Epilepsy Through The Eyes of a Caretaker (A Daughters View of Growing Up with a Mom with Epilepsy)

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If you really knew me you would know my mom has epilepsy, and her having epilepsy has made me the person I am today.

My mom got epilepsy when she was five years old. She got very sick from a virus that traveled into her brain, and she had to be put into a coma to stop her brain from swelling, this leads to scar tissue damage on her brain and gave her epilepsy. The doctors at the hospital told my grandparents that she was supposed to have brain damage, not be able to walk, even told them she may come out of the coma as a paraplegic. So, my mom waking up with none of that except having epilepsy, she was considered extremely lucky.

Growing Up with a mom who has epilepsy

Growing up with a mother with epilepsy was basically a normal childhood, with playing outside with friends, fighting with my brothers, thinking second grade was “hard”.  Although I had to be more mature and understand what was happening to my mom at a young age.

My older brother, Michael, and I had to take on responsibility and be there for her. We had to know what to do when my mom had a seizure and how to help her afterward. My dad usually works until later in the evening,  so if she was to have a seizure during the day it is me or my two brothers home to help.

Seeing a seizure for the first time

The first time I remember seeing my mom have a seizure was when I was six years old. My dad went into the store to pick something up and my brothers, mom an I was waiting in the car. I remember sitting in the car when Anthony starts asking my mom a question but she was not responding.

We all look at each other confused when my mom begins to convulse. My brothers and I are all two years apart so we all were very young at the time. My little brother Anthony wasn’t too scared because he had no understanding of what was really going on.

Watching my mom have seizures will never be something I got used to. It always and always will be a scary thing to see. Simply because I can’t do much to help in the minute or two she is having one. You’re not supposed to touch or try to move a person when they are in this state as it could harm them. The only thing you can do is make sure the person is safe from falling over or hurting themselves.

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Advocating for a cure

When my brothers and I got a little older, my mom wanted to get more involved with the Epilepsy Foundation. We started going to yearly Epilepsy walks to raise money for the cause. My whole family would come and support my mom and it made the walks a lot of fun. Going to these walks and seeing all the people who are going through the same thing as my mom was really amazing to see.

My mom has even joined the board on the Epilepsy Foundation, helping with fundraisers, bringing awareness to the cause and setting up the walks at Point Pleasant. Over this past weekend, she has received an award from the Epilepsy foundation for her work with the organization.

Epilepsy strengthens you not weakens you

My mom having epilepsy made me into a very responsible person. I always look out for her and make sure she is feeling okay. I had to be there for her when she didn’t feel good or hurt herself. My mom has broken bones and even had a hematoma in her brain from her seizures. Now, my mom having epilepsy is something that drove her to become an incredibly strong person.

Epilepsy brings obstacles but there’s always a way to make a new path for yourself

My mom used to work at NBC in New York until she had a seizure and they had to fire her because of it. She got her license taken away for many years from epilepsy having to rely on others to go places or not go anywhere at all.

My mom had to grow up with a disorder that can be triggered at any time or happen anywhere, with no control over it. These are just some of the examples of the many challenges she faced. But throughout all her obstacles she never gave up and just kept pushing forward. My mom didn’t let her disorder hold her back or stop her from reaching her goals.

After being let go from NBC, she started writing books and since has written over sixteen published books which are even sold in stores.

One of the first books she wrote included me and my brother in it, it was the book that started her writing journey. It’s called “My Mommy Has Epilepsy,” She wrote this book to help parents with this disorder, who have younger kids understand it and know a little bit about it.

The part of the book I am in is the part where she tells a true story about an experience with having a seizure with us around. I was two years old and Michael was four, the story goes, we were all taking a walk outside with our dog around our development when my mom falls over and has a seizure.

At the time my mom’s epilepsy wasn’t as controlled as it is now so she did not have as much of a warning about when she was gonna go unconscious. Anyway, she falls over and ends up cracking her head open on the concrete and my dog Princess starts barking and her barking brought someone’s attention outside, which saved my mom’s life. They called the ambulance and she ended up being okay. This part wasn’t included in the book but I figured to tell the whole story.

