This blog will explain the benefits of wearing a medical bracelet if you have epilepsy or a seizure disorder. It could help you in your daily life as well as providing you with an easier option for communicating your condition to others.
What is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a common condition that affects the brain and causes frequent seizures. Seizures are bursts of electrical activity in the brain that temporarily affects how it works. They can cause a wide range of symptoms and it’s often not clear what causes epilepsy or triggers a seizure. Sometimes it’s genetic or is caused by severe brain trauma.
Epilepsy can affect people at any age and there are many different types; some types of epilepsy last for a limited time and the person eventually stops having seizures. However, for many people epilepsy is a life-long condition.
Seizures can affect people in a variety of ways, depending on which part of the brain is involved. Possible symptoms include:
Anyone can have a one-off seizure, but this doesn’t always mean they have epilepsy. Epilepsy is usually only diagnosed if a doctor think there’s a high chance that the person could have more seizures.
Do I need a medical bracelet if I have Epilepsy?
Epilepsy in children.
If you are a parent of a child who has epilepsy, you will want to make sure they get the right support at school to look after their epilepsy triggers. It is important to communicate with staff to make sure they know how to help your child with their seizures, if one occurs at school.
Youngepilepsy.org.uk provides a range of information about how to make sure your child is supported at school and can help you connect with other families who may share similar experiences to you.
You may also wish to talk to your child about wearing a medical bracelet, encouraging them to choose a style which they feel comfortable with. This means that they can communicate to others in case of emergency. It could contain more detailed information about their epilepsy, or an emergency contact phone number. This could be particularly important if they are young and may not easily remember these details.
For more reasons on why you should wear a medical bracelet for epilepsy, check out our Four reasons why you should wear a medical bracelet for your epilepsy blog.
What should I engrave on my medical bracelet?
Your bracelet might state a diagnosis, so your symptoms are instantly recognised, or it could give a directive such as “Call (Name) on +44 123 456789” so your family can be notified of what has happened and advise doctors on your behalf. This is a personal choice, and you can reveal as many details as you wish. As a guideline, your bracelet should say "Epileptic" or "Seizure Disorder”, so it explains your seizures when you cannot.
Your epilepsy medical bracelet could state any regular medication you need in case of being unconscious for a significant period, due to an emergency.
It is also possible that the stress of an emergency such as a car crash could induce a seizure and paramedics will be best able to help you if they have clear instructions or information available on your wrist. Some people find that they come round faster if a paramedic uses their name to address them whilst unconscious. Your bracelet could say, “If unconscious, I respond best to my own name …” You could even just have your name on the charm, depending on how much space is available on your favourite design.
Alternatively, your bracelet could explain that you are a carer yourself, for someone with a seizure disorder. Specifically, where you have children with epilepsy, other arrangements may need to be made when you fall ill or if you were to experience a car crash or other emergency.
Check out our range of epileptic jewellery.
Where to go for support?
If you have received a diagnosis of epilepsy, it’s natural to feel a bit overwhelmed while you are learning how to manage your condition. It is important to remember you are not alone.
Dan was an active and healthy 21-year-old in the Navy when he had his first epileptic seizure. He was taken for tests at the time but four months later, he had a second seizure and was diagnosed with epilepsy. His diagnosis meant he was unable to remain employed in the Navy, but he discovered that sleep deprivation and alcohol increased the risk of a seizure. He has not had another one since and manages the condition by avoiding alcohol completely and making sure he has a full night’s rest. You can read Dan’s blog post here.
By managing it this way, he can study nursing and has applied to the police. He is determined not to let the condition define him but takes sensible precautions to allow him to do the most he can. A medical bracelet could make all the difference if he was out on the job as a policeman or on a new ward as a nurse. His epilepsy was only diagnosed after a second round of tests, so having the information available to a first aider makes sure they know exactly what help Dan needs in the event of a third seizure.
If you or a family member is planning to study, as Dan has, there are some tips that can help to mitigate the risks of moving away from home:
See what help is available through your college or university for extra academic support and through a Disabled Student Allowance for extra financial support.
Olivia covers moving out to live independently in her video blog. She confirms that the biggest help you can give yourself is to embrace that you have epilepsy or a seizure disorder. Make people aware so they can help you. And make sure people will know specifically how to help if you are out and about, including nights out or living with flatmates, going to work or to class. An epilepsy medical bracelet is suitable for all these day-to-day scenarios.
26 March is Purple Day. Get involved with fundraising and awareness activities at epilepsy.org.uk
Stuff That Works has a range of treatments and discussions for those going through epilepsy.
For top tips on how to deal with your epilepsy and to read other’s experiences, check out the Epilepsy Society.
Colours and symbols
We are open to requests … including colours and symbols associated with any condition. Just drop us a line to talk through your idea. Epilepsy and seizure disorders are associated with the seahorse and with purple for reasons outlined below:
The hippocampus is an area in the temporal lobes of the brain which is involved in controlling emotion and instinct. The area is called hippocampus because it is shaped a bit like a seahorse and ‘hippocampus’ is Greek for seahorse. The hippocampus is the site of the epileptic focus in some people with epilepsy, so for many years, the seahorse was the symbol of Epilepsy Society.
Lavender is recognised as the international flower of epilepsy. The flower is said to symbolise isolation and loneliness, often associated with epilepsy. Interestingly, pure, essential lavender oils are thought to have a relaxing effect on the body and brain and may help to reduce seizures.
*Spike lavender, however, should be avoided as it may trigger seizures.
Read more facts about epilepsy at the Epilepsy Society.
We have a selection of epileptic bands and pins, including a purple awareness ribbon pin badge. Similarly, there are purple dog tag necklaces, or you can order a custom silicone band. You may be able to engrave a seahorse outline onto a tag and there is an aqua, sea-toned Breeze bracelet available, if purple is not your colour and you wanted to use the seahorse association.
When ordering any item, please ensure you have mentioned if you have allergies to metal or other materials. We are more than happy to give advice on how to fit around allergy requirements. Similarly, please contact us to check the best sizing or indicate on your order if your symptoms include swelling that may affect the size you need.
Have a browse of our full range of epilepsy medical jewellery.
If you have epilepsy, wearing a medical bracelet or necklace can allow you to feel like yourself again. You can choose your own style, design, and engraving to let others know how they can help you in an emergency. It’s also a reassuring way to make sure your friends or loved ones get called first, if anything happens.
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