though she didn't know I had epilepsy, I still felt like she had taken advantage of me because of that.

I am now in 6th year and I am about to get off my medication which is scary for me as the medicine controls my epilepsy but I'm also excited at the same time. I have been seizure free for 2 years where my doctors think I can get off my medication if I want to and I said yes. I'm not completely off my medicine yet. I have to wait till I come back from my holiday and they will start dose me off my medication.

It's been a very emotional journey for me and while I know it isn't over yet, I am thankful for all the support and love I have received from my doctors, my friends and my family.

By Ellie Prouse