Good things come with patience

Now, once she got her seizures controlled, she got her license back.  She went fifteen years without having one. My mom showed me that you should always keep your head up, and always be positive when life gets you down. It’s the reason I have grown up to be such a positive person myself. My mom taught me you can’t dwell on the bad things in life, but only find a way to make them better.

alexis

Feeling guilty

With my mom having epilepsy there were many times I felt guilty. Guilty for not being there when she had a seizure because there have been many times this has happened when no one was home. Not being able to be there for her to make sure she is in a safe spot, and guilt for not being next to her when she woke up.

Being alone after a seizure must be a scary thing, not knowing what happened or if you hurt, or not being able to remember the little details about your life for a short time. How someone feels after a seizure is scary too, one minute you feel fine but then the next your body is drained, and you feel completely out of it.  There was one time I came home from being at a friends house, no one else was home but me and my mom.

I walked into the kitchen and there was glass all over the floor. I immediately knew what happened, so this wasn’t something shocking. But I go upstairs to my mom’s room first to make sure she didn’t hurt herself badly, I ask her if she remembers anything or if her head hurts or if she remembers where she woke up, to try to piece together how she fell over. My mom luckily wasn’t hurt besides some cuts, but she easily could’ve been badly injured.

Seeing the world with a different pair of eyes

Growing up around my mom having epilepsy made me see other people differently. I am a very understanding person from this. With my mom having this disorder made me see you really don’t know what others are going through until you get to know them.

That everyone has different challenges they deal with in their everyday life. My mom taught me to always be nice to others, seeing her have her days where she’s upset about her disorder shes told me that’s its been just random people who give her a compliment or say something nice to her really change her day.

My mom is the reason I chose to go into nursing in college and pursue it as a career. Growing up taking care of her when she got hurt, helping her when I could inspire me to go down this path.

Made me realize I want to continue to help people when I got older. I want to be that person who is there for others and helps them when they are sick. Being there for my mom my whole life made me become passionate about wanting to help people when I got older.

My mom was able to help people just by writing books, making people not feel so alone and know there is someone out there who understands what they are going through. She has even received letters from people how she has changed their life. My mom inspired me to want to do that for others, make a difference in people’s lives.

My mom’s life is the definition of the saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” She took her epilepsy and did great things with it. She never let it stop her from doing the things she wanted, she used her disorder to help people, to inspire people to feel their best and I always will admire my mom for that.

She is definitely someone I would consider my hero. Although her disorder gave her the path to be there for people and make a difference. When talking about my mom’s epilepsy with her she told me it has its pros and cons.

Throughout her whole life, she had many struggles and limitations on her life. Not just physical struggles but also mental, having to accept her disorder was very hard for her. Knowing she was different from the other kids at school or different from her friends wishing she was “normal”. Having seizures in front of people, random or people she knew was very uncomfortable and embarrassing, as it was something she couldn’t control or stop it from happening. She had to learn to overcome these feelings and accept them as it was apart of her life.

alexis and stacey

Accepting that my mom has epilepsy

Having to accept my mom has epilepsy myself was hard, I never would wish my mom was different in any way. Just having to get used to seeing her have seizures was difficult. Also the fear of not knowing when a seizure would occur made me anxious because you never know when someone with epilepsy would have one.

So never knowing when my mom would have a seizure and just living with the fear of basically the unknown was what I would say difficult. When I was younger I used to close my ears and want to shut my eyes but wouldn’t, I knew I needed to make sure she wasn’t going to get hurt.  I had to put my own fears aside to be there for her. The older I got the more used to I got to this but it still is scary to see because you never know what could happen truthfully. Falling the wrong way or depending on where you are could leave her really hurt. If my mom didn’t have epilepsy I would be a different person.

alexis

How my mom’s epilepsy changed me

Her disorder made me a person who is compassionate, humble, grateful, appreciative and sensitive towards others as well. I am so fortunate that I had such a healthy life. Think back on it now, I could not fathom living life as she did, she is so strong. I am very lucky that my mom’s epilepsy is not as severe, there are people with epilepsy who have multiple seizures a day.

