My name is Liv and I have some advice for people who are worried about talking to their partners or future partners about their epilepsy.
For me, I have always been worried if I could trust the person I was in a relationship with to look after me when unconscious. I have been with my partner, Alex, for nearly 5 years now, and here is what I have learned…
Your gut is always right. If you feel like you cannot 100% trust that person to look after you when you are at your most vulnerable, they are not for you. This can be seen as a hard truth. However, this is a positive for us people with epilepsy as hopefully, we can ensure that the person we will romantically be with is right for us!
Always be open and transparent about your epilepsy with your partner. Epilepsy is part of our everyday lives, and for many of us, since childhood. Explaining and talking to your partner about your condition, whether its the small things like medication to the scary things like past experiences with seizures, will only help them understand you and your condition more.
If you have a seizure in front of your partner, ask how they feel too (when you come round of course!). Everyone handles things differently and talking about their experience with your epilepsy will only bring you closer together. This is something me and Alex do after I have tonic-clonic seizures which usually winds me up in A&E. Even though having a seizure always seems horrible, there is always, without a doubt, a funny story to tell that has happened in between!
Tell your partner about your routine. If you’re like me and have to take your medication at certain times in the day, telling your partner this will really help. Over time, Alex has adjusted to my routine and reminds me to take my medication in the morning and evening which has helped me so much.
Epilepsy is hard enough to have on our shoulders even though overtime we learn how to manage it. So, even in a relationship, always remember that you, your health, and your happiness always comes first!
I hope this helps anyone who is confused or struggling at the moment, especially that we are now in a national lockdown. If you want to talk to me privately about anything, feel free to message me on Insta (@livsalvati), my door is always open!