People who have to go through that every day and constantly get hurt, my mom’s epilepsy is more controlled so she can go months without having a seizure. I am very appreciative of the doctors my mom has who helped her control the seizures that give her the ability to live her everyday life and do things that if she were having multiple seizures she may not be able to do.

As I became older, I became sensitive towards others growing up seeing people go through things much harder than what my mom has and seeing all the people who have come to the walks and have similar stories made me have more empathy towards others with disorders. I am an extremely caring person, always wanting to be there for others and help them when I can because sometimes just one person can make a huge difference, which I learned from my mom.

I really appreciate the life I have because it could’ve been so different, my mom’s epilepsy made me more of a humble down to earth person, learned to be more appreciative about the things I have in life and the life I am able to live.

Ironically growing up with my mom having epilepsy I feel is the reason I am more laid back.  I say ironically because you would think I would be more nervous about a person from seeing my mom get hurt and have seizures often.

But I learned you can’t worry about the things in life you can’t control. My mom is one of the most amazing people I know and if I grew up without her having epilepsy I may not be the person standing before you.  My mom took the many obstacles standing in her way and did not let them defeat her.

She only grew stronger as a person who went out to make a difference in the epilepsy community. The purpose of this article was to tell my moms story, show people how being determined and motivated can really set you on such a great path.

The experiences that happen in our life create our future, every twist, turn, and a detour has its purpose. How to not let the bad things in life take over and to know things will get better because that is some of the things my mom taught me, and I hope I can grow up to be as strong,  be driven, and inspiring as she is today.

Listen to The Doctor Health Show as They Interview Stacey Chillemi Guest on Health & Wellness During the Holidays

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Bored with all those sick-sounding Health Programs?

Then tune in to the Cure for the Common….. Radio Show! Join Board-Certified “Talk-tologist” David Snow for Stimulating Information … Without the Caffeine!

For over 25 years, Doctor Health Radio has been bringing you the latest on medicine, fitness, nutrition, and wellness from national medical experts, best selling authors, Hollywood health celebrities, plus our line-up of local guest experts to keep you healthy!

Today David Snow from interviews Stacey Chillemi about Health & Wellness.

 

Stacey Chillemi Speaks about Dealing with Health and Weight Loss On The Podcast Restoring the Daughters of Zion

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How to stay healthy and successfully lose weight

The introduction contains 15 minutes of music.  If you do not want to listen to the music then hit play and scroll over to 23:30 and that will bring you right to the interview.  Thank you for listening to the interview.  I hope you enjoy it and learn something from it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave it in the comment box.  I love hearing your thoughts.

 

 

 

 

 

BBS Radio The Sports Doctor with Stacey Chillemi

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Stacey Chillemi, Health & Lifestyle reporter, Author of  ‘The Complete Herbal Guide’ joins me along with Natalie Graves, founder of The 1 in 4 PROJECT and athletes mental health counseling specialist.

Guest Stacey Chillemi

Stacey Chillemi
Guest Website: http://thecompleteherbalguide.com

I am on a mission to transform the health of millions worldwide.  I am a popular and recognizable health and lifestyle reporter and expert, columnist and health host. Author of The Complete Guide to Natural Healing and Natural Remedies for Common Conditions, along with 20 other published books.  I am the founder of The Complete Herbal Guide and a recognized health and natural remedies expert, with over 20 years of practice as a Health Coach. I have been a guest on the Dr. Oz Show, local news, and numerous radio shows. My focus is on natural healing, herbal remedies, alternative methods, self-motivation, food for medicine, nutrition, fitness, natural beauty remedies and the power of positive thinking.

 

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The Sports Doctor is in! Dr. Robert A Weil, Sports Podiatrist, specializes in orthotics that improve alignment, stability, balance & performance. Dr. Bob has treated many of the world’s premier athletes from all types of sports. He is the host of “The Sports Doctor™” Radio Show. The show is now featured on BBS Radio Network, UK Health Radio Network & Sports 4 Fanz Radio. Dr. Bob was formerly on HealthyLife Radio and was also on WDCB public radio in Chicago for over 20 years. He has written articles for many newspapers & magazines and is a frequent guest on other networks. And his new book, co-written with Sharkie Zartman, titled ‘#Hey Sports Parents! An Essential Guide for Any Parent with a Child in Sports’ – is now available on Amazon!

Join the Sports Doctor and his great guests for important topical information for injury-free exercise, wellness and sports performance for both adults and kids. Frequent topics include the role of the foot in sports, all aspects of sports medicine including, proper sports shoes, youth safety, health, wellness, and sports performance for both adults and children.

 

 

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Live Longer and Feel Younger with Stacey Chillemi (Video)

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Want To Feel Younger than Your Age?

At some point it hits you.

Usually in your thirties.

If you’re lucky, not until your forties.

You start to feel your age.

You can’t pull all-nighters anymore. More than a couple of drinks hits you like a freight train. You don’t bounce back as quickly from injury. You’d rather sit and watch than play in the game.

Is this what you’re stuck with?

Is life downhill from here?

Stacey Chillemi doesn’t think so. She’s the author of The Ultimate Guide to Living Longer and Feeling Younger. Stacey has been coaching people on how to get healthier for over two decades and sharing the resources she’s discovered on TheCompleteHerbalGuide.com, one of the largest natural health websites in the U.S.

In this YBTV interview, she talks to us about what we should be eating, how much we should be sleeping, and how we should be caring for our skin and hair.

The Complete Herbal Guide

What You’ll Learn

Stacey Chillemi doesn’t want you to spend a fortune on cosmetics.

You don’t need to cover up those wrinkles or dye away those gray hairs. Stop masking aging. Start treating it instead.

A few simple things make us age faster:

  • Poor nutrition
  • Poor sleep
  • Toxins
  • Stress

When you start eating better, sleeping better, detoxifying, and managing stress, you’ll start to feel (and look) SO much better.

So let’s start with the first element of aging…

Anti-Aging Nutrition

A lot of people don’t realize, but what we put in our bodies has a huge impact on how we feel and how we look. The different foods we eat affect our food, our energy, our bodies, a lot of different things we’re not aware of.”

Stacey isn’t a fan of the word “diet.”

“People don’t like to be told what to eat and what to do,” she says.

She encourages everyone to simply eat healthily. That means fruits, vegetables, fish for those omega 3s, the right proteins, and lots of greens.

Although you want to get the bulk of your nutrition through whole foods, supplements can be useful. For example, even though blueberries have antioxidants in them, you’d have to eat a lot of them in order to get the amount you need.

Stacey recommends vitamin D, as it’s hard to get enough vitamin D from the sun. Vitamin D supplements work wonders for the skin. They keep skin moist and youthful, whereas dryness can cause lines and wrinkles.

Vitamin E is another great supplement for the skin. It can speed healing and treat eczema. Only take it once in a while, though. You don’t want to take too much.

She also recommends biotin and B vitamins for thicker, longer hair that doesn’t go gray as fast.

Sleep to Stay Young

“We’re always on the go-go-go. Most people don’t know how to relax,” Stacey says.

That carries over into nighttime, where we’re sleeping less and getting poorer quality sleep.

Making it worse, we produce less melatonin as we age, so it gets harder to fall asleep.

Not getting your full 8 hours means your body doesn’t have enough time to renew itself. You can find yourself waking up with bags under your lines and visible wrinkles. You may even find yourself getting sick more easily.

To get better quality sleep, try taking magnesium and potassium before bed. They’ll relax the body and make you feel sleepy.

You can also use lavender essential oil on your pillow or in a diffuser. Stacey enjoys a lavender Epsom salt bath before bed.

Other options include taking melatonin or a few drops of passionflower, also known as “the natural tranquilizer.”

Tackling Toxins

“If [you] can detoxify [your] body on a consistent level, you’ll see a difference in your energy; you’ll see a difference in your skin. You’ll see a difference in the way you feel overall. Your metabolism will increase. You might experience some weight loss,” Stacey says.

That’s why she recommends detoxifying every couple of months.

She recommends milk thistle, to help the digestive system, as well as turmeric and dandelion tea. You can also increase the fiber in your diet or try a whole-body cleanse.

The Aging Effects of Stress

“A lot of times you can age quicker just by the amount of stress that you have on your shoulders,” Stacey says. “So sometimes you have to figure out ways to decrease the stress in your life. It’s easy to say, but very hard to do.”

She suggests taking 15 minutes in the morning to meditate, do a little yoga, or practice relaxation techniques. Try to find ways to simplify your life.

Attitude really is everything. Your mind can make you feel your age—or half your age. Stacey concludes:

Positive thinking is the key to feeling great and feeling younger.”

Jump to Topics of Interest

2:06 How aging hits us and why cosmetics isn’t the answer
2:54 Importance of diet and nutrition
3:46 How to eat healthily
5:20 Ways to reduce stress
7:12 Food is the foundation
8:23 Why you should detox
9:24 Different ways to detox
10:23 Anti-aging skin and haircare
12:44 Importance of sleep
13:55 Ways to sleep better
15:25 Surprising anti-aging tips
16:32 Stacey’s work at The Complete Herbal Guide
17:29 Aging is an attitude

Click to watch Stacey Chillemi on The Dr. Oz Show. Dr. Oz features Stacey Chillemi in a segment titled: “60 Second Life Hacks.”

ABOUT STACEY CHILLEMI

Stacey has been coaching people on how to get healthier for over two decades. She’s a prolific author, with 20 books under her name, including The Ultimate Guide to Living Longer and Feeling Younger. She’s the founder of The Complete Herbal Guide, one of the largest natural health websites in the U.S.

The Living Well Show with Robin Stoloff – A New You for 2018: Improving Your Emotional Health as Well As Your Physical Health

Most Loved Health Blogs of 2017: Meet 2nd Prize Winner Stacey Chillemi

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Written by the Healthline Wellness Team

For our Most Loved Health Blogs contest, readers voted for the health bloggers who inspire them to live stronger, healthier lives — and the results are in!

Stacey Chillemi of The Complete Herbal Guide came in second place and wins a prize of $500 to help forward her mission of inspiring others to take a holistic approach to health. Read on to learn more about her!
Back in 2011, Stacey Chillemi experienced what she refers to as a spiritual awakening, and set about reshaping the way she looks at health. Working with an herbalist, she began to take a holistic approach to wellness as well as managing her epilepsy — incorporating yoga, meditation, positive thinking, and an improved diet and lifestyle.Now a published author of more than 20 books, she has appeared as a wellness expert on shows like “The Dr. Oz Show” and attracted an enormous following as the founder of The Complete Herbal Guide. Attracting millions of readers each month, the site is a repository of information on nutrition, holistic wellness, and information on supplements and vitamins.We caught up with Stacey to learn more about her mission and what she loves most about sharing her story.

Q&A with Stacey Chillemi

What would you say is the mission of your website?

The Complete Guide to Natural Healing believes that food, vitamins, supplements, and alternative medicine can be your best medicine. This website will show you the truth about health and wellness, so you can help your family and closest friends get even healthier. You’ll learn exactly what you should do and how to eat to get healthy, exercise to get your leanest, healthiest body, and how to take control of your family’s health using natural remedies as medicine.

What made you want to start sharing your healing journey?

When I saw the traumatic change in my life — all from changing my thoughts and lifestyle — I thought to myself that if I could improve my physical and mental health by making simple lifestyle changes, can you imagine how many millions of people I could help if I was able to share my story and teach others the tools, techniques, and strategies I used to improve my epilepsy and overall, physical and mental health? The lifestyle changes I made can apply to all conditions and illnesses.

Many people reached out to help me when I was struggling with my epilepsy. It was now my duty as a good human being to use my knowledge, health experience, speaking, and writing skills to help others so they can live happy, healthy, and productive lives, too. Everyone deserves to be healthy and happy.

When did you first notice that your posts were really resonating with readers?

It was when I wrote an article teaching others how to cope with illness. I’ll never forget it. I received an email from a woman who told me that she was planning to die by suicide, then she came across my article on how to cope with illness. She said that she applied my tips and followed the regimen I created. Her life turned around.

Not only was she feeling better, physically and mentally, she realized that she had a purpose in life and for the first time she felt positive and motivated to live life to its fullest. It was then that I realized how powerful the words of wisdom could be, and how they could create such a huge impact in someone’s life. It was then that I realized my true purpose in life. I also realized that I was making a difference in other people’s lives and to me, that is the best accomplishment anyone could ever achieve.

On your blog, you’ve said that you’re grateful for having grown up with epilepsy and other life challenges. How did you come to reach this perspective?

Having epilepsy and going through traumatic life-changing obstacles, helped me see life from a different perspective. I can truly say that I don’t think I would have been as compassionate and sensitive to the needs of others if I didn’t go through all the things I did in life. Of course, I wouldn’t want to go through everything I went through again, but it was all the obstacles I endured in life that taught me to live with an open heart filled with love.

I don’t judge and there are no walls barricading my heart. I see no faults in others and I feel for others as they face their own daily battles. How can you criticize others’ imperfections when we carry just as many imperfections ourselves? As soon as you are willing to let go of the ways of the world and create your own path and purpose, you will experience a life filled with health, happiness, and prosperity the way you never felt it before. It has always been my dream and passion to help others get to this point in their lives.

What’s one of your favorite posts on The Complete Herbal Guide, and why?

I may sound a little biased, but my most favorite post is the one I wrote called, Why I Do What I Do — How I Found My Purpose in Life. It’s about my amazing journey in life from childhood until the present. Every time I read it, tears come to my eyes as I am reminded of everything I’ve been through and how I have come so far in life. It re-instills hope into my heart and reminds me why I started this all. I want to show others that if I can do it, so can you.

If there was one thing you would change about the way the world approaches wellness, what would it be?

I would like to see the world become super conscious of the foods they eat and the products they use. So many things claim to be healthy but aren’t. People need to become aware of the ingredients that are in the foods they’re eating. Many of the ingredients in the foods we eat can cause damage to our body and mental health. Even some of the beauty products we use can alter our hormones. I also feel that people don’t realize how important it is to develop healthy sleeping habits and to manage stress. It’s time that people took a moment to view their daily lifestyle and find ways to incorporate simple lifestyle changes that could have a huge impact on their health.

Also, it’s not all about looking like a supermodel, either. True wellness is when you feel good physically and mentally and you are happy at the stage you are in life. If you’re healthy and you can look in a mirror and say, “I feel good and I love myself” — that to me is true wellness.

Follow Stacey’s journey and learn about holistic wellness on The Complete Herbal Guide. You can also connect with Stacey and her team on Twitter and Facebook.

Stacey Chillemi Discusses 12 Foods, Vitamins, and Supplements that Will Keep You Young in Your 40’s On America Trends TV

Stacey Chillemi Discusses 12 Foods, Vitamins and Supplements that Will Keep You Young in Your 40's On America Trends TV

Stacey Chillemi Discusses 12 Foods, Vitamins and Supplements that Will Keep You Young in Your 40’s On America Trends TV